Country music artist Veronica Ballestrini first came onto the scene at the age of 17 when she caught national attention from The New York Times for her social media and YouTube success. In 2009, her song “Amazing” from her debut album, What I’m All About, earned her a debut Top 30 single on the Music Row Country Breakout chart. Recently, Ballestrini was chosen by Ford Motor Company to be an agent for the Ford Fiesta Movement as part of a promotion with Ford and YouTube. In addition, in 2014 she released her sophomore album, Flip Side, as well as her current single, “Cookies and Cream.” Veronica took some time to talk with us about the album and single as well as her influences and plans for the remainder of the year.
Is it true that you became interested in country music after attending a Dolly Parton concert?
Yes, that is true. It was an awesome concert that I will never forget. I remember she played with a full band, but then sat on the edge of the stage, just her and her guitar. Her performance was just so pure and real; I had chills. I fell in love with the way she delivered the lyrics, with such feeling and emotion, and I knew that was what I wanted to do. It was after that, when I was around twelve years old, that I started playing guitar and writing songs.
Dolly is obviously a major influence and inspiration to you. Is there anyone else you draw inspiration from?
I love Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban. I have many inspirations from outside country as well, such as Colbie Caillat. I feel it’s important to open my mind to many different styles of music because they help shape me, my music and my writing.
You gained national attention early on in large part to your You Tube videos. As an independent artist, how has social media impacted your career so far?
I was always told that you have to work hard to get to where you want to be. My parents taught me to never give up on my goals, stay focused and believe that when you work hard for something, it will happen for you. I had gotten turned down by labels, but that just made me want to do it myself. I never took no for an answer.
Social media can open doors for independent artists who might not be on the radio. It has been a great way for people to hear my music and for me to connect with fans because at the end of the day, that's what it is all about.
Your first record, What I'm All About, was released in 2009 and your latest, Flip Side, was released this past June. Talk about the record and why you waited five years between projects.
I had a couple of years between albums and that was because I wanted to get the songs right. I wanted to experience life and have the songs to back it up. I am very proud of Flip Side and am excited that people are finally hearing it and liking it!
Music is a way for me to express myself. I wrote all of the songs on the album because it is important for me to sing songs that mean something to me. For me, music is a healing, universal language. I may take a personal moment and turn it into a song that people can relate to that may help someone get through a hard time, which is really what I’m here for.
How did you decide to title the album Flip Side?
My manager came up with that name. He saw a lot of the songs on the record as happy and a lot as sad and said ‘you know there’s a flip side.’ When I heard that, I thought it was perfect.
Is there any song on the record that is a particular favorite to you?
“Death of Me,” which is a sad break up song, is a favorite. Another favorite is “Because You Loved Me,” which I wrote for, and dedicate to, my mom and dad who have always been there for me.
You current single is “Cookies and Cream.” What is the backstory to that song?
It is just a happy song about being in love and the magic behind it. I always thought it was ironic that when girls go through a break up they drown their sorrows in ice cream, but when a relationship is new and you are out on a date, you can barely eat the ice cream because of the nervous butterflies.
What are your plans for the remainder of the year?
We will be releasing the music video for “Cookies and Cream” and then I will go back on tour in Asia and the U.S. We may put out one more music video in the wintertime and maybe even a Christmas song.
What do you listen to in your downtime?
I love Colbie Caillat’s first album; she has such a delicate and unique voice. I also really like One Republic and Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic."
Watch the lyric video for “Cookies and Cream” here
Purchase “Cookies and Cream” here
For more information visit Veronica's official website
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