Earlier this week, the "Style" singer tweeted that she was "driving around with @KelseaBallerini EP on repeat."
For those of you who don't know who Kelsea Ballerini is, the up-and-coming country artist has an infectious new single, "Love Me Like You Mean It," that should be played on REPEAT. Yes, Taylor was right. But what's it like for a relative newcomer to score serious recognition from one of the biggest pop stars in the world? Well, I wanted to find out so I jumped on the phone with Kelsea this week and, as you can imagine, having Taylor tweet about you is pretty "awesome."
"Someone tagged me in a screen shot of the tweet and I literally looked at it and thought it was a fake account, and didn't think anything of it because I'm like, 'There's absolutely no way that Taylor Swift even knows who I am,' " Kelsea told MTV News. "And then my phone started blowing up and I was like, 'This is a real thing.' And so I just pulled up my computer and just looked at it for five minutes straight and did not even know what to do."
After Kelsea calmed down, she responded to Taylor by tweeting out a photo from the time she met the singer in Nashville, which Taylor then favorited.
Life has been pretty good for Kelsea since the initial Swift tweet because she got a "ton of new followers," courtesy of one of the pop stars who inspired her to make music in the first place. And now people are listening to Ballerini's self-titled 2014 EP too.
"A lot of new people know my music now, which is huge and such an awesome thing for her to do," Kelsea said. "I feel like everyone I've ever met in my entire life texted me and congratulated me. I'm like -- I don't even know -- it's been awesome. I'm just glad that a lot of people that didn't know about my music or my EP know about it now. It's a huge deal."
The girl who began writing music when she was 12 is now riding the wave of her single "Love Me Like You Mean It" before she releases her debut album, The First Time, in May.
"I wrote this song with three of my guy friends. ... We were just hanging out one night eating pizza and one of my friends was like, 'Kelsea, you need a song with some serious sass behind it,' and I was like, 'OK.' So we were actually listening to Rihanna and got inspired by the swag that she has and we wrote this song and we gravitated towards it and I love the 'confident girl' status of it."
And it's not so out of the norm that this country artist listens to Rihanna since she was a dancer before this -- a hip-hop dancer.
"I'm from East Tennessee and grew up kind of on a farm. I call it a farm but it was like, 3,001 goats, but I think it counts," she said. "I danced for 10 years. I was on a competitive hip-hop team, but then I, like, grew seven inches in one year, not really, but I grew tall and really lanky and I lost all my coordination."