Ep 36: The Marriage of Music and Business with Brett Kissel

It is an honor to introduce you today to one of our friends, Brett Kissel, who was recently named male artist of the year by the Canadian Country Music Association. He is a rising international superstar who also won an award from the Worldwide Radio Summit in Hollywood and was named International Artist of the Year — an accolade he shares with A-listers like Adele and Ed Sheehan. He has won two Juno Awards, 12 CCMAs, he has got an honor from Canada’s Walk of Fame, as well as many other prestigious awards.

In today’s episode, you will hear how Brett built his music career from the age of seven and how a strong work ethic has brought him to his present-day success. He discusses the importance of building and protecting a good reputation, the social media strategies that have proved most effective, and he advises listeners on landing brand deals and building authentic relationships with these entities. Joining this conversation, you will also learn more about pushing until you get a breakthrough, getting comfortable with rejection, and why musicians need to be business savvy.

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LISTEN TO THE EPISODE BELOW

KEY POINTS FROM THIS EPISODE

  • How Brett got started in music as a young boy and approached building his fanbase.
  • Learning early on that music is a business and bringing that experience down to Nashville.
  • Why reputation is everything in business and how it affects audience support.
  • Keeping in mind that the same social media strategies do not work for everybody.
  • The reward of being real with and showing your vulnerability to fans.
  • Secrets for landing brand deals, what to expect, and developing long-term relationships.
  • The need for a custom approach to each new brand sponsor.
  • Different ways to establish the first contact with brands you wish to endorse.
  • The various definitive moments that eventually led to his breakthrough.
  • The need to have a thick skin and being comfortable when people turn you down.
  • Why it is so important for musicians to develop strong business acumen.
  • The incredible attribute that Dwayne Johnson and Dolly Parton have in common.

TWEETABLES

“I didn’t know what I was doing, I just didn’t ever have fear of the stage I guess.” — @BrettKissel

“This was all I’d ever wanted to do, and this is all I thought I ever really could do, and it’s all I needed to do.” — @BrettKissel

“I’m no different from any other family who is going through the ups and the downs of balancing career and life, and the beautiful chaos that is being a father.” — @BrettKissel

A bad reputation can spread like a wildfire. Protect your reputation. Make it a good, solid one that other people can trust. That’s the name of the game. – @BrettKissel

Don’t be afraid to show the vulnerable parts of you on social media. Show your real life to your followers. – @BrettKissel

Most social engagement comes from the real life social media posts. Being relatable is the key. – @BrettKissel

Your brand deals will win if you can talk about the products that you use and are authentically excited about. – @BrettKissel

Long before I ever toured with @grathbrooks I played small customer appreciation events, and little rodeos. But no one ever sees or talks about the real secret: Outwork Everyone. – @BrettKissel

ABOUT BRETT KISSEL

Brett Kissel is an award-winning country music artist based out of northeastern Alberta, Canada. He has earned an impressive:  2 x JUNOS, 12 x CCMA Awards, 1 x Honor from Canada’s Walk of Fame, 6 x Western Canadian Music Awards, 6 x Alberta Country Music Awards, and 1 x Honor from the Worldwide Radio Summit in Hollywood, naming Kissel the “International Artist of the Year” (previously given to Adele, Ed Sheeran, and Drake.) Kissel is also the only Canadian to ever tour with icon Garth Brooks, has been on several tours with Brad Paisley, and is a regular at The Grand Ole Opry. He was recently named as “Male Artist of the Year” by the Canadian Country Music Awards. 

