In a quaint community just east of Dallas, Texas – there was once a music hopeful itching to exchange her suburban life to rub elbows with like-minded individuals in a bustling city. Erin Kinsey was the eager songstress who plugged "Nashville" into a GPS of a crammed U-Haul before she even received a high school diploma. Just hours after throwing her graduation cap into the air, Kinsey placed the truck into drive and fled the tiny town to turn her country music dream into a reality.
The budding singer-songwriter quickly proved that it is possible to establish a flourishing career within the honky-tonk genre in less than 10 years. Before Kinsey had original material on streaming platforms, her uplifting breast cancer awareness anthem "Pink" was praised and recorded by country legend Dolly Parton, Monica, Jordin Sparks, Rita Wilson, and Sara Evans.
In 2021, the musical risk-taker reached independent success with the release of singles "Drunk Too" and "Just Drive." It was Kinsey's country-pop sound intertwined with the underlining rock 'n' roll elements in "Just Drive" that scored her a joint deal with RECORDS Nashville and Sony Music. With 177.6K followers on TikTok alone, Kinsey continues to verify that musicians can simply turn social recognition into an adoring fan base if they stay consistent with a clear vision.
While relishing her overnight success, Kinsey credits her high school sweetheart for being the "rock" she needed throughout the years. To show her appreciation and endless love, the breakout artist penned recent release "Hate This Hometown," alongside Kathleen Higgins and Dave Cohen. While creating the relatable ballad – the multi-instrumentalist recognized that her long-time boyfriend was not the only one constantly drawing her back to her hometown, but it was also the memories and individuals who have turned her into the musician she is today.
"I didn't know what I had until I didn't have it anymore," Kinsey told CMT about leaving her friends and family behind to pursue her craft. "Luckily, you can always go back to your hometown. This one is really special to me. Just every word of it is true," she added about the heavy lyrics and soul-touching narrative.
As a well-rounded storyteller, the 20-something breakout star called in video director Robby Stevens to capture her southern upbringing and her musical journey in a nutshell. The tear-jerking clip begins with the promising artist behind her steering wheel heading back to Rockwall, Texas. While driving through rural America, photos displaying monumental moments in her life quickly flash on the screen – signifying how fast time flies.
"I reached out to my mom to pull out all these pictures from the past, and getting that dropbox folder to look through was so amazing," Kinsey shared. "The last few years have been such a blur full of excitement, it was really a moment to look back and see how far I've come, and how many people have been there for me since day one."
The nostalgic video includes snapshots from prom, birthday celebrations, family vacations, and even clips from small gigs. In just three minutes, fans will witness the singer's rollercoaster-like music career and how she had the fire burning within her since she picked up an acoustic guitar.
"This video truly is a visual for everything I felt and saw in my head while writing 'Hate This Hometown.' Why I can't seem to stay away from Rockwall, Texas no matter how hard I try, is because of the people and the memories there," she said about the writing process. "Being able to have so many pictures in the official video just means the world. I think this video is going to be something that a lot of people that have been beside me throughout the last few years will find special."
As Kinsey's supportive family and friends are certain to hold the music video near and dear to their hearts, the Nashville newcomer hopes the relatable message will resonate with her loyal listeners and they will apply it to their own lives.
"There are a few things I would love for people to feel when they watch this video. One, is I hope they feel like they've had a closer look into my life and the people I love, and the journey it's been to get where I am today," she confirmed. "The other thing I hope people are reminded of is their own story. I hope this song and video reminds people of the towns and people that made them who they are and that they can always go back home to both."
The rising star continued to tell CMT that she was on a radio tour in Atlanta connecting with fans and tirelessly working on getting original material heard when she received the final cut of the emotional video. The social media sensation turned country rising star said it took everything in her power not to "burst into tears."
"I instantly missed my family and loved ones, but was also just so thankful to have this video to hold on to," she mentioned. "This video, this song, and my story are all things I'm incredibly proud of, and I'm so excited that I get to share all three with the world," she concluded.
"Hate This Hometown" follows her sister-inspired anthem "Better On Me" and serves as a teaser to her forthcoming debut EP, "40 East." The six-song project is expected to drop on March 25 and will include other ballads that flawlessly execute her rise to fame, small-town upbringing, and of course, her infectious vocals that are destined to dominate the country radio airwaves.
"Highway 40 East is the road that gets me most of the way from Texas to Nashville, and it's a road I've driven many times since I started coming to town with my family, my boyfriend, my friends, and Chewy (my dog). All of these songs, and this project, are a reflection of my life up until now, and one of the biggest parts of my story is chasing this crazy dream of mine. What I didn't know, is that 40 East was taking me to so many of my dreams coming true, including this EP," she previously shared full of excitement about her next chapter.