The country-meets-pop hit serves as an addicting track for audiences globally; and just when fans thought this amazing song could not get any more replay-worthy, Kissel had another trick up his sleeve achieved by manifestation and musical fate.
“She Drives Me Crazy [DND Remix]” features industry icon Nelly, a collaboration that bridges two worlds, pop and country music. Uniting fans on both ends, the remix version has taken this song to the next level for even more listeners.
In an exclusive interview with Celeb Secrets Country, Kissel shared how the collaboration came to fruition in a seemingly unlikely way.
“It just screams that it needs a collab and if anybody was gonna do a break down verse rap, Nelly was at the top of our list,” said Kissel. “But this is how you manifest things because I was thinking in my head that there was no way shape or form I, Brett Kissel, would be able to access Nelly. I thought, ‘It’ll never happen,’ and boy was I wrong because literally within a few weeks we ran into Nelly and kinda rekindled a friendship. I had met him a few times before and then a few weeks later, he’s on the track. So always be careful where you point this thing, where you point your head, and your brain, and your willpower. Be very very careful for positive, or specially for negative, because it works. What you manifest, it works.”
Chalking it up to a collaboration that was simply meant to be, the remix is one that fans won’t want to miss. Lucky for us, it seems that another collaboration of the two industry trailblazers could be a possibility in the future. When asked if he would work with Nelly again, Kissel quickly declared “anytime.”
“Anytime — and the reason why is because he’s such an extraordinary songwriter,” said Kissel. “I don’t think a lot of people give him the credit in the country music world that Nelly deserves. He has such great instincts and I mean I think you could put him in a room with some of the best writers like Ashley Gorley or Ben Hayslip, Marv Green, Tim Nichols, the list goes on. If you sat Nelly in a room with these heavy weights, he would be a driving force in these incredible songwriting circles. If there’s an opportunity to collab again I feel very very positive that we would be able to write something really great because he’s that good of a writer.”
Celeb Secrets sits down with Kissel (virtually) to learn more about the infectious remix, behind-the-scenes secrets from recording and what’s to come from the Canadian Country star later this year.
Check out the full Q&A below and don’t forget to let us know what you think of “She Drives Me Crazy [DND Remix]” featuring Nelly by either leaving a reaction at the bottom of the post or by sending us a tweet at @CS_Country.
Celeb Secrets Country: What inspired you to write “She Drives Me Crazy” and what was the creative process like when writing?
Brett Kissel: “Well I miss Vegas a lot and I can’t wait to go back! My last Vegas trip that I took was with my best friend Austin Taylor Smith, who plays in Devin Dawson’s band. So Austin wrote “All on Me” with Devin and just an extraordinary song writer. So when we all celebrated Austin getting married and had a hell of a time in Vegas, when I got back to Nashville I was still in the party mode right, I mean we went to all the great clubs we saw Chainsmokers play, my buddies Loud Luxury, we’re great Canadians by the way, and I was still literally on a high. It was that good of a time! So whatever day we got back, say a Monday or Tuesday, well the very next day I have to go songwriting and I was this close to canceling because I was still hung over big-time, you know speak the truth.
Karen Kosowski and Emily are very good friends of mine and extraordinary songwriters, so I sit down with those two ladies and I’m still in this Vegas mode, in fact I even like dressed up with like a blazer and a cool T-shirt because I was still on Vegas time and in Vegas headspace. So I said we need to write a banger that’s gonna be great for the clubs. So Karen starts vibing on a melody and Emma,such a great writer, she starts going ‘Aye-a-a-ayee she drives me crazy,’ and I’m like ‘hold it hold it!’. I’m just trying to write it all down as fast as I can on my laptop. We wrote this song in 45 minutes from start to finish, and we have a platinum single, and it took us 45 minutes. We were so in the zone it was amazing.”
CS: When you first released the song it was your fastest song to ever go Gold! How did that feel to see it be so well received so fast?
BK: “Yes I’ve been very lucky, especially north of the border in Canada, to have some songs that have really resonated with my fans and people who love country music. So this song, let’s not kid ourselves here, it’s definitely very pop leaning on the country spectrum and then you bring in Nelly, which really takes it over that line. That being said there kind of are no lines anymore and there’s really not a box that you need to stay into when you’re creating music and your writing songs. So I believe that the reason why this was so successful in terms of streaming and consumption is because a lot of people who are on the fence about country music maybe are brought into the country music family because this song is so on the fence about it, if that makes sense, so I think were able to get country fans and pop fans together loving this song.”
CS: Now we have heard that when writing it you always wanted it to be a collab and you had your sites set on Nelly before you got him on the track! Why did you want Nelly?