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Brett Kissel — http://www.brettkissel.com

Brett Kissel on Twitter — https://twitter.com/brettkissel

Brett Kissel on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/brettkissel/

Cecilia Kissel on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/ceciliakissel/

Worldwide Radio Summit — http://www.worldwideradiosummit.com

Canadian Country Music Association — https://www.ccma.org

Brand Builders Group — freecall.brandbuildersgroup.com

Rory Vaden — https://www.roryvaden.com/

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/roryvaden/

Rory Vaden on Twitter — https://twitter.com/roryvaden

Take the Stairshttps://amzn.to/2ZAJNUS

Adele — http://adele.com/home/

Ed Sheehan — https://www.edsheeran.com

Drake — https://www.drakeofficial.com

Juno Awards — https://junoawards.ca

Canada’s Walk of Fame — https://www.canadaswalkoffame.com

Garth Brooks — https://garthbrooks.com

Gary Vaynerchuk — https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com

Joe Rogan — https://www.joerogan.com

Driving Force — https://www.drivingforce.ca

Jim Cressman on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-cressman-94716281/

Dwayne Johnson on Twitter — https://twitter.com/TheRock

Dolly Parton — https://www.biography.com/musician/dolly-parton

RV: (01:04) It is a wonderful honor to introduce you to one of my newer friends. Brett Kissel is an amazing young man. He actually was recently named male artist of the year by the Canadian country music awards. And he is in his twenties, in his late twenties and is just a rising superstar internationally. He actually won an award from the worldwide radio summit in Hollywood that named him international artist of the year, which was previously given to people like Adele and ed Sheeran and Drake. He has won two Junos. He’s won 12 CCMS Canadian country music awards. He’s got an honor from the from Canada’s walk of fame six times Western Canadian music awards and he’s just amazing. He’s toured with Garth Brooks. He’s the only Canadian to ever do that. He’s a fifth generation Albertan and he just is a total family guy, has built his following from nothing when he was a kid. And I thought it would just be awesome to kinda hear some of his stories and philosophies about how he’s done that. So Brett, welcome to the show. BK: (02:16) Well, thank you very much Rory for for having me. What a glowing introduction. I don’t think there’s any way I can actually live up to all that stuff because open the awards, well the circuit and the awards season, a lot of that even has to do with, you know, some, some luck and, and stuff like that. But I’m very thankful that I get an opportunity to chat with you and learn from. RV: (02:41) Yeah. Well I’d love to hear early on, how did you start? Like at what age did you start performing and start doing concerts and just I mean I think you’re still very, very much on the rise, but you are certainly have broken through the mainstream in Canada now moving into the U S you know, we met you live here in Nashville, we got a chance to work with you cause we do, you know, you some of your management team, but like you’ve been at this for a while and I would love for people just to kind of hear the story of how you got started doing music and, and you know more than that just building your fan base. BK: (03:22) Well, well yeah of course. I mean, my, my, my journey in, in country music I think is very similar to a lot of others, but I’ve always related my career to that of athletes and, and guys in sports. You know what, I, I got my guitar when I was young. It’s like a kid hockey stick or a baseball bat, you know, when you’re five or six years old and you really take a liking to it. I was playing hockey as a little kid up in Canada. Every idiot my grandmother, she said that she saw music in me and so she got me a guitar. That guitar was a big, big thing to get because I immediately stopped sports and I just focused on music and nobody else in my family ever played music. Nobody’s saying nobody did anything. So the fact that this was really unique, I think to my family and to my extended family too. BK: (04:15) So I had that great support system and it was a thing led to enough. I started playing around family and then, you know, one family member, maybe they know somebody who’s got a customer appreciation at the local Ford dealer in town. So I go and I sing a couple songs as a seven year old there. I mean I didn’t know what I was doing, I just didn’t ever have fear of the stage, I guess then you know, somebody’s need there and and says, why don’t you come and play this rodeo in the nearby town and play a couple songs there. So I’m nine years old and I’m playing songs there and now I’m 11 and people are skewed, make a recording because we buy it. So I made my first cassette tape locally with a guy who’s a producer and we made like 500 copies and my parents and I thought we will never be able to give away 500 copies and yellow eggs at them. BK: (05:11) So we sold them. I mean people were buying it cause I was a little kid, like every grandma