Kelsea Ballerini talks about pressure, Time’s Up and avoiding the sophomore slump

Kelsea Ballerini. (Photo by John Shearer via Sweet Talk Publicity)
Kelsea Ballerini. (Photo by John Shearer via Sweet Talk Publicity)
Published February 14

Though she may be a Grammy-nominated star today, Kelsea Ballerini doesn't know if she could do it again if she had to start over right now as a teenager.

"I remember moving to Nashville when I was 15, and I swore I was ready," said Ballerini, 24. "I swore in that moment I was ready for a record deal, I was ready to go on a radio tour, all that stuff. And you know what? Hindsight, there is no freaking way I could have handled that. No way. It was the perfect timing. It allowed me to have some time in Nashville to start understanding the music industry from the outside looking in. And it gave me time to go to college for a few years, just have some real life experiences that really helped me."

Indeed it did. On the strength of singles like Peter Pan, Dibs and Legends, from her sophomore album Unapologetically, Ballerini is one of the biggest young stars in Nashville. She'll bring her new headlining tour to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Friday; click here for details.

For more of our interview with Kelsea Ballerini, click here.

— Jay Cridlin