Interview: Kelsea Ballerini on living, learning and loving 'Unapologetically'

"It starts with a breakup," Kelsea Ballerini explains of her just-released album Unapologetically. The sophomore effort traces the country singer's hero's journey, an exploration that led her to the "End of the World," and, subsequently, to the start of an even better one. "It goes into self-discovery and growing up and life and then it goes into falling in love. And it really does feel and sound like it goes from dark to light." 

While Ballerini's breakthrough 2014-16 singles "Love Me Like You Mean It," "Peter Pan" and "Dibs," were, in many ways, unapologetic in their vivid representation of her teenage experience, she is now shameless in her feelings, living the highs and lows of life and love with curiosity and, most vitally, acceptance. Artistically, she's reworked the album's content as well as its presentation; if her debut album The First Time is a patchwork collection of stories, Unapologetically reads more like a novel, a cohesive narrative tracing her personal evolution. 

Ballerini will soon embark on a headlining tour, which kicks off in Birmingham, Ala. on Feb. 8 and runs through late April. Check out the video above to learn more about the making of Unapologetically, the artists she admires and what to expect from her upcoming tour. Grab tickets to Kelsea Ballerini's 2018 Unapologetically Tour here