and grandpa was supporting this little boy and a cowboy hat, but I’ve a hundred cassettes, new record. And then, and then before we knew it, we’re opening up a savings account and a checking account and a business account for me because I’m making 500 bucks, 1000 bucks. And, and, and from there, you know, I really just started to learn how to, how to save money and reinvest into myself. And at that time, I’m like 12 years old and I got nominated for a Canadian country music award. And that, that took me from kind of a regional act to an act. And to get that national exposure on TV up in Canada was very special. And from there into my teens, the minute I graduated high school, I knew this was all I’d ever wanted to do. BK: (06:02) And this is all I thought I ever really could do. And it’s all I needed to do. So I’m true. We built a business and weren’t necessarily country artists or performers, but were businessmen, business women who would teach me a lot of those great things. And so you know, I, this a a business music was my business and I’m very thankful that I was able to then take those lessons that I learned as a kid and as a teenage bring that energy down to Nashville, which I’ve done for the past 10 years or about eight years living in music city and it’s been a hell of awry. RV: (06:41) [Inaudible] Well, and so, so talk to me about like reputation in general and I’m just curious about what your thoughts are on, on the word reputation. Like what is your definition of it? What are your philosophies about one, why do you think it matters sort of in the music business and beyond that just sorta like how do you go about establishing one BK: (07:05) Man that, that is such a great question, Rory. And, and reputation is everything in business no matter what. And, and I’ve seen it firsthand for myself because I know I’m not the best singer on the best songwriter or guitar player or entertainer, but I try my very best to develop a brand that’s based on reputation, a good buy. And the thing about it is that people, the fans, and I’m one of them to first and foremost, I’m a fan of country music. I’m a fan of certain brands and if you’ve got a good reputation, you want to see those people or those brands when, now Garth Brooks for an example has won everything. Like Garth Brooks is like, Elvis is like the Beatles. It’s like, I mean he will go down in history as if people were, we’ll use them like, you know, talk about it like you talk about shed spear or Beethoven or for stuff like that. BK: (08:02) It because he’s got an incredible reputation whether you love it, go, not have his voice or not, you know, there is an amazing guy and you want to see guys like that win. And it’s interesting because as good of a reputation on can, one hopes to build, if you’ve got a bad reputation that that even spreads like wildfire even further. So it’s important thing that you, a bad rap because it’s so hard to come back from that. I don’t know. I don’t know. Some of these celebrities and their stories are as to why, you know, things went up for them. I’m not, I’m not here to judge. All I’m here is to state the facts that a celebrity with an incredible reputation is few and far between the, you know, to find but a celebrity with a bad reputation or bad press or bad things. I isn’t it crazy how we hear about those stories even more so, so, and they, if that said, protecting your reputation and working to make sure that you’ve got a good one and something that’s very solid so that people will continue to support you and want to see you win, that’s kind of the name of the game. RV: (09:14) [Inaudible] Yeah, I, well, I love that and I think Garth is a great example of that. Of course. Aja is a huge Garth fan. We got to see him about a year ago and that was, that was incredible. I think he lives up to all the things that you’re talking about. Now. I want to talk about social media for a second and, and just kind of nurturing a fan base. And how have you done that or are there, are there, are there things that you’ve done that you feel like have worked for building your reputation off the stage? Cause clearly it’s like, you know, performing when you’re on stage is what it’s all about. You’re an amazing singer, amazing songwriter. We’ve, we’ve had your music playing around the house a lot lately and just you know, that is certainly one part of it, right? Is, is the performance. But what are some of the things that you do behind the scenes that maybe people either don’t know about or don’t see or they sh they should be doing if they’re wanting to try to like build the kind of engaged fan base that you’ve been able to create? BK: (10:23) Well, you know what the, the first thing that I’ll say, Rory, is that everybody has a different perspective on social media. And you know what? Well, what works for me may work for a, I dunno, this artist or that person and what works for Gary V. May not work for Joe Rogan. What works for Joe doesn’t work for you. And we’ve all got our different paths. But for me, I’ve found great success in being very real in showing vulnerable parts of, of my