When you come from a place called Flat Lake, Alberta, it’s pretty tough to get noticed. For Brett Kissel, it’s pretty tough to be ignored.
The 24-year-old singer/songwriter has been THE country music story of 2014 – recently winning 2 awards at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards – for “CMT Video of the Year” and “Interactive Artist of the Year”, after recording 8 nominations. Brett also took home a Canadian Radio Music Award – for Breakthrough Artist of the Year in Country Music, on top of 2 Association of Country Music in Alberta awards, and 2 Edmonton Music Awards. With countless sold out shows across North America, Kissel was primed for his major label debut album through Warner Music Canada, Started With A Song, released late last year.
Even before the album’s release, Kissel had already made radio history. With more than 93% of Canadian Country stations adding the first single “Started With A Song,” the track eclipsed the record for most adds at Canadian Country radio in one week, a record previously held by Taylor Swift. Since the album’s release, Brett has become the talk of Canadian country music. He has seen 2 of his music vides reach No. 1 at CMT, he has scored three top 10 radio hits, and he headlined a cross-Canada tour. To top it all off, Brett won his first Juno Award – becoming the first country artist to be awarded with Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 17 years.
The album, co-produced by Kissel with Ted Hewitt (Rodney Atkins), Ben Phillips (Blake Shelton) and CCMA Award-winner Bart McKay, is an exhilarating collection of music that can be best described as the New Wave of Old Country: each song a slice of real-life sentiment; emotional touchstones that run the gamut of highs and lows and explore such subjects as deep love, trying moments and poignant reflection, measured out by party anthems and a sense that something special is happening here.
Listening to the rousingly playful title track “Started With A Song”, the invigoratingly catchy “3-2-1” and the modern country gem “Something You Just Don’t Forget,” it is no wonder why Bob Doyle, the manager behind Garth Brooks, proceeded to sign Brett to a co-management and publishing deal upon meeting him in Nashville.
Kissel makes it clear how personal these songs really are with tracks like “Country In My Blood” – written about the Alberta cattle ranch that has been in his family for over a century – the poignant true-life tale of his grandparents in the moving ballad “Together (Grandma and Grandpa’s Song)” and “Girl In A Cowboy Hat,” an upbeat song about potential romance.