Heartfirst

Album: Subject to Change (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • Here, an instant connection with a guy at a party leads to Kelsea Ballerini diving heart first into a romance. She wrote the feel-good pop-country tune with her friends, songwriter Alysa Vanderheym (Kygo & OneRepublic's "Lose Somebody," Eric Nam's "Wonder") and Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild. "We were all just talking about music that we're inspired by right now," said Ballerini, "and wanting to write something upbeat, warm and free-feeling, and just being people who follow our gut and lead with our heart, and this is what we came up with."
  • Kelsea Ballerini released "Heartfirst" on April 8, 2022 as the follow-up to her reflective single "Half Of My Hometown."

    "I hope this song is just a feel good for people," she told Audacy. "With my last single, 'Half Of My Hometown,' I wanted to really tell a story. I got to dive into the songwriter in me."

    Ballerini also said she likes to zig-zag with her singles, and with "Heartfelt" she wanted "a new, clean-slate-feeling song. It's a bop, put the windows down."
  • When they wrote the song, Ballerini wanted it to be something fun and lighthearted for her touring set. "I hope it's the one where everyone kind of starts dancing," the country star said.
  • One Direction songwriter Julian Bunetta and Nashville mainstay Shane McAnally produced the shimmering track. McAnally's other collaborations with Ballerini include "In Between," "I Hate Love Songs," "The Other Girl" and "Half of My Hometown."
  • Kelsea Ballerini had planned on debuting the song live at the 2022 CMT Music Awards on April 11, 2022. A positive COVID-19 test kept her from the ceremony, but she still got to perform the song by video link from her backyard.
  • When Ballerini spent time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic she listened to the music she grew up on, including The Corrs. The Irish sibling band's "Breathless" inspired this song.
  • The video, conceptualized by Ballerini and directed by Patrick Tracy, mirrors the song's storyline of an instant romance, but instead of meeting her potential love of her life at a bar as the song suggests, Ballerini bumps into him on the street after buying groceries.

    Graphic designer and photographer Patrick Tracy is Dan + Shay's go-to visual collaborator, having grown up with Dan Symers in Pennsylvania.

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