life. And I’ve honestly found it to be therapeutic, to not have to put on a show for my fans or on in Facebook or Twitter. When people follow me, they’re truly getting a real life inside look at I am and what I’m doing. And if that’s interesting, if you don’t find it interesting, that’s fine. You don’t, you don’t need to engage or anything. BK: (11:19) But I’m really happy that I can be myself and that’s where I post happiness and social media because like I said, it can be therapeutic to, to vent and to get things out and maybe get some advice from other people or from others. But you know what, I’m, I’m a performer on the stage and that’s for 90 minutes of my day. The other 22 and a half hours. I’m a husband. I’ve got three beautiful kids, two daughters and a and a and a son, Mila. My oldest daughter, she’s three. Aria is next in line. She’s two. And then Leo, our son, he’s six months old. So we’re in the heart of the chaos. And I think it’s very relatable because I’m no, every other family who’s going through the ups and the downs of balancing career and life and the beautiful chaos that is being a father and a young parent. BK: (12:15) When I show that side, I mean, you know it to Rory. I mean, it’s like that’s, that’s real life and people, people want to see real life. So that’s where I get the most engagement is, you know what’s interesting is that my, my record label early on said, Hey, you know what? This is our strategy with you. And I said, okay, hit me. What is it? Think you don’t wear the wedding ring so you can look available. Let’s not talk about your family too much. You pop your 19. Everybody’s really trying to discover themselves in their twenties into their thirties. So let’s, let’s keep you that way so that you’re relatable. And honestly, I, from the, from the minute one ice and I, we said, and I’m going to swear here, but I said bullshit. Like no way. This is who I am. This is what I do. I’m proudly married and everything like that. And if you want to go on just analytics, I will get twice or three times the likes of a picture of me as a stressed out dad with pancake batter all over my tee shirt hanging upside down on my shoulders. Then I will in front of 30,000 people opening for Garth Brooks at a, at, at a festival. People are like, okay, that’s cool, but this is relatable. So that’s kind of my stance on how I do my socials. RV: (13:32) I love that. I think that’s that and that it’s very fitting with your brand. I mean you’re, you are just very relatable and real and, and, and real life. So one of the things that I think you’ve also done really well, and I think, you know, we have a brand builders group. We don’t work with a ton of musicians, but it seems like more and more we’re getting into the space and we really have a heart for musicians because it’s, it can, it can, it’s such a, can be such a tough road financially. And even when you make it, it’s like you’re gone all the time performing. And so we have a real passion to try to help musicians create some monetary streams that don’t require them to like be out on the road all the time. Right. And you guys have done a a good job of this and I know, I know you’re working on other, other revenue streams and things, but I think you guys are very forward thinking in terms of how you do it. RV: (14:27) And one of the things that I think you’ve done really well so far is just like these brand deals and you’ve been able to kind of get some brand deals. You’ve been able to create longterm relationships there. And I wondered if you could just share a little bit about how, what is like, what exactly is a brand deal? How do you get them? Like, how do you find people, how do you charge, you know, what do you do? What do you deliver? Like just all of that cause that, that feels like a very immediate, immediately monetized double stream, if you will, for, for musicians. BK: (15:11) Well, yeah, I mean [inaudible] it really is and it’s such a, an interesting world we live in right now where social media is the new King now. It’s been King for a while, but a lot of companies are really are really figuring that out and allocating their investment dollars, fitting in public lists, city influencers and people on social media as opposed to the return on TV, which is ever changing a radio, which in a lot of ways is you know, is, is a fat that’s, you know, trying real hard to rebrand. And it’s still very important in country music. But in some areas it’s, it’s dying. In print, we all know is dead. So with all people are living on their phones, okay, we know this. So what does that mean for me? I’m very passionate about a number of products. And I remember my wife and I, we sat down and we thought to ourselves, what kind of things do we use in our lives that make our lives easier? BK: (16:06) Is it this is it this? What, what, what do you like to drink? What do we like to eat? Where do we like to go? What do we like to wear? It’s all of these things. And we, we took an approach because she’s a, an influencer in her own right. And we took an approach about genuinely wanting to talk about brands that