Kristen Kelly Encourages Fans to Be Fearless With Latest Single [LISTEN]
Kristen Kelly is on fire -- figuratively speaking, of course, but the singer is focused on earning success with her newest single, "Fire," a "very passionate song" that also happens to be the title track of her latest EP.
"I pray to God that everyone finds someone or something that sets their world on fire and they are fearless in their pursuit of whatever or whoever that may be," Kelly tells The Boot. "That’s the premise of the song."
The Texas native's powerful vocals could lend themselves to a number of genres, but Kelly's never considered anything but country music. In fact, it's in her blood: Her grandfather was a country singer-songwriter who performed with his band as Sterling Kelly and the Hearts.
"I grew up in love with country music. I feel like there’s a lot of truth to be told and to be heard through country music. That’s the core of what I do as an artist and as a writer," Kelly explains. "But I do love classic rock and the blues. That comes out in my music, but I just don’t feel like I could really live in another genre."
In 2012, just as she was releasing her self-titled debut EP, Kelly was invited to open for Brad Paisley on his Virtual Reality World Tour. The trek, which also included Miranda Lambert, the Band Perry and Chris Young, among others, was an experience that Kelly fondly recalls as "amazing."
"Brad’s a very humble human being. He’s also incredibly talented," she recalls. "I can’t imagine having been out with anybody more hospitable and just more present and involved. Every weekend, we did a group activity. Everybody on the tour. Everybody. He came out and sat in with my band and I."
That start inspired Kelly to mold her career, and her life, after the superstar.
"He’s not so far removed that he’s not involved with what’s going on on the road," she adds of her former tour boss. "I’ve heard stories about some people, they can be inaccessible. He’s a very accessible guy, which is cool, because someday I hope to be where he’s at, headlining my own tour and giving back to the artists that I get to share the stage [with] ... That’s definitely a tour that’s going to live with me forever."
With "Fire" blazing, Kelly says there's never been a better time for her to make her mark in music.
"I am excited about where it’s going at country radio," she admits. "It’s always a pendulum swing, and I think, right now, it’s really about great songs. And they’re not always catchy tempos. Thomas Rhett’s "Die a Happy Man," that is such a great song, and Tim McGraw, "Humble and Kind." I think, right now, it’s a really great time for, I guess, more of a singer-songwriter song at radio to be big."
In addition to promoting her new music, Kelly's other big goal of 2016 is to marry her longtime love, singer-songwriter Jimmy Stanley. The two got engaged in September and are planning an October wedding.
"We’ve played some shows together. We haven’t written together. We’ve talked about it, and I know it will happen. I don’t want to try and force anything, nor does he ...," Kelly says. "It’s really cool being in a relationship with somebody who understands what you do, the ups and downs. You’ve got somebody that you can share the excitement with, and you can also find comfort when there’s a struggle, so it’s cool. It’s great."
"Fire" is available for download on iTunes.