Breakout Singer Tori Kelly on Her 'Journey': 'It's the Best Gig Ever'

"I'm just really grateful I get to call this my job. It's the best gig ever," says Kelly

Photo: Dan Hallman/Invision/AP

Tori Kelly‘s having quite the year.

After finding some serious chart success with her single “Nobody Love,” the singer’s debut album, Unbreakable Smile debuted at No. 2 – and now she’s lending her impressive pipes to a new Target commercial.

Kelly, 22, puts her own spin on The Jackson 5’s beloved “ABC” in the clip (which stars Dance MomsMaddie Ziegler). The track is available for free download, and for each download through Sept. 12, Target will donate $5 in school supplies to the Kids in Need Foundation.

PEOPLE caught up with the rising star – who happens to be pals with Justin Bieber and shares the pop star’s mega-manager Scooter Braun – about recording the classic hit and what she’s up to next.

You sample The Jackson 5’s ”ABC” in the spot: Were they a big influence on you, musically?
They were. I think the thing about Jackson 5 is they influence everyone whether we realize it or not because their music is everywhere, and it really did start a movement in pop music – such simple songs but still had a message and a super-catchy hook that we still think of today. The fact that I got to sing such a classic song and still make it my own and put a little hook on it was fun.

You’re just blowing up more and more all the time What would you say has changed the most in the last year?
I don’t really think anything has “changed” for me. I feel like my whole journey has been this; it just keeps growing and growing. I haven’t really noticed a really dramatic change because it’s what I love what I do. It just all feels really fun and exciting, and I’m just really grateful I get to call this my job. It’s the best gig ever. I’m excited just to keep performing, and this year is going to be really exciting.

Would you say there was a moment when you knew you made it?
It’s funny when I get this question because again, it doesn’t feel like anything happened overnight for me. It just feels like it’s an uphill journey: I could go back to when I put out my very first EP, and I definitely had a way smaller fan base back then. For me it’s just always been about the music. The fact I got to even release anything was a huge step for me, so now I still get that feeling every time I release something, especially with this album. There’s just so many different steps that I’ve taken in my career that are all just equally as awesome.

You’ve got a lot going on in the coming months – a new single, touring. What are you most excited for next?
I really love touring, and I love seeing my fans face to face because those are the people that really care, and they’re the ones supporting and buying the music. It’s cool to have human conversations with my fans, so I’m really looking forward to touring again.

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