Kelsey Lamb may be a relative newcomer, but she’s already developed an impressive music and movie resume. Her song “Warning Sign” was used in the soundtrack for the Lifetime Original Movie “Bad Stepmother,” in which she also starred. The rising star from Little Rock, Arkansas, has appeared in other movies as well, notably Hallmark’s “Christmas in Homestead” and “Traces.” On the strictly musical side, Lamb has just released her debut single and video, “Little by Little,” and is coming off a performance at 2018 CMA Music Festival.
It’s easy to see why Lamb might be a natural for the silver screen, with her easygoing smile and girl-next-door looks. But music seems to be where the heart is. She proved that by moving to Nashville about two years ago and immersing herself in the ever-busy music scene.
“I wanted to come here after high school,” she confesses with a slight laugh. “But my parents were like, ‘Oh, no, Kelsey.’ I was going to get a college education first and then go to Nashville if that’s what I still wanted to do. I had gone to L.A. a lot but Nashville was the place for me.” Spoken like a true daughter of the South, and she notes that Nashville, despite its growing population and destination status, isn’t terribly different than Little Rock. “The people are friendly, just like back home,” Lamb says. “Of course, Little Rock doesn’t have the music. My dad would bring me here sometimes to check out the city and the music and everything. But when I moved here,” she adds with a touch of pride, “I came by myself. I really had no friends or family here.”
Lamb quickly found out the ground rules for making it in Music City—be willing to work, and network with your peers as much as possible. “I learned that co-writing is how it’s done in Nashville,” she says. “You need to find people that you can write with, and I really love it. All I do is co-write. I try to write about three or four times a week.”
She uncovered a solid, cohesive pair of writers for “Little by Little” in Erik Dinardo and Jesse Labelle. Ironically, they’re both male, but Lamb feels they brought the right perspective for the lighthearted, summery tune.
“I brought the title in with me,” Lamb begins. “I had just started dating my boyfriend and I was going through this thing of do I want to take this fast or slow. Erik had a title of ‘Meet in the Middle’ and we started writing from that. They seemed to know what I wanted to say. They were looking at it from the male side and that’s what the song needed. It was really a true collaboration.”
The “Little by Little” single will be part of a longer EP project, due to be released later this year. “We’re still working on it,” Lamb explains. “We’re in the process of song selection and recording. I do know that I will have a co-write on every song.”
Meanwhile, she’s pumped about “Little by Little” as her first single. “I wanted my introduction to country radio to be flirty and cute, and I think that’s what we accomplished,” Lamb says. “I think people can relate to this song because everyone has been in that relationship that was moving a little too fast, or maybe even a little too slow. And the video we shot really captured the feel of the song. That was so much fun to do.”
Obviously, her movie experience came into play when filming the “Little by Little” video in East Nashville. “I was used to being in front of the camera,” Lamb says. “You get to where you don’t even notice the cameras anymore. Personally, though,” she adds with a laugh, “doing music videos is a lot easier than movies. It’s more natural to act as yourself.”
Lamb also relishes performing live, though she hasn’t set any firm tour dates as yet. She recently completed a radio tour and is set for another, where she’ll visit stations throughout the South. Fans at CMA Music Festival had the chance to see her show on the Spotlight Stage in downtown Nashville. “That went really well, even though I was super nervous,” she laughs.
When she’s not performing or in the studio, Lamb can be spotted either working out at a local gym or enjoying one of Nashville’s many fine restaurants. “My favorite is Five Daughters [Bakery],” she says with obvious delight. “They make their own doughnuts and they are the best.”
And now that she’s adjusted to Music City, life just keeps getting sweeter. “The whole process has been harder than I thought it would be,” Lamb concedes. “But it’s been great to see the reaction to ‘Little by Little,’ especially from the fans. I’m so excited to be able to share this song.”
Kelsey Lamb’s single “Little by Little” is available through all digital retailers and streaming services and can also be heard on select radio stations.