Kelsea Ballerini‘s long-awaited sophomore album Unapologetically is finally out and it leaves no doubt that she’s growing up.
The “Legends” singer, who made her mark with breakout hits like “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Dibs” wanted to show maturity in her second project. In part that meant writing her songs. “It’s the first part of me and it’s the biggest part of me,” Kelsea recently told Rolling Stone Country, which noted that meant turning down songs from some of Nashville’s most radio-tested songwriters. That was scary, of course, but the 24-year-old made peace with the decision. “The bigger part of me was like, ‘It’s not your heart.’ That for me is why I’m an artist. I write things because I want to put it out into the world.”
Despite her recent successes, the Tennessee native still feels like the new kid on the country music block. “I still feel like I’m a new girl on an independent label,” she tells the publication. “The odds are still against you. Even though we’ve had an amazing ride with the first record there’s still that fact. I didn’t make the record with that in the back of my head, but I know that’s unfortunately that we’re up against. All I’m able to do is make a really great record and work really hard and hopefully those odds keep going away.”
Read more in Rolling Stone Country here. Watch for her November 8th on the 51st Annual CMA Awards, where she’s up for Female Vocalist of the Year.
Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin’ country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.