When Kelsea Ballerini first entered the music industry battlefield, she had little more under her belt than a great voice and a record deal with a small indie label. However, Ballerini received the nomination for the 2017 Grammy’s Best New Artist.
Despite losing the category to Chance the Rapper, the nomination is a big stepping stone in Ballerini’s career, and it proves that she’s gaining recognition fast.
Here’s how she did it.
1. She’s been persistent from the beginning.
The country-pop singer from Tennessee is not one to wait around. Before getting signed to her first label, Ballerini used social media and other networking events to meet as many people in the industry as possible. It was through one her Facebook connections that Ballerini finally got noticed by an employee at Black River Entertainment.
If it hadn’t been for her persistence from the start, Ballerini may have missed out on the opportunity to meet with the label, and her big break may have never come.
Listen to Ballerini explain her journey here.
2. She found a great mentor.
Perhaps one of Ballerini’s greatest advantages has been her friendship with singer/songwriter Taylor Swift. Swift first recognized Ballerini’s talents in 2015, and the two female country-pop singers have since formed a kind of mentor/mentee relationship. Swift has provided Ballerini with valuable advice on presenting herself, and she gave Ballerini the opportunity of a lifetime when she was invited to perform on stage for Swift’s 1989 tour.
This partnership not only helped Ballerini discover who she was as an artist, but it also helped her catch the eyes of millions of potential fans.
Check out a clip from Ballerini and Swift’s collaboration below.
3. She’s incorporated social media into her daily life.
No artist can survive in today’s age without multiple social media accounts, but Ballerini has capitalized on the basics by posting several times a day, in addition to finding creative ways to incorporate fans into her online presence.
By consistently posting selfies with her family and videos with fans, Ballerini has made herself more accessible to her audience, as well as more relatable. This strong online presence has not only earned her more followers, but it has also increased her popularity across the music industry.
Watch Ballerini give a fan a makeover below.
It wasn’t that long ago that Kelsea Ballerini was just a young girl from Tennessee, but through working hard, networking, and using social media to her advantage, her popularity has skyrocketed, thus earning her the nomination for Best New Artist. Incorporate these tips into your own musical journey, and it won’t be long before you get a call from the Grammys.
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Kelsey Leaman is a senior at American University in Washington D.C. studying Economics and International Studies. She is passionate about writing, Lemonade, and Michelle Obama.