BK: “Well, it just screams that it needs a collab and if anybody was gonna do a break down verse rap, Nelly was at the top of our list. But this is how you manifest things because I was thinking in my head that there was no way shape or form I, Brett Kissel, would be able to access Nelly. I thought ‘It’ll never happen,’ and boy was I wrong because literally within a few weeks we ran into Nelly and kinda rekindled a friendship. I had met him a few times before and then a few weeks later he’s on the track. So always be careful where you point this thing, where you point your head and your brain and your willpower. Be very very careful for positive, or specially for negative, because it works. What you manifest, it works.”
CS: There is a lyric video for the DND version, can we anticipate a music video for this version as well?
BK: “I really want that bad. Hey, we’ve talked about it. We would love to make that happen but what we’re hoping to do is this is such a great live song and I believe we will probably be on some of the same festivals and get an opportunity to share the stage in the near future. So some of the content that we capture on those live shows and just imagine Pyro going off, the smoke machines, all the lights, that’s what this song needs, not really a storyline, it needs a party. So we just have to wait for the right opportunity to throw a party and then we’ll capture it.”
CS: Do you have any plans or hopes to do more collaborations with Nelly in the future?
BK: “Anytime — and the reason why is because he’s such an extraordinary songwriter. I don’t think a lot of people give him the credit in the country music world that Nelly deserves. He has such great instincts and I mean I think you could put him in a room with some of the best writers like Ashley Gorley or Ben Hayslip, Marv Green, Tim Nichols, the list goes on. If you sat Nelly in a room with these heavy weights, I mean he would be a driving force in these incredible songwriting circles. If there’s an opportunity to collab again I feel very very positive that we would be able to write something really great because he’s that good of a writer.”
CS: You have collabed with not just Nelly, but so many great names in music! Who do you want to work with next?
BK: “There’s so many because like the sky’s the limit, especially in this generation of music where again, and I’ve learned my lesson, once you have an idea in your head if you put it on the list there’s a very good chance you can truly manifest that. So I’m just gonna just gonna leave this here. I was on the Much Music Video Awards filling in for FGL with Bebe Rexha and I did ‘Meant to Be’ with her and it was really special. To a degree we stayed in touch with with her team, but where I’m going with this is I walked the red carpet right in front of Nick Lachey, Jeff Timmons and Justin and Drew and 98 Degrees and I thought to myself, ‘Okay just Timberlake and Chris Stapleton have done something, FGL and Backstreet Boys have done something, there’s one incredible band from that era and extraordinary vocalist in 98 Degrees that no one in country music has collabed with yet, so if I was in real estate I would call that oceanfront property.’ That is some prime real estate for a guy like me to see if I could reach out to Nick Lachey and be like let’s do something. So that’s something that I’m actively working on and pursuing and I don’t know what’s gonna happen but you never know. My manager and Jeff Timmons from 98 Degrees were on a podcast, kinda a panel together. Jonny Wright, their manager and my manager are really good buddies, so why not!”
CS: Most recently you released your latest album What is Life, so you have been busy! Do you have any more music in the works for this year?
BK: “I’ll put it this way — in my entire career in all these years that have passed, especially in Canada, now that I’m breaking in the United States I have spurts of creativity where I will write, write, write and put out a record and then I’m done and I truly wait for creativity to strike again before I write, or record, or get to the studio or even think about a next record. So if this was any other year or any other album cycle. I would say, ‘No I’m done, I’m just gonna write out this record, work this record and I’m gonna tour this record and then I’ll go back to the drawing board at a TBD time,’ but that’s not the case this time. I’ve been hit with so much creativity, so many opportunities and options and wonderful things, that I continue to write, I continue to think about collabs, I’ve been in and out of the studio and this is the most creative era i’ve ever been in. So what do I have in the works? Yes, more collabs. What do I have in the works? Yes, a full brand new record. What do I have in the works? All these things and I don’t know why I have so much creativity right now and so much inspiration but I’m gonna ride this out, cause I’ve never experienced this in my life before.”
CS: Since we are Celeb Secrets, Can you tell us a behind the scenes secret about “She Drives Me Crazy” that fans wouldn’t know by just listening?
BK: “Well, I mean the song itself is quite promiscuous I’ll say. So there’s a lot of things, I’ll call them hidden Easter eggs or innuendo that I was able to draw these experiences early in my life dating this girl named Cecelia, who was the most attractive thing I’ve ever seen in my life with my own two eyes. Like ‘She’s got that body that I crave,’ like just amazing ‘Got that Marilyn Monroe,’ all these different lines I wrote about this girl name Cecelia the very first time that I met her and the very first time we partied together. Fast forward now 10 years, we’ve been married 10 years and so as I play the song for my wife Cecila I’m like, ‘This is us dating when we’re both 18-19 years old, getting in all this trouble with all the things that we shouldn’t do.’ It’s like the song by David Guetta. It’s like why does it feel so good, so good to be bad. it’s literally all those memories wrapped into the song. I mean if you want to know what we were like when we were first dating 10 years ago just listen to three minutes of ‘She Drives Me Crazy’ and you’re going to know exactly who we used to be and who we can be, really like once or twice a year because we got kids now you know, so we do our best.”