HomeEntertainmentMusicKelsea Ballerini Talks About Early Opportunities and the Song That ‘Changed Her Life’

Kelsea Ballerini Talks About Early Opportunities and the Song That ‘Changed Her Life’

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CMT

Jesse Frasure, the record producer and DJ, posed the question to country singer Kelsea Ballerini. What’s the song with the greatest impact on your life?

Ballerini didn’t pause long to think of the answer. Although she’s only 27, she’s written a lot of songs, dating back to her childhood.

So which one is it?

“Peter Pan,” she said.

Frasure hosts a radio show on Apple Music. He picked Ballerini’s brain about her songwriting during his latest episode called “Calm Springs Part 1.”

Ballerini spoke of the time right after she signed her first deal with Black River Entertainment. She had three songs — “Love Me Like You Mean It,” “Dibs” and “Peter Pan.”

She told Frasure of how the record people debated which song to release first. However, they all knew which one was the best.

“One that changed my life the most drastically that I, like, point to all the time is Peter Pan,” Ballerini said. “I remember when I signed as a songwriter and I knew I wanted to be an artist and I didn’t know when and if that opportunity would come … [I was] Aimlessly writing trying to figure all my stuff out.”

She continued:

“I remember, too, when I got that record deal, had the meeting, played those three songs,” she said.

All Three of the Early Kelsea Ballerini Songs Hit No. 1

The record label decided “Love You Like You Mean It,” would serve as the best intro to Ballerini. Whether that was the best song, it certainly was a terrific decision.

The song reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. She was the first female country singer to top the charts with her debut song since Carrie Underwood did so in 2006. She also was the first female country artist to hit No. 1 with a song from an independent label.

On Frasure’s show, Ballerini said they were saving “Peter Pan.”

“We all decided “Love You Like You Mean It,” would be the first, but we knew “Peter Pan” was the song,” Ballerini said. “It was this real interesting moment, like, this cosmic moment, with all these people sitting around a table. (It) sounds like so unmagical. But that’s just kind of how these things happen.”

They said “Love You Like You Mean It,” feels like the first single to introduce myself. But Peter Pan is the one. It was this very strategic decision to hold it back and protect it to give it the best moment.”

Turns out, “Peter Pan” was the third straight big hit. The song was number one on both Billboard’s Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs. She was the first female country singer to hit the top of both. And she was the first since Wynonna Judd to see her first three songs land at No. 1.