Photo: Lindsey Byrnes
We recently chatted with singer-songwriter Emily Kinney
. If you don't know her as a musician, you may recognize from your TV where she was hangin' with zombies as Beth Greene on The Walking Dead
for multiple seasons. Kinney has had a successful acting career right alongside her musical career, which has fostered two EPs, and one full-length album with a second on its way. The Nebraska native is currently living in Los Angeles and working on a new Netflix show called Messiah
. Usually when an actor or actress decides to pursue music it turns into that phrase "maybe you should stick to your day job". But that's not the situation here. Music came first for Kinney. "I started singing for audiences when I was 7-8 years old at talent shows, and I would tell people I want to be a singer when I grow up." As she began to get older, her visions expanded. Currently, both acting and music play a very active and prominent role in her life. Acting takes her to new places, which fuels her songwriting inspirations. "With each new project, you meet a new group of people, a new group of actors, and that initiates new relationships and new experiences." Kinney also touched on the major difference between acting and singing/songwriting, "Music is therapy for me, because it's more of a way for me to express my exact feelings. Whereas with acting you're being more empathic and putting yourself in other people's shoes. When I'm writing music, I use it as a way to say, well this is my side of the story, this is what I was going through."
Kinney's video for the song "Boy Band Hero", (which we're premiering here) off of her upcoming album, has a serious nostalgia theme. Whether high school was your peak or your awkward phase, it'll make you reminisce. Directed by Jason Lee Denton, Kinney explained, "I wanted something super simple so that people would really listen to the words" She continued, "I wanted to relate it back to high school when you sit in your classroom, and I can remember my first kiss and going over and over and over it in my head and not paying attention…I wanted to capture that feeling." Other than a single shot of Kinney singing, the video is swirling with images from Kinney's childhood and images of high school. "For me high school was all about marching bands and football games and riding your bike around town."
It took a lot of growth for Kinney to reach her new album, "I left my management company, tried out different managers, took meetings, a bunch of that kind of stuff, not so much growth as an artist, but as a person in the music business trying to find the right path." With one of the sweetest voices out there, fans of Kinney have described her music as quirky, confessional pop. And you can't get more confessional and honest than by naming your upcoming album after an ex-boyfriend…Kinney's new album is titled Oh, Johnathan
. So, if you want to know more about the mysterious Jonathan, and are in need of some sweet synthy-pop goodness, check out her album when it drops on August 24th.