Allie Colleen knows better than to judge a musician based on who they're related to; in fact, the singer says, when she works with someone new, she doesn't even want to know if they've got a family background in country music.

"When somebody sets up a meeting for me and says ... 'Well, you need to write with this person, because their parents did this,' I'm like, 'Nope, I don't care about any of that,'" Colleen tells The Boot. "I just wanna meet the person and start there."

Colleen knows first hand that musical ability isn't genetic. As the daughter of Garth Brooks who grew up with the influence of her country icon dad and his wife, fellow superstar Trisha Yearwood, she learned early on that her own musical talents didn't come through her bloodline.

"I feel like a lot of people [who come in to write with me] came in to write with so-and-so's daughter, thinking that because of genetics or something silly like that that I'm gonna be this exceptionally amazing writer," she reflects. "I try to leave all that stuff at the door. Because I tend to go the other way, and think, 'Well, I'm a great writer, but I'm not any better than, you know, the greatest writers in this town.'"

Instead of drawing from her deep country music legacy, Colleen's songs explore themes of starting from scratch, building a life -- or a relationship -- one brick at a time. Her debut single, "Work in Progress," champions a motto of choosing progress over perfection. Her follow-up track, "Along the Way," celebrates a friendship with someone who needs time to grow and explore before choosing a life to settle into.

Colleen two newest songs reflect more than the artist's emphasis on self-discovery and patience: They're searingly honest tracks that she worked hard to write as authentically and uniquely as she possibly could.

"I'm figuring everything out day by day, and I wanted that to be the very first thing you know about Allie Colleen, is that she is a hard work in progress and she doesn't have it figured out," the singer adds with a laugh, speaking about the decision to drop "Work in Progress" as her first single.

Likewise, the singer says she's got more music recorded -- but she's taking her time to decide the best way to share it. "We actually recorded a full, nine-song album last year, and it was an amazing experience for someone like me, who hasn't recorded a lot," Colleen recalls.

"I feel like the songs are still so good, and the song choices were good, but I think we can do better," she continues. "So we kept it as a demo project for ourselves, and we're going back in this year and really focusing on the single releases that everybody's doing now."

A self-described "albums person," Colleen is working hard at finding ways to release full chapters of music that also make sense in an industry that increasingly prioritizes streaming. "We're figuring out how to still keep all those old traditional elements that we loved so much growing up, but also being smart about it," she says. "We're figuring it out."

For Colleen, "figuring it out" is a theme. That transparency about not having all the answers has won her fans -- such as the 72-year-old woman who heard "Work in Progress" and responded to the song, saying that she still feels like a work in progress, too.

"Which I think is so cool. Also kinda scary!" Colleen jokes. "I hope I don't feel that way at 72, but I probably will."

On second thought, she considers, it might be healthier to never stop feeling like a work in progress. After all, when you stop feeling that way, it might mean you've stopped growing.

"I don't know what happens after perfection, but I don't think anything," she adds with a smile.

Who Is Allie Colleen? 5 Things You Need to Know

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