we love. That was, that was priority number one because there’s authenticity there. That I would say if I, if I stopped and this conversation ended right now, if you are associated with brands that you’re authentically connected to, that’s a win win for both. That’s where we can extract money as the influencer and as the spokespeople for that brand. And that’s where the brand is going to win because you talking about something that they’re not reading from a script and they’re able to craft a message that is unique and doesn’t look like a sales job because that’s today’s. BK: (17:01) You can see, of course we need hashtag ad on everything for, you know, the whatever, whatever rules we got to follow. But if I’m talking thing, I don’t know anything about people are going to see through that and it’s going to look bad. So authenticity is number one and when you’ve got something off authentic, you can take it to step two, which is truly try to monetize and extract as much value as you can from the company because we know that we’re going to be more effort and a bigger return on their investment of sponsorship into us. Everything that I do, Rory isn’t cut and paste. It, it’s, every company has different needs and different wants. Some of them are a lot more about social media, some of them a lot more about what I’m going to say from the stage. BK: (17:52) And some of them are a lot more about the return is what they’re going to get from clients and entertaining important customers. For example, it’s very difficult for me to craft a message for an oil company in Northern Alberta. You know, on social media, they’re, they don’t care about that. But what they do want to do is they want to wine and dine certain clients to get the next big project or, or something like that to, to come here. Sometimes they need to educate me on their big environmental you know, changes that they’re making and they need somebody like myself to craft a message because energy in Alberta is such a hot topic for the rest of the world. And then sometimes you’ve got a juice company, Oasis juice who just want to be associated with families and we’re a great growing family. BK: (18:38) Then you’ve got a company like Mark two or exclusively intrude other denim company there. You know, they’re like a, they’re a store of everything from boots. It’s an apparel company and they want somebody who grew up on a farm and somebody who’s a busy douse, we can wear these on stage. It all fits. So what I do for this company is different from what I do with the vehicle company. And you truly make it unique. It’s, and then you can kind of craft a dollar amount to get from them at that point once you have that meeting. RV: (19:10) And so do you, how do you, like what, okay, so I love that. So I’d love the authenticity element. I love the idea of, of promoting the stuff that you actually use every day and you can speak intelligently about, right. What do you, how do you get them? Do you just like email the company website or call them or like go to their headquarters and walk in the door? Like what, what do you do to kind of open that conversation? I mean, you’re, I guess, you know, your stage, your name carries a lot of weight and your reputation, particularly in like Canada in certain circles, but, but did they find, did they all reach out to you or do you find them, BK: (19:54) So there’s a bunch of different ways that, that this happens. You know, what before my name had had any relevance in Canada, it was cold call and it was a, it was a meeting. It’s all about connections. You try to find someone who knows somebody. It’s basic sales. I mean, you can watch that on, on YouTube. You can see a fit, you know, it’s literally, it’s just basic salesmanship. So when I was 16, I got my driver’s license in my home province and I felt that there was a market of new drivers like me that were going to be buying their first vehicle. So who were they going to buy it from? Were they going to get a used vehicle where they’re going to buy brand new? Well, I found a company that had ills and you, it was called driving and it was based in Edmonton. BK: (20:50) My, my, our Capitol city two hours away, so I’d cold called them. Oh, 16 years old, asked if I could speak with the CEO. He wasn’t available. So I spoke with the marketing director and I asked if I could have a meeting, went in with my dad. I drove to town or into the city. You know, the next week, and I had this, like this presentation lined up. I, I, I remember doing it in school. Figuring out how to do a presentation. It was like a special project. So a beautiful do a Tang and everything I was going to do. And I said, if you give me a deal on a vehicle, I’ll be able to take this to my network of friends and other people like me. This is in 2006. So this was before Facebook was big, but before anything, and I said, if, if, if you’ll do this, I will try my very best to give as many vehicles and at least give them make make driving force be their first call. BK: (21:46) And it’s up to your sales people to deliver. I cannot guarantee you I’m going to sell