Paul Brandt is the most awarded Male Country artist in Canadian history. Not only has his songwriting taken him to the top of the American and Canadian charts, his music has caught the ear of some of the biggest names in the business. In 2003, Paul's first outside cut was a song called 'For You' which was written for the Mel Gibson film soundtrack accompanying the epic movie 'We Were Soldiers', and recorded as a duet by Dave Matthews and the legendary Johnny Cash. 12 CCMA's, 6 Junos (Canada's Grammy©), over a million albums, and about a million miles later, Paul Brandt reflects about his choice to make the big move to 'Music City USA' from Calgary, Canada, and everything that he called home.
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“Growing up, I always wondered if it would be possible to leave home and do something with my life that I would really enjoy, a job that could also be fun and rewarding. Taking that leap and diving in blind was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I'd say I've found that job.”
From humble beginnings in rural Alberta to traveling the world and performing for thousands, this man's journey has been anything but run-of-the-mill. For starters, unlike most talented hopefuls, the music industry came to him, literally calling him at home to ask if he wanted a record deal; but the road to the top has been anything but easy. Riding the success of a handful of talent show wins, he penned his first record deal at 23 years old, and then set out to take on Nashville and the World. “I've learned a lot from the school of hard knocks,” admits Brandt from his Nashville home, “the music business has been a 'real-world' education.” Paul's first album, “Calm Before the Storm” quickly named him Billboard Magazine's 1996 Best Selling New Male Artist, spawning the top five hit 'My Heart Has A History', and the #1 wedding standard 'I Do'. Inspired by musical heroes ranging from Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks to Harry Connick Jr. and even U2, Paul hit the road with high hopes and expectations. The whirlwind debut swept him across North America and Europe. He's even played his music for people in Bosnia, South Korea, and on the continent of Africa. He's also weathered the highest and lowest points in the music business in recent memory. “The first record went gold almost immediately, then suddenly, everything fell apart.” Plagued by label difficulty and an industry in turmoil, Paul found himself in a whirlwind of career stress, worry and doubt. “Those were tough times, but very necessary for me, looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way. I needed time to evaluate my life, figure out what was important to me, and grow up a bit.” “Starting the label has given me an independence in my music that I've never felt, it's been a real God-send.” His last album, the commercially and critically successful “Small Towns & Big Dreams” live album, has opened a new chapter in the lives of Paul and his wife Liz. “It's been quite an adventure over the last six years, Liz has been my encouragement and strength through all of it. I couldn't do this without her.” Leaving Warner/Reprise Nashville and teaming up with BMG Canada to head out on his own, Brandt formed his own label, Brand-T Records; he then ambitiously set off to record the album that eventually earned he and long time writing/producing friend Steve Rosen (co-writer of Reba McEntire's hit 'She Thinks His Name is John') the 2002 CCMA Album of the Year trophy. Not content to rest on his laurels, Paul recently struck a deal with The Orange Record Label to work along side him on the follow up to 'Small Towns', entitled “This Time Around”, his first studio album since the 1999 Warner/Reprise release “That's The Truth”. The album “This Time Around” is in stores now.
“'Like an hour-glass that can never be turned again' is a line from the song 'This Time Around', the title of this new album. I guess that thought can pretty much sum up where I am in life right now. This is my moment. It's my only chance. I wake up each day and pray that I don't waste it.” “My priorities have changed since I first got into the music business;” says Brandt, “my trips to play for people in war-torn and impoverished nations have given my music and life a different direction.” A dedicated Christian, Paul is committed to bringing his music to the masses in an entertaining and thought-provoking way. His involvement with the Alberta Children's Hospital, the child relief agency World Vision, Samaritan's Purse, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and two tours with the USO, all speak of his devotion to making music and living a life that will leave a legacy.
Born: July 21, 1972 From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada Residence: Nashville, Tennessee, USA Married: February 22, 1997 Spouse: Elizabeth Brandt Pets: Hank (Cat), Sampson and Bai-Leigh (Dogs) Influences: Dwight Yoakam, Patti Loveless, U2, Allison Krauss, Union Station, Garth Brooks, Harry Connick Jr., Hank Snow. Albums: "This Time Around" (2004), "Calm Before The Storm" (1996), "Outside The Frame" (1997), "A Paul Brandt Christmas (Shall I Play For You)" (1997), "That's The Truth" (1999), "What I Want To Be Remembered For" (2000), "Small Towns And Big Dreams" (2001).
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