Brett Kissel just released a new album, “What Is Life”, and he is extremely proud. “It’s unlike anything that I have ever done, and I think, a unique approach to country music.” The record starts with a monologue, asking what life is to him. He also has interludes of his kids talking about things they love, adding even more of a personal touch. “It’s a record driven by heart, yet I think I’ve actually written and found some of the biggest hits of my life” he adds.
The lead single, entitled “Make A Life Not A Living” is his personal favorite. “If you want to know who I really am, it’s in 2 minutes 47 seconds. Every line of this song is me. How I live my life. What I think about. How I want to treat the remaining days of my life.”
The past year has been full of change for everyone, and the song relates perfectly. Kissel confides he’s taken the opportunity to take stock of what he has and to do some soul searching, asking the deep questions. “I’m really glad this song found me. I think that’s just the universe working in a divine way saying this is your song, this is the time. Not only am I proud of the album, but I’m proud that this is the lead single off the most important record of my life.”
2020 has impacted this artist in many ways, including finances, the halting of the music industry, government, and world issues. But Kissel chooses to simplify it, focusing on the positive. “One of the single greatest things about the hardest year of my life has been the opportunity to reconnect with my family and form the strongest bonds. I believe our family will look back on this era with a heaping toast of gratitude because we were able to rebuild such a solid foundation for our family, that had I been on the road 360 days a year like I usually am, I don’t think we’d have this close foundation.”
That foundation comes from Brett’s shift from 24/7 artist to 24/7 dad, which he believes to be the greatest role. He looks up to Garth Brooks for making the choice to retire in the early 2000s to spend time with his family. While the universe may have made that decision for Kissel, he is grateful for it. He hopes that going forward he’ll be able to make a lot more choices based on what’s best for the family. Looking to the future, he remarks, “I think that first big flight or tour is going to be an awakening for all of us.”
In addition to the change in being away from home, this artist foresees other challenges as well. When asked if he has stayed vocally in shape, he says he’d like to think so, but admits it will be an adjustment, being able to perform like he used to. However, “I’ll tell you the first few shows there is going to be so much adrenaline, so much happiness, so much energy, that I feel like I’m probably going to be unstoppable.”
While America has slowly begun to reopen and book shows, Canada remains behind. Kissel is home in Ontario, which is currently on a complete lockdown, to the point where you aren’t able to leave your house without a valid reason. “We’d love to make plans for Canada. We know people want to get out, but it’s a very dark and troubling time.” He’s focused on spending time with his family and is thankful they have a farm and can go golfing.
While cases have continued to rise in Canada, deaths have gone down. And Kissel wonders why that fact is not being celebrated. “It’s kind of a fishy time. Do I want to shut up and write songs or do I want to be more active in the political space and say ‘Hey, these things don’t add up here.’? I haven’t made that decision on what I want to do. Maybe it is best for me to be on my best behavior, but I don’t know.” He says he is looking forward to having the freedoms back that America has. Brett is pro-choice on the vaccination. He’s thankful his family is healthy and already survived having Covid, so it doesn’t make sense at the moment for them. They are hoping to have another child but are waiting until it is safe. “Hopefully, our freedoms aren’t taken away if we choose not to get it. I think it’s going to be tough if this thing causes any more separation than it already has.”
The past year has taught him patience, gratitude, appreciation, and celebration. “I’m really grateful that in my entire life, I’ve always been the guy to stop and smell the roses and to celebrate with a good drink, friends, and family around and be really happy that so much has happened. I intend to do that with even more intention.”
What keeps this country singer positive? “Looking at my little kids, understanding everything I do and my wife does, we are doing our best to make the world a better place for them. But also to focus on what the future is going to be in music and for all of us in life”.
What is next for Kissel? Riding the wave of this current project-Promo, getting the word out. He is especially excited about his upcoming mini-series podcast, where he will be asking friends the question “What Is Life?” “I think it’s going to be a very special year to pull back a bunch of layers and have some great conversations with some very extraordinary people,” he believes.
Interested in following along Brett Kissel’s journey? You can check out his music on Spotify and YouTube, as well as all social media channels. He would love to connect with you!