Country Music News

Kelsea Ballerini on overcoming imposter syndrome, journey of “discovering who I am”

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Following the release of her latest EP, Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (For Good), and with her 30th birthday just a month away, Kelsea Ballerini is on a journey of self-exploration.

“It’s exciting to be comfortable with continuing to navigate the exploration of my most authentic self,” she told The Tennessean in a new interview. “Maintaining overwhelming stats that cause crazy, exhausting pressure isn’t what actually matters. Achieving stereotypical standards of success can change your life. But, learning [what else can exist beyond that] is important, too.”

Part of coming to this realization, Kelsea said, has been overcoming imposter syndrome.

“It’s taken me a decade to defeat the imposter syndrome that makes me feel like people don’t know my music,” she said.

Ballerini said that over the past year, fans “began to care about what I was doing outside of music” — like her divorce from fellow country singer Morgan Evans and her new relationship with Outer Banks actor Chase Stokes — which she called “this super-terrifying thing … where people care about my art and my life equally.”

With Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (For Good), an expansion of the EP she released on Valentine’s Day, which chronicled her breakup with Morgan and moving on, Kelsea tapped into the crossroads of personal life and art.

“As much as I created it, this music loudly belongs to my fans — having this type of interplay with my fans has changed the expectations of my career,” she said.

Moving forward, Kelsea said she wants to continue adapting to whatever life throws at her.

“I used to be this flirty, fun and glittery person. Then, life put me in a different headspace,” she said. “Now I’m discovering who I am right now.”

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