Leah Turner is preparing for the upcoming release of her self-titled debut EP, and readers of The Boot and Taste of Country are getting an exclusive first listen to the new music.

The California native grew up as a West Coast cowgirl on a ranch in the Morongo Valley, where her family raised horses, goats and chickens. That upbringing, along with her father's career as a championship header in the rodeo, strongly influenced Turner's earliest musical influences, which included George Strait, Loretta Lynn, Trisha Yearwood, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and more.

Turner wrote her very first song at six, and while in college at UCSB, she was selected to sing in front of celebrity judge Kenny Loggins, who convinced her to move to LA. There she began working with David Foster and Humberto Gatica (Whitney Houston, Celine Dion), but she felt that the resulting music didn't reflect her true interests.

“I was working with these amazing producers, which was a dream come true," she recalls. "But the music just wasn’t me. It wasn’t who I was.”

So Turner moved to Nashville, where she signed a deal with Columbia in July of 2013.

“I just kept feeling like even with the amazing producers in LA and the amazing opportunities I had been given, country music is what I was, and where I wanted to be," she states. "I stopped trying to pull out my roots, and started to water them.”

Turner released her debut single, 'Take the Keys,' in October, and her self-titled EP is slated to drop on May 6. It is currently available for pre-order at Amazon.

Listen to Leah Turner's Self-Titled EP