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. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway


    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.
  2. A scene from "Epiphany."
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 22


    Clearwater Jazz Holiday: The Avett Brothers: The Avett Brothers, with their blend of folk, bluegrass and rock, lead the lineup. 1:30 p.m., Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $16 per day, $45 reserved, $170 VIP. (727) 461-5200.

    AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 15:  (L-R)  Joe Kwon, Bob Crawford, Seth Avett, and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers pose for a portrait at the "May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers" Premiere - 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 15, 2017 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 21


    Conor Oberst: The Bright Eyes mastermind will be joined by opener, the Felice Brothers. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30.50-$36. (727) 791-7400.

    Handout photo of Conor Oberst, performing Oct. 21 at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. Credit: Grandstand Media
  5. McDonald's soft serve in Florida is made with handshakes and happy cows


    Floridians licked nine million McDonald's vanilla cones last year.

    Calves play with a rubber toy at the Milking R Dairy in Okeechobee, FL. Owners Sutton Rucks, Jr., and his wife Kris Rucks sell their milk to SouthEast Dairies cooperative, Edward Coryn of Dairy Mix in St. Petersburg buys it, transforms it into soft-serve ice cream base, and sells it to all the McDonald's. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times