vehicles, but I will do my very best. Well, it may or something, but he’s like, I’ll tell you what Chad, we’re just going to give you a truck. Like, Oh my God. He’s like, you believe in me. This is great. If, and then you know, you’re an artist. So if you can do a couple of gigs for us a year, how much do you or do you charge for your gigs? I’m like, well, if it’s me and my guitar, it’s $2,500 if it’s me and my band, it’s 7,000 and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It’s like, well, I need three shows at 7,000 that’s $21,000 all ours. And then I wasn’t dollars back and value and basically then we’re going to give you this brand new 2006 GMC three quarter time. So I drove BK: (22:37) And now they send me into the city of Edmonton to meet with the mayor and as well as the CEO of the company to get higher releasing of, you know, 250 citywide vehicles. They’re the ones who send me up to Fort McMurray, Alberta to Suncor or this whatever oil company that need no 290 lease vehicles. So instead of the CEO brokering the deal, they send me in for, I don’t know, they call it razzle-dazzle. Like, seriously, I love that stuff. And now I’m a paid employee of the company and I’ve been with them. I’m 29. I’ve been with them for 13 years and I started as a phone call when you’re sick, who says you can’t do it? Blah, blah blah. Yeah, you can’t. Now my name carries weight. So now my manager or my assistant can just call up juice company and say, Hey, we’d like to make this work. Let’s sit down, let’s meet, you know, next time Brett’s in Montreal, we’re going to try and figure out a time to meet. So now it’s easier. But anybody says that it’s so tough. It is tough. I get it. But you can do it. I love that. Anyone who says it’s tough, it is tough but can do it. That’s a debt. RV: (23:46) That is so true. And so I want to hear about like so did you have a definitive moment where that, where that pivot happened? You know, we call it breaking through the wall or we have specifically she hands wall of where you’re like bouncing off the wall and being absorbed in the noise of the mainstream. But then you know, you sort of find your uniqueness and you create velocity and clarity and you, you break through the wall and then your life as a personal brand shifts from push to pull. And so now you know, like your story that you just shared a cold calling, that’s very much like a classic push story. Like you’re out there hustling, you know, networking cold call and talk in like doing whatever you’re doing, but then at some point it’s, it flips to pole, which is where it seems like you’re at now, right? Your manager or your assistant can kind of make the call. When did that moment happen for you? Or, or, or was there a specific moment or you know, like talk about that kind of like breakthrough point and you know, how did you notice it or how or, or, or, or when did you notice, or when did you notice it? Like I’d love to just kinda hear, like your perspective on that. BK: (25:01) Wilson and Rory at first, I honestly, I want to compliment you and to everybody who’s listening to this, I remember vividly one of my favorite parts of getting together with you to talk about the growth of my brand was when we talked about Shan’s wall, when we talked about that I was able to go back home and look, not physically look through my calendar, but remember important meetings and important times of my life where it was push, push, push and hustle and no return. And, and it was just, it was like I was beating my head up against the wall truly until you finally break through. And there were definitive moments. There wasn’t just one because there’s so many different aspects of my career. There’s even a way that you can put that into perspective for your own personal relationships where you’re working so hard to try and get something. BK: (25:53) But finally you make it through, you know, with your spouse or with your children. But when it comes to business and music, there were some really, really, really great times driving force. And that deal with me was a big moment on the entrepreneurial side for me and the sponsorships spoke to person side. I am kind of like the NASCAR guy of Canadian country music. I’ve got logos everywhere. I couldn’t be more proud of that. We know we can deliver, we know and we know the weekend we can give back to the communities and have so many things. It’s not conceded your worry. It’s not that like, Oh well I don’t want to pay for cowboy boots, let’s get them sponsor. It’s a lot deeper than that for me. But if you do want to think about it simply, well yeah, I mean why pay for this when someone can, you know, we can strike a deal. BK: (26:45) We can work together on this. So all I’m saying is that driving force moment was big for me on the spokesperson side. I realized I can do that at 16 and I’ve never stopped and I get turned down more times than people say yes. That’s the thing. You have a thick skin. Like I don’t care when people say no because I know I can go to somebody else. And somebody’s going to say yes one way or another real sudden. The spokesperson