2020 may have slowed Brett Kissel's schedule down a bit but it didn't slow down his drive to create new music.
After a whirlwind of a year in 2019 that saw him on the road more days than he was at home, the pandemic forced the Alberta singer and songwriter to stay home in 2020 and look at life from a different perspective.
Kissel has a brand new single out today called Make a Life, Not A Living and a new album titled What is Life on its way next month.
"I've got a lot of gratitude. Especially this year as we go into 2021 that in a year that was 2020 that for so many people and myself included was awkward, weird, frustrating, disappointing and sometimes just plain old bad, there was still some moments of some great rays of light that would shine through these dark clouds, like our drive-in concerts that we did and the money that we raised for charity, like some of the virtual events that we did that we tried to bring some sense of normalcy back to the music community and back to the communities that were there to raise money."
He says this record was put together throughout the pandemic.
"What's really special, unique and important about this new record, and especially my new single, is that it marks the very beginning of a new chapter that's meaningful to me, and a new chapter that I'm going to live by for the rest of my life. The new single is called Make a Life Not a Living and that is a title, and that is a song, and these are lyrics that I've been living by for the last year."
"It's not really hit driven, this record is heart driven. Now I believe I've got some great songs that can become hits on this record. But when you lead with your heart on a project like this. I was thinking about the things that really mattered to me. And so I did a lot of recording in locations that matter to me. I did some recording on my farm. I took all of the photos on the farm where I grew up to bring that element to the liner notes and to the images of the record. I invited my wife and my children to be a part of the record and my kids to have little interludes."
Kissel is itching to get back on stage and perform for a crowd again and says he's working on coming up with a way to do just that.
"I've been talking with a bunch of different people from promoters to festivals, to obviously my contacts within the provincial government and municipal government and federal government to say, what can we do to bring live music back, because there is something that we are all missing. And it's the camaraderie, and it is the great feeling that comes with live music."
"I go out to the farm and I stand on the back of a flatbed and I sing to the cows, literally, at least it's a crowd! But the moos sound like boos so it's not the best but hey, I'll take it."
You can hear Brett's interview below.