Kelsea Ballerini plays “what if” in the brand new video for “half of my hometown,” imagining what could have been in an alternate history of her own life.
Described as “love letter to East Tennessee,” the thoughtful track is a tribute to both the good and bad of a small town upbringing, full of real-life references to Ballerini’s hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. And with it’s video, she explores what would have happened if she’d stayed.
Starting out with a moving truck as Ballerini says her goodbyes and moves to Nashville, the clip then changes course, as the teenaged singer imagines changing her mind. Instead of chasing her dreams, she stays put instead, and enjoys the kind of family-and-friends focused life that she ultimately left behind.
She graduates high school and gets a job styling hair, gets married and has a baby, all the while playing herself in different years. But as much as she loves her life, she still can’t help thinking about becoming a singer — and suddenly real life flashes back. In truth, Ballerini achieved all her dreams of stardom … and still gets to come back home.
“It feels very comfortable and easy to play because I think it’s a very realistic picture of what my life would be like had I stayed,” Ballerini says of the clip. “It brings joy to my heart to know that I did leave and that I got to chase this dream and that I’m getting to come back and appreciate this life that I maybe could have had had I stayed.”
Released as her latest radio single, “half of my hometown” also features another East Tennessee native, with country superstar Kenny Chesney shares lines in the powerful chorus. He and Kelsea Ballerini performed the heartfelt ode at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards in April, and track appears on ballerini’s third album, kelsea.