side that that breakthrough was in 2006 what May 27th I turned 16. I had a truck the first few, like literally five, six days later. So that was a big thing on the music side of things. It was the day that I finally got a legitimate manager in business. I was 20 years old and I’ve been doing everything locally by myself or it was me and my wife. BK: (27:40) We had local managers who were great. He didn’t have the connections nationally or internationally or specially in Nashville. I mean they could help book gigs for me, but that was just that the local rodeo in Calgary or Northern Alberta or Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, that wasn’t the NFR that I wanted to play. That wasn’t PBR, that wasn’t the big stuff. So I needed a real manager and I cold called a bunch of managers, but I called this one guy and I loved him the most based on seeing him at award shows. Louis O’Reilly was his, he was from Saskatchewan. He was a small town guy. He grew up on a farm. He was starting to work with a guy who was an agent named Jim Cressman, who is also a small town doc. Grew up on a farm. I’m like, these are my people. They’re going to get my story. BK: (28:28) And they’re building up their own businesses respectively and working with some of the biggest names in Canadian Adian country. So I cold called them, flew them out to a show. I saved up money so I could pay for their flights and even put them up first class and everything like that. Put them in the nicest hotel in town so I could really like wheel and deal them. And I got a great manager after that gig in Louie for agent, shortly after in Jim Cressman who you know. And those were the guys. Now my team went from one person to three and I’m talking three pitbulls and we could go and full world out to reviewers. We had a record deal, which was another big thing in Canada. Within a number of years we had awards, we had tours, we had everything. We stripped the team in place. So go, I’m sorry, I’m talking so, so much for right here. I’m just passionate about it. But I just love the path that I was able to, RV: (29:26) And I mean this is, this is great. This is exactly what I want. I wanted people to hear, because I think, you know, even like becoming an international music star is that for most people it’s like such a farfetched dream. They’re like, I don’t even know how to start. And you think, Oh well, you know, you come to Nashville and you play in the Bluebird cafe and you get discovered and then you’re Taylor Swift. And it’s like, that is such the wrong way to do it. Like, it’s like that maybe happens one in a million, but, but what I love is just your story of just relentless discipline, you know, taking the stairs to use our phrase from our first book and just doing the things that people weren’t willing to do and like, you know, playing the stages and doing the business side of it and then finding your way to the managers and, and, and that opening doors and just like one thing leading to the next, to the next to the next. RV: (30:15) And I love it right now because I think, you know, in the U S like you’re still breaking through and I think it’s, it’s, it’s going to be awesome, like 10 years from now for people to come back and listen to this interview and hear like your mentality and approach and you know, when you break through in the U S will be like, Whoa, where’d this guy come from? And yet it’s like you’ve been doing this since you’re 12 years old, like plan local car dealerships and rodeos and then kind of kind of working your way up. So one, one question. I do want to have, I, I got one last little question. In terms of music specifically, how important do you think it is for musicians to really build the business side of it and the business acumen? Like you know, you’ve been really focused on not only getting brand deals but also helping you, you know, you’re, even the way you talk, it’s like how can I get the most for my sponsors and how can I help them? Do you think that that’s, that’s like a necessary skill set for musicians to really make it this day or do you think you know, no, that’s more of just like an ancillary benefit that, you know, if you have it good. If not, it’s okay. BK: (31:29) Well, you know, it’s, it’s a very interesting thing because of course, I mean all I can really, you know, go on is my opinion on, on the matter in, for me, the business side, while you’re developing the artistic side, I believe it’s a very important marriage and it’s something that everybody needs to think about and work towards on a daily because you can’t have one without the other. If is there one that’s more important? I will say yes, it’s the art side. It’s that you can have marketing ideas in the world and try to reach out to for dealers that have $1 million sponsorship deal, it ain’t going to happen. If you’re not good or it ain’t gonna happen to hit song. So you need that side. But if you haven’t developed the business side to be ready for when the art happens in something, then truly you’re missing out on a great opportunity to have longevity in the business. And longevity