Photo Credit: Tristan Renaud
98° Celebrating 25th Career Anniversary Year with Country Music Debut
Fans of country and pop music alike are in luck – Platinum-selling country artist Brett Kissel has released a new single in collaboration with pop and R&B vocal group 98°, titled “Ain’t The Same.” The track is available on all streaming platforms (listen here).
The upbeat song tells the story of a narrator professing his feelings to the love of his life, explaining that life “ain’t the same” without her. The track also features a clever chorus that parallels the narrator’s relationship and famous pairings that just aren’t quite right when not together. With vivid lyrics such as “the beach ain’t the same without the sun / Coke ain’t the same without the rum / Vegas needs them neon lights / tequila needs that lime,” the song puts a fresh, lighthearted spin on the concept of finding one’s perfect match.
Kissel felt inspired to write the song for his wife, Cecilia, alongside co-writers Karen Kosowski and Tim Nichols. He explained, “We kept landing on how much sweeter everything is when we get to experience life’s gifts with the people we cherish most…and, how things just ‘Ain’t the Same’ if you’re missing the key ingredient. For me, that’s my wife Cecilia, who was the inspiration for the song.
“Ain’t The Same” also offers a unique blend of pop and modern country. The single highlights Kissel’s warm, rich vocals and ability to express emotions with his music. Kissel’s voice, paired with the infectious harmonies of 98°, works together to convey the joy of spending life with that particular person.
Kissel described his excitement for working with the group, explaining, “98° is such an iconic group, and the fact that they are making their first foray into the country music space with me is such an honor. They’ve collaborated and had massive hits with legends like Mariah Carey and Stevie Wonder, so to work with them on this project and have a blast with them in-studio and on our video shoot in LA… it’s the coolest thing.”
98° has sold over 10 million records worldwide and achieved eight top 40 singles in the U.S. From the late 90s to the early 00s, the group reached top-five on the Billboard Hot 100 with the songs “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche),” “Because of You,” “The Hardest Thing” and collaborated with the great Stevie Wonder, as well as on the hit “Thank God I Found You” (with Mariah Carey and Joe); the latter as featured artists, topping the chart also making it their first number-one song. “Ain’t The Same” marks 98°’s first foray into Country Music and comes on the heels of their 25th career Anniversary Year.
Kissel has previously received recognition for other powerhouse collaborations, releasing a DND remix of his Platinum-certified single “She Drives Me Crazy” with multi-platinum selling superstar Nelly. His charismatic personality, energetic stage presence, and music style have propelled him to the top of the Canadian Country music charts, with two Gold-certified albums, three Platinum (including the album version of “She Drives Me Crazy”), and eight Gold singles, and 15 top-10 radio hits to his credit. 2019-2020 was a storybook year for Brett, winning the JUNO Award (equivalent to the American Grammy) for Country Album of the Year and earning the Canadian Country Music Association’s Fans’ Choice Award, following a record-breaking 112-date tour that reached every single province and territory. In 2019, he completed two legs of his headlining tour, marked as Canada’s most extensive tour ever, selling out venues and electrifying fans from coast to coast. The Canadian Press crowned him “The New King of Canadian Country.” The accolades continued in 2020, when Brett was the big winner of the CCMA Awards, earning four trophies, including Fans’ Choice, Male Artist of the Year, and Album of the Year.
Kissel launched in the U.S. in the Fall of 2019 with the release of “Drink About Me.” The music video for the song featured Bachelor Nation fan favorites Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick (view here). The video premiered on Entertainment Tonight and garnered attention from PEOPLE Magazine, OK! Magazine, Bustle, E! News, and many more outlets. The music video received significant airplay on CMT Music, and since its release, it has garnered over 40 million streams in the US and Canada combined. As one of the top acts on the Canadian Country music scene, Brett Kissel is on the brink of becoming a household name across the United States. Having toured with Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley, the young entertainer is no stranger to the stage. Kissel is currently in the studio finishing up his upcoming album, due out later in 2022.