For Brett Kissel it literally all started with a song.
It’s where he found his passion in life and now one of the reasons he is viewed as a rising star in the country music world.
“I do pinch myself with the success we have been having and then this opportunity to go and tour with Dwight Yoakam and play at a place like the South Okanagan Events Centre is a huge opportunity,” said Kissel who is opening for the coutnry legend in Penticton this Friday.
“I could be one of his biggest fans and as soon as I am done my thing I will be hopping off the stage and watching. I won’t miss a second.”
At just 23 years old, Kissel is somewhat of a veteran in the game. He put 10 years of blood and sweat into getting where he is today, and that has earned the down-to-earth guy the most-played Canadian song on country radio with the single Started With A Song, a record previously held by Taylor Swift.
“That was pretty crazy for me,” he said. “You think about Taylor Swift and she is not even a superstar, she is a megastar right now. For a kid from the cattle ranch in northern Alberta to now be holding the Canadian record for the most added single is very special for me, my family and my whole music team.”
Earlier this year, Kissel finally made the full-time jump to Nashville with a new recording contract from Warner Music in tow. The dreamy cloud he is floating on hasn’t even got that high just yet. But, he remains level-headed about the whole thing. His major label debut album is due out Oct. 1, also titled Started With A Song, and is mix of traditional and contemporary country.
Featured on it are the kind of things you would expect from a kid who grew up as a fifth generation cattle rancher in Flat Lake, Alta. where he helps take care of 400 cows and some bulls. He will pack a slice of life sentiment on the album that touches on love, party anthems and ranching.
It’s been almost five years since he put out his independent recording, but it is not like he wasn’t working his butt off since then. Kissel said he has about 250 songs in his pocket that he dwindled down to 10 to 12.
“When I talk about ranching topics in songs it is very true. But I also have some uptempo songs with a current fresh sound. We were able to get the best of both worlds. It’s actually a running joke with my brother, my dad and my uncles that I now claim to be a kid from the ranch yet I haven’t really worked on the farm for a year. They really like to rub that in to me,” said Kissel.
The icing on the top was getting an invite to a party where he sat on the sidelines for the past 10 years. He was invited to play and host the Cansdian Country Music Association awards Friday night Legends Show recently. Tucked inside his cowboy hat he brought along with him the ticket from the very first CCMA show he ever attended.
“This was my 11th year attending, but the first time playing. It was a great honour for me. The first time I went was in Edmonton in 2002 and I told my parents, because we sat up in the boonies, I’m going to be on that stage one day,” said Kissel. “It took 11 years but here I am.”
Next year he plans on being there with a few nominations.
Tickets for show are available in person at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC, Wine Country Visitor Centre, by phone at 1-877-763-2849 or online at www.ValleyFirstTix.com.
Prices range from $37.50 to $62.50 (plus applicable service charges).
A limited number of VIP tickets will be available for $150 (plus additional service fees) that include one signed item provided by the artist, a meet and greet photo opportunity and one seat in the first three rows.