Make us your home page

Emily Kinney talks singing career and life after 'The Walking Dead'

Right around the time she joined The Walking Dead, Emily Kinney released her debut EP, Blue Toothbrush.

Tina Turnbow, Shore Fire Media

Right around the time she joined The Walking Dead, Emily Kinney released her debut EP, Blue Toothbrush.

One of Emily Kinney's first memories is listening and singing along to the Carpenters album on her parents' record player.

Another was telling her mom "no sing" so she could sing instead.

Now 30, Kinney kicked off a nationwide tour Monday to celebrate her third album, This Is War. The Times caught up with Kinney last week for a chat about life after leaving The Walking Dead last year and what's next with her singing and acting careers.

Writing and performing music has always been an important part of her life. Her first talent show was at age 7 in her home state of Nebraska, where she sang My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music.

Right around the time she joined the cast of The Walking Dead, Kinney released her debut EP, Blue Toothbrush. During breaks from the show she kept up her writing and recording, releasing a second album of lyrical indie folk songs.

"(The songs) tell stories, mostly about my relationships," Kinney said. "A lot of the atmosphere of where I am at the time ends up in my lyrics as well."

Many of her songs about relationships focus on vivid memories like sharing her Birthday Cake with a long-distance beau in or ex-lovers/fellow musicians in the heat of a breakup in title song This Is War. Kinney also draws inspirations from her favorite female songwriters and Brooklyn bands.

Kinney spent four seasons with The Walking Dead, making deep connections with fellow actors, and it's been about a year since her character, Beth Greene, was killed off, forcing her departure.

"It was difficult because I also lived there" in Georgia where AMC's hit show is filmed, Kinney said. "(But) I've been so busy since I left. I've barely been in one place for very long."

Kinney now splits time between L.A. and New York City, and since leaving The Walking Dead, she has kept on writing music and guest-starring in shows like Masters of Sex, The Knick and The Flash.

Despite her packed schedule, she still carves out time to visit loyal Dead fans at Walker Stalker Conventions around the country. Her last appearance in Florida was at this year's Orlando convention in June.

Whether she's at a convention, on set or in the recording studio, Kinney keeps a focus on her passion.

"I start my day with a bit of writing; it keeps me grounded and connected to my own voice," she said. "I made that a New Year's resolution a few years ago and I've been much happier since then."


Emily Kinney

The actor-singer performs at 8 p.m. Thursday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $22 in advance, $25 day of. (727) 791-7400.

Emily Kinney talks singing career and life after 'The Walking Dead' 11/17/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 6:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Take your vacation! Being a work martyr doesn't help


    The traditional start of the summer vacation season always produces vacation-themed reports. This year's theme is "vacation shaming."

    This year’s theme is “vacation shaming,” the common workplace condition when employees leave paid vacation time unused because they’re afraid to take time off.
  2. Celebrate Pride with this playlist of LGBTQ musicians


    I first came out over a decade ago, early in the torments of middle school and deep in the cornfields of suburban Indiana. To say I was lacking classmates who were out and local queer role models — let alone national ones — feels like an understatement. The school and public libraries offered few LGBTQ …

    Tegan and Sara perform during Splendour in the Grass 2016 on July 24, 2016, in Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
  3. Plan your weekend June 23-25: Pride parade, Lego art, Tampa Theatre beer fest 'Barley's Angels'


    Plan your weekend


    St. Pete Pride: More than 200,000 people are expected to revel on a new route Saturday along downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront for a parade that has grown into the largest in the Southeast. There will be a free concert on Friday in Straub Park …

    Andy Garcia of Miami watches the group of anti gay protest era speak to the crowd before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  4. Ticket Window: Mumford and Sons, Brad Paisley, Lorde

    Music & Concerts

    Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:

  5. Star Wars' Han Solo spinoff movie loses directors over 'creative differences'


    "I've got a bad feeling about this" is right.

    Christopher Miller, left, and Phil Lord have left the production in the middle of filming.