If you’re a fan of country music, you probably already know Brett Kissel’s story – owned his first guitar before he was even in school, released his first album before he could even drive – leading to him becoming Canada’s most dynamic country music artist before he turned 30 years old.
The farm-and-ranch-raised artist has 15 top 10 radio singles, 3 #1 songs, and a tractor bucket full of gold and platinum plaques. He set records on his 112-date cross-country tour, played over 20 shows with his hero Garth Brooks, and has won 18 CCMA Awards and 2 JUNO Awards.
Last year’s Now Or Never album featured some of his biggest hits to date – “Drink About Me,” “She Drives Me Crazy” and “A Few Good Stories” – and helped him obtain massive exposure in the U.S. for the first time in his career, including multiple performances on The Grand Ole Opry.
While fans were still buzzing about that album, Brett started looking towards his next release, but couldn’t get three words out of his head – What Is Life? The search for something “more” weighed heavily on the country star’s mind.
“I’m curious in a new way,” Kissel says. “I’m entering a new era in my life, and I'm going to attempt to ask this old-as-time question: What Is Life? This latest album is a deep-dive into love, celebration, grace, gratitude, and hard truths.”
Brett Kissel is running a major vibe-check with his audience and beginning to process gratitude and the role he plays in his fans’ lives and in their playlists. From turning 30 this year, celebrating 10 years of marriage with his wife Cecilia, and by creating three special, bubbly, and blonde-topped children — he is inching closer to being able to come up with an answer for himself — but hopes to inspire his fans and provoke conversation.
“I’m going to try to illuminate a positive path for music fans, a path that has room for everyone to join us with big heaping servings of gratitude and unity,” Kissel says. “And I’m going to ask some tough questions, of myself, why I’m here — and why you’re here with me.”
The theme of gratitude is evident starting with the album’s first single, “Make A Life, Not A Living.” The song delightfully anchors listeners and encourages them to stop, take a breath, and enjoy what is in front of them — not what else is "out there.” The balance between going and getting while taking good stock of what we have is something Kissel is consciously trying to achieve in his new musical and life chapter.
Surely, with tracks like “Die to Go Home” and “Night in the Life,” we might just get a little closer to answering the ever-perplexing question.
There is no doubt that 2021’s passion for truth was fueled by 2020’s chaos and a good businessman's wit to tackle problem-solving and provide solutions for the collective. And that’s exactly the unique value proposition of the ‘Brett Kissel experience.’
Kissel and his award-winning band hit the road in a way that had never been done before as he brought the drive-in concert model to Canada. When traditional concert experiences were shut-down, Brett spent most of 2020 connecting to his fan-base by delivering the same high-energy unforgettable concerts that his fans have come to expect – just this time, with them watching safely from their cars, honking their horns in approval.
Kissel and his fans were able to raise more than $250,000 for local charities and food banks from these shows. His drive-in experience was documented in the film BRETT KISSEL LIVE AT THE DRIVE-IN, which aired to a national prime-time audience. He showed Canada and the world with an antithesis approach that music was still here when everyone needed it the most. Still, Brett noticed and observed the curiosity that slowly burned inside of him… What Is Life?
With rooms on his century-old cattle ranch filled with awards and accolades mixed with his natural-born, rural-based talent to network with other exciting music professionals — like long-time producer Bart McKay and his incomparable road band — Brett is still eager to show you more.
Kissel and his cultivated vulnerability on the stage and in the recording studio have afforded his brand high commercial appeal. Perhaps this appeal has been sourced by guidance from long time industry pals like Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley. Brett has recently navigated into new arenas – most notably the launch of his new spirit: Deuce Vodka. This vodka is “born in a small town, made for the big time, and is second to none”— just like Kissel himself. The BK commercial music brand is best explained as a proxy of themes, ready to jump.
And Brett is exploding with gusto to keep the high-vibes rolling in 2021. Part of his appeal can be attributed to his down-to-earth nature – he’s a fellow human living the human experience, just like everybody else. If you ever make it out to Flat Lake, Alberta, to visit Brett’s multi-generation home ranch, you’ll likely be invited to participate in outdoor shenanigans like cattle herding, tweaking old engines, or exploring secret dirt roads. Brett Kissel promotes unity and hopes to continue showing off the best Canada has to offer to the world – and cannot wait to perform from coast to coast once again. In the meantime, he invites fans to not just take some time and listen to his new album, but start thinking about those three powerful words – What Is Life?