Tori Kelly gets her close up on the cover of Seventeen magazine’s February 2016 issue, on newsstands January 5.
Here’s what the 23-year-old entertainer had to share with the mag:
On Simon Cowell deeming her voice “almost annoying” and being ousted before semifinals on American Idol: “Deep down, I knew I was good, and I knew I could do it. I needed to get knocked down and to build up a thick skin. Who knows what I would have been singing about otherwise? You have to go through things in order to inspire others with your story.”
On whether she and Ed Sheeran are more than friends: “I knew that was coming, but no. Working with him was a really cool experience because I was a fan and I didn’t know how it would go, but right away he made it super-chill. Ever since then, he’s been someone I consider a friend and even a mentor.”
On dealing with her manager saying she was boring: “He told me, ‘People are saying you are vanilla and that you have nothing to say.’ I was like, Whoa. I remembered record-label guys telling me I was really reserved when I was younger. Like, ‘Wake up, you should be bubbly and happy!’ And I was thinking, But this is my personality; I’m just chilling. So I went right back to being that little girl who was just so freaked out. I acted as if I didn’t care, but I went home that night and just poured all the feelings that I was holding back into my music. That’s how ‘Unbreakable Smile’ came to be.”
For more from Tori, visit Seventeen.com.