Kelsea Ballerini had a hand in writing every song on her debut album, The First Time, including the lead single, “Love Me Like You Mean It.” While she considered cutting a few songs by other writers around Nashville, Kelsea ultimately decided recording her own songs would be the best way to introduce herself to country fans.
She tells ABC Radio, “I wanted it to be the best album that it could be, but I also wanted it to be my album. I’ve been writing since I was 12. I signed my publishing deal with 240 songs, so I just had a ton to sort through.”
The result is a collection of songs that capture Kelsea’s confident approach to life while also showing her vulnerable side on songs like “Second Hand Smoke,” which addresses her parents’ divorce. Even when the subject matter is sad, Kelsea works to include a twist in the lyrics to provide a positive spin on things for both the singer and her audience.
“I am a girl. I struggle with insecurities all day, every day,” Kelsea admits, “but even when I get to sing these songs, it helps me to remember to be confident and remember to stand up for myself and that kind of stuff. But I think it’s really important for girls to have that voice, and I just kinda want to be that for them.”
Kelsea’s empowering message is getting across through her debut hit, “Love Me Like You Mean It.” As the song hits the top 10 at country radio, Kelsea is amazed to hear fans singing every word of the song during her concerts.
She says, “I mean, it’s my first single. It’s my first time experiencing all of this. So, that’s all you could ever ask for.”
The First Time is now available in stores and at all digital outlets.
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