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article imageBrett Kissel talks CCMA nods, Brad Pasiley tour and music career Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jul 22, 2014 in Music
Canadian country star Brett Kissel took some time from his schedule to chat with me about his eight CCMA nominations, country career and future plans.
As Digital Journal previously reported, Kissel's nominations for the upcoming Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) awards include the coveted "Male Artist of the Year," "Songwriter of the Year," "CMT Video of the Year" for "3-2-1," "Interactive Artist of the Year," "Album of the Year" for Started With a Song, "Album Design of the Year," "Record Producer of the Year," as well as for "Single of the Year" for "Started With a Song." "I am thrilled to see what comes up with what we are doing right now," Kissel said. "When I got the notification it was the 4 a.m. in Alberta, so I woke up pretty much the entire house since I was so excited. It was a really big career moment for me. I thought I was going to get one or two nominations, but to get quadruple my expectations was unbelievable."
This year, Kissel took home the "Breakthrough Artist of the Year" at the Juno Awards, which was another proud moment for him. "That felt incredible since it is arguably the biggest award offered in our country, simply because so many different genres are up for that award, so a kid from a cattle ranch to win it, being a country singer was a very exciting opportunity," he said.
Kissel admitted that his tune "3-2-1" is a special song for him and he opened up about its music video. "I am a big fan of action movies and we were looking for the right director and producer to be a part of this music video. Once I told them how much I love action movies and explosions and fire, that's when our director Shaun Silva wrote up an incredible plot and script and he sent it to me, my management and record label. We loved it, but we didn't know how television or the fans would take it, but luckily, we decided to be brave and do something different, and just a few weeks ago it went to No. 1," he said.
For Kissel, the song selection process for his latest album, Started With a Song, was quite challenging, since he had over 300 songs for the project, where he needed to narrow it down to 10 or 12. "I relied on my friends, family, management and my wife. It was a real team effort and I am really proud that we came up with the selection that we did. Now the album was nominated for 'Album of the Year' at the Juno awards and it is also up for 'Album of the Year' at the Canadian Country Music Association awards," he said.
In the "Male Artist of the Year" category, he is nominated along with such artists as Dean Brody and Dallas Smith. "That feels really good because they are both good buddies of mine. I have always looked up to Dallas and Dean. I think Dallas is a great entertainer and Dean is arguably one of the best songwriters that we have in our country, so to be rubbing shoulders with those guys is something that I am awfully proud of," he said.
Kissel is motivated each day by a variety of things, whether it is from reading an interesting quote on his Twitter page, as well as positive feedback from fans. "I can draw inspiration from everything. I am good at being self-motivated. I am always working on new ideas and writing songs and trying to make the shows better," he said.
One of his fondest moments in life was receiving an autographed photograph of his musical hero, Johnny Cash, right before he had passed away. That happened around the same time that he released his first CD. He had sent him a letter just to express his condolences for his wife, June Carter Cash, passing away. A few months later, Kissel was informed by his mother that Cash had passed away, at the same time that his first concert was sold-out. "I was really upset to hear that about Johnny Cash, but when my father got home that day, he handed me a big yellow envelope, and inside was an 8 x 10 signed photo of 'The Man in Black.' It said: 'To Brett, Jesus First, Johnny Cash.' It was fate I believe," he said.
Kissel shared his excitement for his upcoming tour this fall with country mega-star Brad Paisley, where they will be playing under 20 shows together across Canada. "I am thrilled that he has asked me to go on tour with him. It will be a great experience to learn from truly one of the best in the business. I am such a big fan of his," he said.
The 24-year-old Canadian sensation listed Carrie Underwood, Rihanna and Taylor Swift as his dream female duet choices.
He also praised country songstresses Michelle Wright and Kira Isabella for their talent. "I love Michelle Wright. She is a good friend of mine," he said. "Kira and I have actually chatted about doing some songwriting and collaborating. You never know what will happen on my next record."
For more information on country star Brett Kissel, visit his official website.
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