Kelsea Ballerini Drops R&B-Influenced ‘Better Luck Next Time’ After ‘Songland’ Appearance [LISTEN]
Kelsea Ballerini appeared on NBC's new songwriting competition Songland on Tuesday night (June 11), selecting an R&B-type track from the four offered to her to record. Press play above to hear her version of "Better Luck Next Time," written by Darius Coleman.
Songland, which features, among others, country heavy-hitter Shane McAnally in an advisor role, brings aspiring songwriters in front of established musical stars. In addition to "Better Luck Next Time," Ballerini was offered a country waltz written by Jess Jecoy, "Easy;" "Crush," by Daniel Feels; and Jack Newsome's "Lying (Next to You)." During the episode, Ballerini shared that she was looking for "something different, something that I haven't done before" (quote via Yahoo!).
"I always kind of go for either a proper jam, where I just want to dance around and feel good and feel empowered, or I want to, like, cry,” Ballerini explained of her songwriting and song selection process. She declared Coleman's song "a country hook, whether [Coleman] meant it that way or not," noting that she had the track stuck in her head after he left the room.
Working with producer and OneRepublic member Ryan Tedder, Coleman spiffed up "Better Luck Next Time," altering its key to better fit Ballerini's voice and swapping out acoustic guitar for electric. Press play below to hear Coleman perform the song.
"I picked "Better Luck Next Time" because it's something that I definitely haven't done before. Melodically, it feels challenging and interesting and intricate, and those are all things that just made my ear perk up," Ballerini says. "Darius, in his own right, is such an incredible artist, and I even told him off, off-camera, I was like, 'I want you to be there when I record this song, 'cause I want you to help me get my head around how you're doing these runs and these riffs, and I want to push myself on it.' That really was something that excites me."
Coleman has been songwriting for nearly a decade, after receiving a push to do so from his friend, Grammy-winning artist Jazmine Sullivan. "At this point, I know for sure, from where I started to where I am now, it's night and day," he says of his career path.
Songland airs on Tuesday nights at 10PM ET. Ballerini is the first country artist to appear on the show, which is in its debut season.
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