Love Me Like You Mean It

Album: The First Time (2014)
Charted: 45

Songfacts®:

  • Knoxville, Tennessee born Kelsea Ballerini wrote her first song at the age of 13 and moved to Nashville, Tennessee two years later. The former dancer (yep, she was a ballerina) signed a deal with Black River Entertainment at the age of 19. This is her debut single, which premiered on the Country Airplay chart in October 2014.
  • Ballerini co-wrote the song with Josh Kerr, Forest Glen Whitehead and Lance Carpenter. The singer told The Boot that she knew early in the recording process that this was the perfect single to introduce her debut album. "What made me love the single and what made me want to lead with "Love Me Like You Mean It" was the confident-girl stance on it," she said. "And so, my whole album, I really wanted to have that theme of confidence in a girl, and being okay with who you are, and talking about heartbreak, and talking about all those things but trying to make it positive, and so with that mindset, it helped me narrow down songs for the album."
  • The young singer received a huge boost when Taylor Swift tweeted in March 2015 regarding her self-titled EP, which contains this song: "Driving around with the @KelseaBallerini EP on repeat. SO lovely."
  • The summer-themed video was filmed on a chilly January day in Nashville. "It is summer. It is the middle of January and summertime," Ballerini laughed to Country Weekly. "It's good, it's fun. We go inside every time we can."
  • The song was the first debut single from a solo female artist to reach #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart since Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take The Wheel" reached peak position in 2006.
  • Lance Carpenter told American Songwriter the story of how the song was written. "Forest was my roommate, and we went to write at Black River since he was a writer there," he recalled. "Josh and Kelsea, who was still just a staff writer at the time, were there, and we didn't really have plans to write. We started a song, but it didn't really go anywhere so we just ordered a pizza. Then somebody, I don't remember who, said 'Love Me Like You Mean It,'and somebody said something else, and we thought that might work pretty good for a chorus, and Josh or Forest picked up the guitar and played a lick... we kind of wrote it all that night, finished it about 12:30 in the morning."

    "Forest did a track on it and Kelsea sang it," Carpenter continued. "Forest and I agreed that we weren't sure what a hit song was, but that it sounded like one. Kelsea didn't have her artist deal yet, and we didn't know who to pitch it to because nobody on country radio sounded like that. Fast forward almost a year and she gets her record deal on Black River and they decide to use that as the single."

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