One day in 2017, Kalie Shorr walked into her booking agent's office. "I busted in, played him some songs and was just unapologetically myself," Shorr recalls, "and he was like, 'Hey, you walked in here telling me about how you drank tequila last night, and you definitely dropped the F-bomb twice. That's who you are, and who you sound like in your songs, but when I go to your social media, you look like a 12-year-old.'"

The country up-and-comer realized he was right. While in some respects, she took the observation as a compliment ("It means my moisturizer is working!" she jokes), Shorr knew that her music and her identity were slightly grittier than the bubbly persona she presented online.

"I wanna sing songs about real stuff, and I definitely enjoy some tequila," she adds. "All of my favorite country artists have toed that line, and I think it's really cool and empowering as a woman to do that."

So, Shorr went home and made a vision board."There's a lot of studs and shoes [on it]," she shares. "There's some cut-out leather jackets. There's a lot of pastel color palettes, and one picture of Cara Delevigne because her makeup's super cool and smudgy, and I think she's the coolest. There's some Rihanna red carpet looks on there, too."

Once she started, Shorr's vision board quickly grew bigger than a single piece of cardboard. "My entire living room has turned into a vision board!" she says with a laugh. "I have a Tammy Wynette book on my coffee table, Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails posters and all the sheet music to Shania Twain's Up! It's a crazy vision."

For Shorr, vision boarding shifted her creative process going into recording Awake, her 2018 EP. Songwriting became a heavily visual process for the singer, and she says that, for some of the project, ideas for music videos came to her even before the songs themselves were complete. In terms of her next project, Shorr says, the process has been similar.

"I'm really excited about that," she adds. "Just like with Awake, the visuals are coming first."

This new, highly visual approach to her music is yielding rapid results: Although Awake just came out in January, Shorr says she's already looking forward to the next project being done and out in the world.

"I already have so many songs I wanna put on it," she gushes. "I know the story I want to tell. I think it's gonna be a longer format than anything else I've done, because I have so much to say right now.

"It's like, 'I have so many feelings and opinions! Here's 13 songs!'" Shorr adds with a laugh. "I'm already excited to be doing the interview cycle for that project, because I already have so much to say."

Watch Kaile Shorr Perform "Nothin' New" in Nashville

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