Country’s Rising Star Kelsea Ballerini

You’ve no doubt heard Kelsea Ballerini’s hit single “Peter Pan” from her debut album The First Time – and for good reason! With two Country Music Association Award nominations and a tour underway, the bright and bubbly twenty-two year old is taking over 2016 in a big way.

She is no stranger to award shows, though; Ballerini won Billboard’s Women in Music Rising Star Award and the ACM’s New Female Vocalist of the Year. She’s toured with Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flats, Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt all in the past two years. The Tennessee native has buckets of pride for her home – state, and we couldn’t wait to get all of her recommendations for good Southern food, how she keeps her skin glowing even on tour, and what to listen to right now…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

Blueberry waffles and all the coffee, a banana almond butter smoothie for snack, sushi and miso soup for lunch, and salmon, mashed potatoes and greens for dinner. YUM.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

I’ve learned that when I feel healthy, I am more confident. So just taking care of myself physically and mentally is so important. Eating right (and allowing cheat days for chocolate), working out and having quiet time – all of it helps me feel good.

How do you always start your day? What’s your go-to breakfast?

Coffee first. Usually I just drink it black! And then I love scrambled eggs loaded with veggies and goat cheese.

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?

I love starting and ending the day with washing my face. I use a clarasonic which leaves my skin feeling clean and glowy.

What would you last meal be? Who would it be with?

Probably fried chicken, with Beyoncé. Maybe superman, too – and the Jonas brothers.

Your favorite Southern fish… 

I love some Cajun cooking, so any kind of shrimp or crawfish is a good pick.

You never liked X till you tried it at Y….

Cauliflower until I tried the buffalo cauliflower at Tavern in Nashville.

Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without?

Everywhere! My favorite part about touring is getting to the downtown or trendy areas of every city and finding the local coffee or juice shops.

Advice you’d give to young girls struggling with self confidence…

We all struggle with it, so first and foremost, you’re not alone. But I believe that good always outweighs bad, and so I think we should all build each other up and know we are beautiful as we are – inside and out.

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?

Nashville is really becoming a yummy place to live…Adeles, 5th & Taylor, Tartufo and The Pharmacy.

What’s on your Spotify (or Apple) playlist right now?

Ingrid Michelson’s new record is SO good. I adore her. I have regular car jam sessions to Jon Bellion, and being on the same radio stations as Brothers Osborne and Cam and Thomas Rhett makes me proud to be a country music artist.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato right now?

Happy is the new highlighter.

Love to people watch? These are the restaurants you should be frequenting. Also check out the best waterfront restaurants in the U.S. 

Click here for Kelsea’s tour dates!