comes from financial security on Jevity comes from a sponsorship and connections and you know, and, and great people that you can connect with around the world. So you got to develop your, that’s what matters. But I think it’s very, very important to have the beef side ready to go. RV: (32:46) [Inaudible] I love that. Well, and I know that’s why, you know, originally when Jim, cause we were working with Jim Cressman and he introduced this to you and like, even the fact that you’re working with us, it’s sort of like very much outside the norm of, of what musicians would would be doing. And it’s like, that’s why you’re doing it. It’s like you’re, you’re always forward thinking to, to be set up to sort of like to prepare yourself to receive, you know, as, as the future unfolds. And I just I really, really love that. Brett, where do you want people to go if they want to connect with you and learn more, either about your story or your music and just kinda like connect up with you? BK: (33:26) Well, thanks man. Well, I mean my favorite platform is, is Instagram. So you can just follow me, Brett Kissel. I can see if you want even a little bit more personal side of what life is really like following my wife to Cecelia. And then one of the greatest things is that, you know what, just come and see me at a show, visit my tour page on Brett kissel.com and I mean that’s kind of a really, really great way to see what I’m like on the stage. And then social media will show you exactly what I’m like off the stage. It’s a great life that we live traveling around playing music. And I, I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to have this conversation with you orient and not talk as much about music, but to talk truly about well the entrepreneurial spirit that us artists, a lot of us, so truly do have. So I thank you very much. RV: (34:16) Yeah. I mean this is, this has been wonderful man. I thank you so much for sharing your story. I just, I think it’s so inspiring as well as instructional and informative to hear. And I think the last thing I want to invite you to share with people’s, if there’s someone out there listening right now and let’s say that they, you know, they kind of have the big dream, whether it’s in music or not, but they are, they’re at that moment where they’re like hitting their head against the wall, kind of like you have been and they’re bumping up against that roadblock and they’re, you know, feeling like no one’s listening. No one’s paying attention. What would you, what would you say to that person right now? BK: (34:58) Well, I think the first thing is, is you got to look inside and you haven’t, if what you’re selling, what you’ve created, what you’re working towards and what you’re working on, whether that’s an invention, whether that’s your song writing, whether that’s you know, any type of entrepreneurial idea. Do you genuinely believe that it’s gonna that it’s gonna work? Cause if you do and you’ve got that heart and soul invested into it, well then that’s great. Then you can go to step two. Now you can always rework step one and make sure that what you’re doing is refined and unbeatable because then when you go out to step two, it’s just about continuing to work hard, hard work, pays off. It always has. It always will. You know what? Two of my biggest influences are people that I’ve never met, but I really hope to. BK: (35:49) One day one is dwarf Johnson with his drank and his perseverance, his incredible gratitude. But his work ethic and the other one is one of the softest entrepreneurs. She’s fierce and fiery, and that’s Dolly Parton who’s developed and built that in music and, and, and Edmond and parks. And so Dolly and, and the rock couldn’t be further from each other, like look at them. They couldn’t be further from each other. But do you know what they have in common? Work ethic? They are workers in the room. And I truly respect that because hard work pays off. And it’s something that you and I talked about, Rory, that has been neat for me out work, everyone. I know I’m not the most talented, but I know that I’ve got that farming background and it’s in my blood. The rock did it. Dolly Parton did it. I want to do it to outwork everybody. So that’s what everyone else needs to do. Well, someone else has been out or taken a bit of time off or a holiday or something like that. Work your way in and take that meeting and work till midnight. Do what you need to do out everybody if that. RV: (37:08) Well, there you have it. We’ll end on that note. Brett Kissel, ladies and gentlemen, go follow them on Instagram. We’ll put a link to his website, Brett kissel.com Brett, we wish you the very best my friend. We’re honored to be in your fan base and part of your truth. And we’re just, we’re committed to, to see you break through in here in the U S as you have in Canada and around the world. We know it’s coming brothers, so, so keep at it. BK: (37:33) Oh buddy. Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate it. Hi to your family. We’ll see you back in music city very soon.

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