Kelsea Ballerini, Three Drinks In

Her Honest and Boozy Interview

Why can’t more interviews be like this? Entertainment Weekly took Kelsea Ballerini to Mother of Pearl — a post-modern Polynesian-inspired tiki bar — in Manhattan’s East Village and got her to open up about her music, her life and her love.

About two drinks in, Ballerini said, “This is about to be the most personal interview ever.”

Here’s what she drank: a Dressed Can (Austin Eastciders Pineapple Cider, cinnamon, absinthe, lime, rum), a Taste the Rainbow (Kiwi, watermelon, pineapple, banana cognac, lemon, lime, pisco, overproof rum) and a Shark Eye (Passion fruit, lemon, maraschino, dry curaƧao, bourbon, rye, tiki bitters).

And here’s what she said:

On how to make a second album. “For a long time I tried to go back to ‘Okay, how did I make the first one? Where did I write it? Where did I record it?’ And eventually I was like, ‘Stop trying to be your 19-year-old self!’ It took me a minute to figure that out.”

On keeping friends after fame. “Yeah, you lose a lot (of people). But then I have, like, seven super-close friends that I don’t work with, and they don’t care at all. One’s a nurse, one’s a vet.”

On being “In Between.” “That was the last song we wrote for the album. When I listened to the original 12 songs, I realized that I had written a lot about the two guys that had defined my last three years, but I hadn’t written a lot about myself — and I was the constant in all of it. That song was for me.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.