Come experience the biggest country show of the summer in Quebec: The Grandiose Expo starring headliners Robby Johnson and Brett Kissel!
This Sunday July 21st, as part of the educative and family friendly St-Hyacinthe Agricultural Expo (above), the first edition of the Grandiose Expo , a production and an original concept by Abbas Sharif , is proud to present two stars of the Canadian country music scene : “Robby Johnson – Brett Kissel.” who will present over 4 hours of energizing music alongside 10 other popular Quebec artists : Brigitte Boisjoli, Jonas Tomalty, Travis Cormier, Wilfred Lebouthillier, Sam Rhoads and District 31 actors : Catherine-Audrey Lachapelle, Emmanuel Auger and Jeff Boudreault.
I had the immense pleasure of interviewing online Brett Kissel, Canada’s country mega-star, signed to Warner Music Canada, who was awarded multiple Junos, Billboard and Canadian Country Music Association Awards.
Below he gives us valuable insight into the Canadian Country music scene and also what drives him as an artist:
“ Brett, you are the number 1 most played Country Canadian artist, congratulations!
This Sunday in St-Hyacinthe, with your band you will be presenting a program that incorporates ; “Real American country, some of your biggest hits and the official premiere of your new songs appearing in your next English-language album. This concert will be a true trip to Nashville with a show that’s completely wild!
Thanks for accepting to answer some of my questions for MLPBS:
- In your words, what is the true power of Country music and are there specific characteristics that define Canadian country music as a whole or differentiates it?
** “Dolly Parton has a great quote hanging on display at the Country Music Hall of Fame that really resonated with me: “Country music and country songs are ordinary stories told in an extraordinary way…” Dolly perfectly described our genre — as it still is ‘all about the story’.
Country Music to me has always been about celebrating everyday life, and I’m very thankful that I get to share these stories and these moments night after night with my fans. Canadian Country music in particular has a special place in the musical landscape because as Canadians we are a very hearty bunch — we are entrepreneurial — we are humble — yet we are very fun loving.
And all of these characteristics come into play to make our music powerful and highly sought after around the world.”
- It’s amazing that you will be opening for Music Legend Garth Brooks next Aug 9th at the Regina Mosaic Stadium: What are some of the lessons you learned or observed about being a great entertainer / showman by working with him?
“Garth is the greatest of all time. Period. Like a young hockey player would die to get some one on one coaching from Wayne Gretzky, or a young slugger would die to get some batting tips from Babe Ruth, or a young boxer would die to train with Muhammad Ali, or a young actor would die to get lessons from Clint Eastwood — I literally know what heaven and “cloud 9” feels like when I get to perform with Garth Brooks. The energy he brings on the stage is second to none, and the kindness he’s shown me and my family backstage is something I’ll never forget. He’s simply ‘the best’, and I am a better person, father, and entertainer because I’ve gotten to know him.”
3. I love how your music has evolved, with the arrival of new family members and new concert experiences. What is your current drive or motivation? Do you feel that young country artists are copying your style?
“My drive and motivation never seems to slow down. In fact, my passion continues to grow, and my ambitions continue to build with each new song, with each new experience, and with each new opportunity. My Grandpa is a farmer from North east Alberta, who literally built our entire family farm with his bare hands. His work ethic and spirit is inspiring, and I just try to emulate that in my career as best I can. I also have a wonderful, growing family, that I want to inspire through my music, my life, and my experiences — so my wife, Cecilia, my daughters, Mila and Aria, and our baby boy, Leo, keep me grounded all the while giving me the courage to spread my wings and fly.
Do I feel that other country artists are copying my ‘style’? Sure, on Instagram I see a lot of artists doing similar things that I do — but I don’t find it to be copying at all. What I do onstage is what others before me have done, and what others will do long after I am gone. It’s the entertainment business. It’s show business. And if any young artists learns the tips and the tools on how to execute a live show and give everything they can for the people that come to see them — then there’s no secret or copying at all. Though it is fun to watch and listen to artists cover my songs. That’s an extraordinary feeling I can’t get used to…”
4. Any closing words of advice for emerging artists?
“Many artists have given me advice over the years, commonly encouraging me to ‘stay true to myself’. Although this is important advice that I think about daily, I want to add another layer to this when speaking to the next generation. For you see, finding material, or writing songs that speak to me alone (aka: staying true to myself) can be self-indulgent. Finding those songs that speak to me while also being relatable to my fans is where the magic happens. And if I’m forced to select something that serves me or served my fans — I’ll always choose my fans. So, my advice would be to ‘stay true to yourself, while never forgetting to service your fan base!’
I believe that this personal motto of mine has lead me to the incredible nomination for the Apple Music CCMA Fans’ Choice Award at the Canadian Country Music Awards this year —
Voting information is available here: www.ccmafanvote.com
<— Please vote “Brett Kissel!”
** I would like to thank Brett Kissel for agreeing to the interview and sharing his insight as well as to thank Felipe Alberto del Pozzo for arranging this interview session .
Come hear Brett Kissel, Robby Johnson and other talented local performers take the stage by storm this Sunday, July 21st at the Grandiose Expo of St-Hyacinthe’s Agricultural Expo from 5 pm onwards .
For tickets and information please visit:
2670 Avenue Beauparlant, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 1M5