Story Behind the Song: Brett Kissel (Feat. Christina Taylor), ‘I’m Not Him, I’m Not Her’
Brett Kissel waited quite a long time -- about seven years, in fact -- before releasing "I'm Not Him, I'm Not Her." Several things had to fall into place for Kissel to create the right moment for the song, including finding the perfect duet partner in rising country artist Christina Taylor.
Read on to learn the story behind the song, told in Kissel's own words.
I wrote that song on my own about six or seven years ago, and I thought about it to be included on the last three albums -- but, "Declined," "declined," "declined." And finally, this album is titled Now or Never, so for me, I was going to release this song now or just, never.
But I felt that it was great [timing] now. The friendship I'd built with Christina Taylor was perfect now. These stories that are so beloved in the history of the genre of country music are so popular right now. I wanted to release it at this time because it's very popular to have a great duet, and I wanted to bring the old-fashioned style back.
There's a modulation when it goes to the female part, to Christina's part -- that never happens [these days.] It did in the '70s, but it doesn't happen anymore. When Conway [Twitty] and Loretta [Lynn] would duet, or George [Jones] and Tammy [Wynette] would duet, that kind of stuff happened all the time....and I just wanted to do it now.
And again, the label said, "[We] don't think it's a great song. [We] don't want you to put it out." And I said that I thought it was a great song, and that I really wanted to put it out. And it --as far as sales, as far as iTunes -- it's No. 2 in sales, and it's not even a single...and I think it's doing so well in sales because so many people can relate to that.
People are meeting online all the time, and everybody's got baggage. This isn't the 1950s when you've got your high school sweetheart and you grow up together. People grow separately and then come together -- that's how relationships work right now, at least if you're in the United States and across Canada.
So this is a song that tells that story: A guy that's been beat up by a [relationship] and had his heart broken, and he's got so much baggage, [and he meets someone new] and she's got so much baggage. And he doesn't know if he wants to trust somebody.
She has been let down time and time again, from relationships with guys that are just not good for her, and then this guy is interested in her. He's saying, "Look, I wanna be with you, and I know you've had this past trauma, but I'm not him."
And she's saying, "Well, I can't believe she left you...You know what,'Let's fall apart together instead of falling piece by piece'." That's my favorite line in the song.
Who is Brett Kissel? 5 Things to Know