Ballerini recently chatted with comedian Chelsea Handler, who served as guest host on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and revealed the reasons she and Evans don’t write songs together: “We do the same thing all the time, so we already bring it home. Imagine then coming home and you’re like, ‘hey, like this hook? Wanna write it?’”
The husband-and-wife duo share everything they’ve been working on, Ballerini said. However, she said she’s careful about asking for feedback because the honesty is “brutal.”
“Yeah, we both show each other everything. We’re pretty brutal. So, I can only show him something if I’m like, ‘I know I love this, so even if he thinks it sucks, I’m still gonna hang my hat on it.’ But I think you have to have that with anyone in your inner circle. You need that brutal honesty to...know if it’s good or not.”
Ballerini credits her mom and a group of her best girl friends — friends who are often “so unimpressed with me,” she told Handler — with being honest with her when she seeks songwriting feedback.
In fact, Ballerini’s mom was one of the first people to hear one of the “Miss Me More” artist’s original songs. Ballerini recalled the first song she wrote when she was 12 years old, putting it together as a last-minute Mother’s Day gift when, she admitted, she forgot the holiday. Her mom’s reaction solidified Ballerini’s passion for songwriting and connecting with listeners on an emotional level.
Ballerini debuted her latest single, “HEARTFIRST,” earlier this year, giving fans the first impression of her highly-anticipated upcoming album. After writing the song with Karen Fairchild and Alysa Vanderheym (produced by Julian Bunetta and Shane McAnally), Ballerini said she played it first for Evans, her best friend and her mom (needless to say, it passed the test).
“The first single off the new record, I’m particular about it because I want it to set the tone,” Ballerini told Handler before she played the song live on the show. “So, I was really heavily influenced the last few years by ‘90s music, and music I grew up on, whether it’s Shania (Twain) or Sheryl Crow or whatever. So, I wanted this to feel breezy and warm and inviting, and a little ‘90s flair. So, it feels like the first step into the new situation, the new era.”