Photo credit: ErinKellyMusic.com
In advance of the Third Annual Arts on the Move on Nov. 12 at Touchstone Theater, Lehigh Valley Underground is on a mission to talk to each of the musicians performing at the event. Stay tuned here and with our partners at DustinSchoof.com as we bring you everything you need to know about the people making this event go.
First up, we chat with Erin Kelly, a 21 year old country music artist with a powerful, award-winning voice. Erin will be performing at Arts on the Move, and was nice enough to answer some of our questions.
You’ve been performing from a very young age. Tell us about how you got your start in music.
My parents really noticed my interest in music from a very young age. I was able to sing on key before I could talk, and by the time I was three years old, I was already singing public performances. One of my first performances was the National Anthem for a local baseball team called the Ambassadors. Around the age of three and a half, I sang on the Al Alberts Showcase, which was a television show based in Philadelphia. I ended up touring with the show on the Jersey Shore from age three to six.
From the start, you’ve been no stranger to big crowds, performing the National Anthem at major sporting events and for national dignitaries. How has that helped you as a performer?
Since I have been performing in front of large crowds since the age of three, I never had a fear of the size of the audience I perform for. Singing the National Anthem also helped, particularly because the focus of the song is not on me, but rather the flag and our country. I have been really fortunate to perform in front of dignitaries, veterans, and sports teams across the region.
Who are your influences, and how have they shaped you as an artist?
Linda Ronstadt, LeAnn Rimes, Patsy Cline, and Eva Cassidy have all been major influences of mine. These artists have amazing voices and have inspired me to expand and go beyond one particular vocal style. Growing up, my parents encouraged me to listen to varieties of music and explore different vocal styles, which helped me develop my own style of vocal performance.
The sum of your musical experiences comes through on your EP, “Why Wait,” released last year. Talk about your songwriting process for the record.
I had done a lot of recording in the past, but this was the first EP that I wrote the music and lyrics for. I knew at this point that my genre was country music, and it was definitely in the back of my mind while I was writing it.
What can new listeners expect when they check it out?
“Why Wait” incorporates modern country with a combination of other genres that have influenced me over the years. Four of the songs on the EP were recorded in Nashville. I recorded one song locally with Nyke Van Wyk of Sixwill Studios, and recorded the remaining four with Rich Herring of Trax Productions in Nashville, Tennessee.
Switching gears, you’ve done some work in the community, performing with WXPN Musicians On Call. Tell us about the organization and what they do.
Musicians On Call is a program that brings music to the bedsides of patients in hospitals. The musicians in this program perform for patients in hospitals across the nation. I have been a part of the program in Philadelphia for about four years now. I love being a part of this program, and MOC has really changed my life. When you can use music to make people happy in their most difficult moments, you see how powerful it can be.
Speaking of giving back to the community, you’re slated to perform at the Third Annual Arts on the Move at Bethlehem’s Touchstone Theater on Saturday, November 12. How did you come to be involved in this year’s event?
I was invited by the GLVMA to be a part of this event. I have done several shows with them, including the Beatles Showcase and the Lehigh Valley Music Awards. This is my first year performing at Arts on the Move, and I am really looking forward to it!
Arts on the Move is a fundraiser for scholarships to be awarded at the 18th Annual Lehigh Valley Music Awards in March. Why, in your opinion, is this such an important cause to support?
I am currently in college, and know it can be tough financially when you are in school. Helping any student who is setting a goal to get their education means a lot to me.
What can those in attendance expect from your performance at Arts on the Move?
I am going to be performing a mix of covers, as well as some new originals for the show!