Last week the beautiful and very talented Kellie Pickler made her way to a small village in the Swiss alps for the 26th edition of Country Night Gstaad. A weekend long festival that attracts country music fans from all over mainland Europe. Other then Kellie, this year the festival featured the Swiss Highwaymen, Ricky Skaggs and Josh Turner. After the first night of shows Kellie took the time to sit down with us to answer a few questions. You can read all about it below.
- Hi Kellie, welcome to our side of the ocean. Have you been able to get some time off while out here in Switzerland? What have you been doing here in Gstaad?
Kellie: I went paragliding! Where you run off the side of the mountain with a parachute. It’s so beautiful here! Of all the places I’ve been in the world this is the most beautiful. I also had the opportunity to walk through the town and take a look at all the shops….and did a little damage…I helped the economy. But it really is so beautiful! It seems like everyone takes pride in everything they do here. It’s so beautiful and taken care of. It’s like walking into a magazine. I’d seen pictures of course but it’s even more beautiful in person. Heavenly.
- You started your career with American Idol, coming in 6th out of all the contestants. What was more helpful for you career? American Idol or your more recent appearance on Dancing With The Stars?
Kellie: American Idol launched my career and introduced me to the world. I’m very thankful and blessed to have been a part of season 5 of that show. I wouldn’t change that. There’s a saying: You don’t bite the hand that feeds you, and that show changed my life forever! Dancing With The Stars was a different type of challenge for me. I’d never ballroom danced before. So I was terrified! But it introduced me to a different audience that might not have watched me on Idol so I think it was a good thing. I discovered a new passion, I love dancing. I love ballroom dancing and I have a great respect for it now, having been through that. I think doing both shows have been good for me and my career. I wanna do it all!
- You played quite a few country music classic’s last night. Do you think there is still a place for traditional country music in this world of country pop?
Kellie: Absolutely, I grew up on traditional country music and I love it. That’s where my heart is. I think there absolutely is room for that in Nashville. I hope we never stray to far from that. I think there’s room for it all. Everyone likes their coffee different. Some people like pop-country, some people like rock-country, or blue grass. We have R&B-country now, we have rap-country. But I always go back to traditional. That’s where I feel it the most. I think there is room for it all.
- Are you working on new music? Can we expect a new album?
Kellie: We are in the very early stages. I’m in the song writing and song picking process. So still very early. We’re hoping for a release some time next year. I’m really excited about it.
- During last night’s show you said your grandpa often told you that you were born in the wrong generation. With the reaction you got from the audience when playing the more traditional songs, is that a direction you want to pursue more often?
Kellie: My last album, 100 proof, is a very traditional country honky tonk album. It was critically acclaimed in the US. It was #1 for Rolling Stone and Billboard but it just didn’t work with country radio for whatever reason. I’ve been told that it was too country! I don’t know what that means, when you’re told you’re too country. I don’t know whether to take it as an insult or as a compliment. I take it as a compliment, I don’t think you can be too country! I hope to do a little bit of that on this new record. I love country music. And like I said people like their coffee different and you can’t please them all. You can’t make everybody happy. I think, at the end of the day, you have to be happy with what you’re doing with your life. I’m stuck with myself, I have to be happy with me because I’m stuck with me. Thank you for the comments about the traditional music. I think it was clear last night that that was a special moment in the show. I was very taken back by the response from the audience. I was very moved and surprised in a good way. It was very refreshing.
- Could there possibly be a duet on the new album? Who would you love to record a duet with?
Kellie: I have always wanted to record a song with Dolly Parton. She is a big reason I fell in love with country music. She was one of the first female country artists I was introduced to as my grand parents listened to her. So she’s one of my biggest country music idols. It would definitely be her if I did. I did get to perform a song with her one time. We were doing a charity event in Nashville and I had opened for her. Afterwards I was sitting on the side of the stage, on one of her road cases, and I was singing along to all of her songs. She noticed me singing along and had one of her stage hands hand me a microphone and pulled me out to sing 9 to 5 with her! I was so nervous! It was such a special moment.
- You said you want to do it all. You’ve been venturing out into movies by lending you voice to a cartoon, Veggie Tales’ Beauty and the Beet, and also doing juwelry. Is that something you’d like to pursue more in the future as well?
Kellie: Absolutely! I love animation. I’ve been told that I sound a little bit like a cartoon character so I’ve embraced it, haha. I just love doing the animation work. It’s a lot of fun. But I would love to venture out even more and do film or television. If it’s the right role, the right part, that fits me, then absolutely. I also recorded eight songs for the movie’s soundtrack.