Story Behind the Song: Brett Kissel, ‘She Drives Me Crazy’
When Brett Kissel was assembling the track list for his 2020 album Now or Never, he wanted to ensure his new project had plenty of traditional country elements -- but he also wanted to sprinkle a "pop banger" or two into the collection. That's what he set out to do on the day that he and his collaborators wrote "She Drives Me Crazy."
After he wrote the song, Kissel explains, the three co-writers realized they'd accomplished their goal -- a little too well! They wound up writing another song in order to balance things out, and that song also wound up on the project. Read on as Kissel explains the story behind not one but two of his new songs.
I wrote it with Emma-Lee and Karen Kosowski, two incredible, incredibly talented songwriters here in Nashville. I [already had written for the album] "That's Country Music" and "Drink About Me," which was in the queue to be the first single, so I had a lot of powerful songs. I had "I'm Not Him, I'm Not Her," that I knew was gonna be on the album. I had "Coffee With Her." But I didn't have that uptempo pop banger, as I call it.
I said, "Ladies, I've got to write a pop banger today. So whatever ideas you have, I'm sorry, but if it's not super uptempo, and can be played at a club in Vegas -- that's what we're channeling." I texted them and said, "Listen to whatever you need to listen to, I'm bringing the tequila and we're gonna be drinking at 9:30 in the morning. I don't care. We need to get in this headspace."
They said, "Okay, we're on it, Brett."
So I was excited. I swear to God, I didn't wear a ballcap and jeans -- I dressed like I was going to a club in Vegas. I wanted to be in that zone. And I was listening to pop music the whole way, just to get excited.
Emma-Lee is a great melody writer, and an incredible lyricist, but she's so strong in the melody. Karen Kosowski is a programmer and an incredible producer -- great lyricist as well, but she is the whiz on ProTools. So we all get in, and I'm like, "Ladies, where we at?!"
And Emma-Lee was [singing the melody of "She Drives Me Crazy"], and I was like, "Yes!" So we're vibing, and Karen starts vibing on a ProTools groove, and Emily starts singing, "Craaazy," and I'm going, "She drives me crazy ..."
So we wrote this song in 45 freaking minutes. And we were feeling great about it, but it was so pop-heavy that we said, "Oh my gosh, this is not a country song." So of course we add a little bit of banjo in, to find the country elements.
We broke for lunch, came back and wrote "Hummingbird." The exact same day. On, like, a 1950s Gibson guitar. And made it sound super 1960s, 1970s. So, that way, we could tell the country gods that we still love country music, and please don't be mad at us. But we wrote both of those songs on the same day.
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