Kelsea Ballerini Reflects On Grammys Nomination
You couldn't paint a better picture, the day the CMA foundation and Kelsea Ballerini presented One Million Dollars to help further music education in Nashville public schools, also happened to be the morning of Grammy nominations.
On the morning of her first ever Grammy nomination surrounded by a room full of kids not too far away from Ballerini's age with similar dreams to one day be a recording artist like Kelsea, you couldn't have scripted a better full circle moment.
At 23, Ballerini hits a milestone many musicians only dream of, being nominated for Best New Artist at the GRAMMYs, and it was really her high school choral teacher who helped pave the foundation to get to where she is today. Although Ballerini's career is fairly young, she's blazing trails and setting records. The spunky, joy-filled blonde is the first solo female artist to send her first three singles to number one on the charts. The last time this was accomplished was in 1992 by Wynonna Judd!
"I loved music ever since I was really young, but high school was for me, the time that I really found that passion," Ballerini told the crowd gathered at Oliver Middle School Tuesday morning.
"My choir teacher, her name was Becky Thomas, and she was one of those teachers who loved music so much, who loved education so much, who loved defining and helped finding these kid's passions. She was one of the people that let me play a song that I had written on the stage for the first time ever. It was called "Learn How To Fly." I sang it right before I moved to Nashville."
"She was the first person to let me play in a musical. Ironically, the musical was "Peter Pan,'" which happens to be one of Ballerini's hit songs.
"It was the first time that someone allowed me to kind of spread my wings and see if I could fly."
A day that felt synonymous with why If You Can Dream It Do It exists, to showcase, that you too can follow and chase your dreams. A morning that laid out the steps to some essential footnotes in Ballerini's journey, like music education in school, someone believing in her talent early on, and growing the confidence to perform original pieces early on beginning on the high school stage, that were essential to where Ballerini is in her career now, and will always be as she continues to fly.
If You Can Dream It Do It: "You talked about your choral director being really instrumental in believing in you. Can you talk about why that was so important in your journey and your dream coming true?
Kelsea Ballerini: "She was the first person that gave me the opportunity to sing a song I had written on stage. She was the first person to who, in our choral department it was like, if you want to get a lead role, get to school early, and rehearse extra. It really taught me a really good work ethic, which I think has really helped me the last few years kind of trying to launch as an artist."
If You Can Dream It Do It: Today is a really big day, not only were you nominated for a Grammy this morning, it's also the anniversary of your record deal signing for 3 years!
Kelsea Ballerini: "I saw that, that's crazy!"
If You Can Dream It Do It: What does that mean to you, three years, and now you're nominated for a Grammy?
Kelsea Ballerini: "It's been a crazy three years, I don't even know. Wow, I don't even know. That's crazy!"
If You Can Dream It Do It: You posted it on Instagram of fifteen year-old Kelsea in the studio holding a Grammy. What would you tell fifteen year-old Kelsea?
I was 15 the first time I saw a Grammy. It was in a studio I was recording some of my first demos in. I remember asking if I could hold it, being it's biggest fan, and knowing how important it was. I wish I could go back and tell that 15 year old starry eyed girl that she'd be nominated a few years later. #BestNewArtist @recordingacademy
Kelsea Ballerini: "I wouldn't tell her anything, because I would have freaked out if I would have known that this would be my life, and I'm glad I didn't know, so I wouldn't tell her anything I would just tell her to go have fun!"
If You Can Dream It Do It: What's the best advice you've been given about following your dreams?
"I think to trust yourself, your gut, and your heart, because you're your own compass. You know what you want to say, what you want to do, so don't let anyone else try to define that or to do it differently, just trust yourself and trust your heart."
Ballerini was one of many artists who performed at CMA Fest this summer where the funds were raised. Another dream come true for Ballerini who shared over the summer on Instagram, she returned back to the far away section she once sat as a fan, only to be returning as a performer on stage.
Dreams come true, and it's important to never forget your roots and those that helped along the way! Thanks Kelsea for sharing more of your journey with If You Can Dream It Do It!