If you want to make Kalie Shorr’s day, just send her some Girl Scout cookies. Preferably, Thin Mints or Tagalongs. “They are screaming my name” Kalie giggles. Sitting on the floor with a phone in my hand, my stomach on the ground and my feet up in the air, I talk to the rising star about everything from her obsession with the Dixie Chicks to the years of growing up with a single-mother. “I celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day for my mom.” she says purposely. “She is my hero, and she deserves that.” I can feel Kalie’s grounded ethics yet soaring personality from 800 miles away, and am beginning to understand why her hundreds of thousands of fans are head-over-heels obsessed with her.
Pros and fans alike love her unusual combination of sugar-sweet vocals and super sassy songwriting,
Singer & songwriter Kalie Shorr may only be 22, but she is quickly established herself as one of country music’s brightest stars. Propelled by the success of her breakthrough single ‘Fight Like a Girl,’ Shorr has received recognition from celebrities such as Perez Hilton, radio stations like Radio Disney Country, and major magazines like Rolling Stone. Impressing both music industry pros and fans alike with her unusual combination of sugar-sweet vocals and super sassy songwriting.
Kalie’s oh-so-country vibes have begun to make some major waves in the world of country music, astonishing both country-music gurus, and Kalie herself. “I’m like, ‘oh my goodness, I have fans?’” Kalie laughs about the continued surrealness of her success in music.
Featured most recently in a Rolling Stone article, “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know”, Kalie was cited as Rolling Stone’s number one artist to watch. “When I saw the article, I just had a full-on breakdown in my car in front of my boyfriend. He was like ‘Are you okay?’ and I was just like ‘*sobbing noises*.’”
It’s no wonder that Kalie is so humble considering her roots. Growing up in Portland, MA, Kalie lived with her single mother and seven siblings. “Well, I really grew up with six, because one passed away when I was very young.“ she corrects. As the youngest, Kalie gives a lot of credit to her older sisters for her early tastes in music. “That’s when the Dixie Chicks were the biggest thing in the world, and my sisters got me obsessed with that stuff when I was as young as six.”
Kalie’s intellectual maturity truly shows when talking about how her mom’s indirect, reverse-psychology method of getting Kalie interested in music was such an important step in the process. “When I was ten, I said all I wanted was to leave my town and be on Lizzie McGuire.” she laughs. “Instead, my mom made me be a kid. And I give her so much credit for that, because if she had been like “you need to practice guitar an hour a day”, I would’ve said ‘screw it.’”
But by Kalie’s senior year, it was clear she wasn’t going to be deterred. Although Kalie’s mom didn’t have the money to support her, she encouraged Kalie to go after her dreams by working for them. That meant working two jobs, taking extra classes so she could graduate early, and even moving into a small apartment nearby so she could get used to paying her own bills.
Even Kalie admits, that it seems a little crazy for a teenager. “Looking back, I have no clue how I pulled it off.” Quite frankly, she said, “All I knew was I just wanted to get out of my hometown, I was tired, I was bored, I felt like I had handcuffs on and couldn’t do any of what I wanted to do there, so I had to make it happen.” She sighs a little. “God bless my mom for dealing with all of that.”
Arriving in the blazing heat of a harsh Nashville summer, Kalie began working any job that would keep the electricity on. She handed out flyers on Broadway, sold hot dogs and cigarettes, etc. Anything that would keep a roof over her head. Kalie laughs a little as she says, “It was so ridiculous, but I’d just tell myself that celebrities worked at McDonalds, so cleaning the hard chili off a pot that hadn’t been touched since the 80’s was an important step.” Meanwhile, Kalie had to co-write songs during the day, which meant some long hours, as the professionals don’t write nights and weekends.
If anyone can preach the importance of a singular event shaping a future, it’s Kalie.
Now, if anyone can preach the importance of a singular event shaping a future, it’s Kalie. Although it took months of no’s, hundreds of hours of hot dog stands, and a whole lot of lonely, performing at Song Suffragettes, a writer’s round and community for women in Nashville, changed everything.
There, Kalie was introduced to both Hailey Steele and Lena Stone who eventually co- wrote the soon-to-be hit song, ‘Fight Like a Girl’. This song would launch Kalie’s career to another level, meanwhile inspiring girls of all ages.
While pondering the song’s meaning and what exactly inspired the massive hit, Kalie explains, “Well, when we [Kalie, Hailey, and Lena] wrote the song, we really just wanted to say something about the music industry without saying something directly about the music industry, but it’s become so much bigger than that.” She takes a moment to pause. “I remember playing the song for my mom right at the beginning of all of this, and she said it reminded her of when she was fighting cancer, (she’s a cancer survivor), and that’s when I knew. I mean, that’s when I knew.”
After the initial creation of the song, Kalie was given the opportunity to once again to perform at Song Suffragettes. The irony of it all is not lost on Kalie. “That place is special.” she says with the sound of a smile. “That night, a woman from from Sirius XM saw me perform, looked up my ‘Fight Like a Girl’ music video, (which had just been put together by my team), and passed it along to her supervisor. From there, the song just kind of exploded.”
This rapid success of the song quickly transitioned Kalie from an unknown artist in Nashville to a country darling who has received over a 1.5M plays on Spotify and the writer of a song sung by the Rio Olympics of 2016. With all of that said, Kalie recognizes the luck of the situation. “I’m a major planner, and I could never have planned that.”
Her adorably quirky and fun personality mixed in with a certain maturity strikes a chord with fans.
Coming to the present, Kalie is releasing Slingshot, an EP that is projected to make some major waves in the Nashville music scene. When pressed about the meaning behind the album’s title, she takes a moment to contemplate. “Well, I named the EP after a line in ‘Fight Like a Girl’ which is, ‘What he doesn’t know is I’ve got a slingshot and a stone.’”
She drops her generally giggly manner to become a bit more philosophical. “That line was a reference to David and Goliath. Like, I’m David and the music industry is Goliath and I’m shooting whatever’s in the slingshot to someone. So, the music industry is the slingshot, and my music is the stone.” She then pauses and once again laughs “Boy, I’m thinking way into this, aren’t I?”
Whether or not the album shoots to the top of the charts or not, Kalie is Kalie, and it’s her adorably quirky and fun personality mixed in with a certain maturity rarely seen of those her age that strikes a chord with fans, pun not intended, but true none the less.
While describing music in her life, Kalie explains that her fans are everything, and she just wants to make an impact. “Yesterday, a woman who is a leukemia survivor tweeted me and said that ‘Fight Like a Girl’ was her fight song, and I just sobbed so much. That’s why I write.”
All in all, despite Kalie’s early economic struggle, the challenge of juggling jobs with creativity, and never enough Girl Scout cookies, Kalie is truly the definition sweet and whiskey strong. You better bet that she fights like a girl.