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Photo courtesy Warner Music
Photo courtesy Warner Music
Brett Kissel waves a Canadian flag at Cavendish Fest in Prince Edward Island in early July.
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Kissel leads field with eight CCMA Award nominations

Hometown musician looks forward to year ahead and tour with Brad Paisley

Jul 22, 2014 11:45 am | By Ryan McCracken | St. Paul Journal

Flat Lake’s very own Brett Kissel will lead all artists at the Canadian Country Music Awards in Edmonton on Sept. 7 with eight nominations, and the 24-year-old breakout artist said he’s hoping for an aisle seat at Rexall Place.

“I’ve been to a lot of award shows and the only thing I’ve noticed is that if you’re seated on the aisle, there’s a chance you may be called up to the stage to accept an award. If you’re sitting in the middle, you’re never going to win an award because the TV camera is not going to have you bumping into people and spilling popcorn,” said Kissel. “If I’m seated on the aisle, I might have a good chance at bringing home a couple of glass trophies.”

Kissel received nominations for Male Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, CMT Video of the Year, Interactive Artist of the Year, Record Producer of the Year and Album Design of the Year.

“I’m extremely proud. I can’t believe it to be honest. Just to lead the way, to lead the entire country in nominations is something that I would have never predicted,” he said, adding it will be especially memorable attending the awards so close to home. “I would be thrilled to have this statistic and to have these nominations going into any other province, don’t get me wrong. But it seems to be considerably more special that I get to celebrate these nominations in Edmonton in front of friends and family.”

Kissel was also pleased many of his nominations focus on the team effort that goes into creating a successful record or music video.

“Getting a chance to share and celebrate these special moments together is extremely important to me because everyone has been working so hard with me and on my behalf,” he said. “It’s just going to be so much fun to sit beside some of my buddies and share in these awards with everybody.”

Adding to the excitement is the fact that Kissel was recently named as the opening act for Brad Paisley’s upcoming tour across Canada. The 14-date tour will open in Victoria, B.C. on Oct. 2, and take Kissel and Paisley across the country before concluding in Montreal on Nov. 22.

Kissel says getting the opportunity to tour with Paisley, someone he’s looked up to for years, is one of the most special things that has happened in his young career.

Kissel added his agent went to several meetings to pitch Kissel to join Paisley’s next tour. After seeing Kissel perform with his own eyes, Paisley knew he was the right man to open each night of the tour.

“It’s like winning the lottery, except better. I think I jumped up and down in excitement more when I was asked to go on the Brad Paisley tour than I would have if I won the 649.”

Kissel made a point of thanking all of his fans in St. Paul and the surrounding Lakeland area for their support, adding he could not have reached this point in his career without them.

“I think the reality is that everyone in St. Paul and everybody in the Lakeland that’s been reading the newspaper for so many years knows that this is not an overnight success,” he said. “This is one of those things where if I didn’t have the support of people back home I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing. A great deal of credit goes to the folks who came out and bought my first CD, or spent $10 to watch me perform my first CD release party in Glendon.”

Kissel extended an invitation to all of his local fans to follow him on Twitter @BrettKissel, or to like his page on Facebook to follow along with his time backstage at the CCMAs, or throughout his tour with Paisley.

“Just send me a message at any time. I’d love to start a conversation and connect with everybody back home,” he said. “And if you don’t mind, cross your fingers for that aisle seat.”

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