Country Next: Kelsey Hart

We take pride in introducing fans to country music’s brightest new stars through our Country Next series. Here, we chat with Kelsey Hart.

By

Lexi Liby

| Posted on

March 11, 2024

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Kelsey Hart; Photo by Robby Klein

Kelsey Hart hails from the core of Kentucky as a rising force in the realm of country music. 

Starting from his early years, he gravitated towards the music industry, beginning his journey by performing in church choirs and talent competitions, gradually honing his unique country sound before gracing larger stages.

Hart’s sound is a fusion of soothing vocals, heartfelt lyrics, soulful melodies, and authentic country flair. His sincere commitment to connecting with the listeners through genuine storytelling captivates the audience with a unique blend of emotion and charm. 

Kelsey Hart; Photo by Robby Klein
Kelsey Hart; Photo by Robby Klein

Country Now recently caught up with Kelsey Hart to discuss his musical evolution, the stories behind recent releases, and a glimpse into the creation of his upcoming album.  Check out our exclusive Q&A below.

How did you begin a career in country music?

Well, I started out singing in church and doing talent shows and that kind of thing. I’ve always sang growing up, and then it wasn’t until after high school that I picked up a guitar and started getting more into the country thing. Then the writing side of it didn’t come until I moved to Nashville in 2016. 

Did songwriting come naturally to you?

No, it wasn’t something that I had done a lot on my own. There was a girl in town that worked for Big Machine records and she reached out to me through Instagram and just said, ‘Hey, I really love your voice and I think if you want to come to Nashville you should give this a shot.’ She had the avenues and knew the people to get me in the rooms with and start writing. So yeah, she’s the one that got me down here and started writing. 

You recently released a new song titled “Flannel.” How did this song come about?

“Flannel” is a song I did not write. Most of the stuff that I’ve put out so far I’ve been a co-writer on, but this is a song that one of my buddies sent me probably three years ago. I’ve just lived with it for a long time and always said, I thought when the timer was right I’d like to put out the song. It was just a fun, lighthearted love song that is pretty much about not having to go out on the town with your person to have a good time.You can be at home hanging on the couch and still have just as much fun. That’s pretty much what the song’s talking about.

Kelsey Hart; Flannel
Kelsey Hart; Flannel

You also released a wedding song titled “Life With You.” Can you talk a little bit about what it was like to see that song blow up?

Yeah, so we didn’t have plans for putting that song out, but after our wedding, I had teased a video on TikTok and it had done really well. That was two or three months before the song ever came out and people started using that sound on TikTok. It just started growing on its own and we realized that we needed to put ‘Life With You’ out next. We had a song in place for our next release but we decided to reroute and go with ‘Life With You’ instead. It came out November 3rd but during the month of October, I think we sent the song out early. People were asking for it for their first dance, so we sent the song out early to around 600 people who used it for their first dance in October. I put out quite a few songs even the last few years and never had anything react quite like this. It’s such a special song with me and my wife that has just really opened up a lot of doors with my music, so it’s been cool. 

What inspired you to write a wedding song? 

It was written right around the time that my wife and I started dating, so it was definitely geared towards that. I was in that mode and feeling of new love and I don’t think any of us were really thinking that we were writing a wedding song. I thought of it as just a love song and now it’s apparent to me that it’s a wedding song. When my wife and I were looking for a first dance song, she said that the message of that song made the most sense for a first dance. Then once we used it and other people started using it, I was like, oh, well, I guess it is a wedding song. 

YouTube video

On Instagram, you mentioned that your debut record is in the works. Is there an overall theme for that record?

I think it’s going to be just a little bit of everything. This is my first time doing a full record and we’re just trying to round out the album. I know there’s love songs, breakup songs, life songs, and party songs. I wanted to make a record that wasn’t just the same song over and over again. My goal throughout the record is to try to round it out and give the record a little bit more of a dynamic feel than just trying to stick with one theme.

What do you want fans to take away from your music?

I want people that are listening to my music, to be able to feel whatever it is that they’re going through. Whatever kind of emotion it is, whether it’s they’re wanting to feel love, they’re going through a breakup, or they’re wanting to party, I want them to really feel it. I hope that my song and my singing makes them feel whatever that emotion is. I think that’s just always been my goal with songwriting and singing is just to do that. I hope that’s what it does, anyways.

What are you most looking forward to in the year of 2024? 

I think getting out and playing shows. I’ve been writing for so long, just trying to get the music to a place that I felt like it was solid enough to get out and play. I feel like we’re at that place now and I’m excited to get out and actually share it. Hopefully people come to the shows and enjoy what they’re hearing. That’s probably what I’m most excited about. 

Which song of yours is your favorite to play live?

Currently, with the full band, it would probably be a song called “4×4.” Yeah, that’s probably my favorite to play live right now. Although the songs that we’re cutting, we were just in a studio yesterday and there’s some of them that I can’t wait to get out and play. So, I may have a new favorite here pretty soon, but right now it’s “4×4.”

What’s next for you?

We don’t have anything booked tour-wise, like an official tour, but we’re getting a lot of dates coming in that are just one-off shows that are all over the country, just in random spots. So we’re going to get those posted as soon as we can to try to give people some notice. Over the last month and a half, we’ve had just a lot of people calling and booking shows with us and stuff, so there’s definitely going to be shows. I hope by fall time we will actually be on a tour opening for somebody, but until then we’ll still be playing shows. 

Fans can keep up with Kelsey Hart on Instagram.

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Lexi Liby

Written by

Lexi Liby

I am a senior at Kansas State University, where I am majoring in Communication Studies. Throughout my time at college, I’ve had the opportunity to publish a few of my pieces in the University’s newspaper, The Collegian, and I’ve created my own website. I’ve previously interned for Country Insider, an iHeartMedia-owned country music industry newsletter and I am currently interning for CountryNow, a Red Light Management owned publication. I’m very passionate about music and writing, so I hope to find myself in a career that incorporates both of these passions.