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A ‘progressive twist’: Country star Kelsea Ballerini picks R&B tune on ‘Songland’

·Editor in Chief, Yahoo Music
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In an era when Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus can team up for the song of the summer with “Old Town Road,” country singer Kelsea Ballerini is understandably feeling adventurous. “It's a really fun time in country, where outside influences are a part of mainstream country, like a country root with kind of a progressive twist on it. I'm looking for something different, something that I haven't done before,” she declared Tuesday on NBC’s new talent show Songland, aka “Shark Tank for Songwriters.”

So, when Darius Coleman, whose credits include writing for Empire and working with Timbaland, came in to pitch his slinky acoustic R&B jam “Better Luck Next Time,” it was a match made in genre-crossover heaven. “Most of my sessions are all for pop music, but how amazing would it be if this young black guy from Philadelphia wrote Kelsea's song? That would be, like, hashtag-goals, all the way,” he laughed.

So, Darius Coleman doesn’t have to wait till next time to have better luck; he just wrote country star Kelsea Ballerini’s new single with his idol Ryan Tedder! Apparently vision boards, and Songland, work. Tune in next week as four more aspiring songwriters pitch the Jonas Brothers. I’m a sucker for this show.

Kelsea Ballerini congratulates winner Darius Coleman on 'Songland.' (Photo: NBC)
Kelsea Ballerini congratulates winner Darius Coleman on 'Songland.' (Photo: NBC)

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