Brett Gillan had spent his entire high school and college years developing himself to spend his career making web applications for State Farm Insurance at their corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois. But, after graduating from Illinois State University with an Applied Computer Science (ACS) degree as well as a Master’s in Business Administration (M.B.A.), he decided to completely change the trajectory of his life. In 2010, he became the front-man and one of the founding members of Brushville (formerly Brushfire), an upbeat rockin’ country band operating out of Central Illinois.
Brushville toured relentlessly across the Midwest, playing 120+ full band shows per year and achieving great successes along the way. Brushville SOLD OUT multiple 1,000 capacity venues as a headliner and shared the stage with more than sixty (60) major label acts from Lady Antebellum to Alan Jackson to even Styx and R.E.O. Speedwagon. They also played at Spinnaker Beach Club in Panama City Beach, FL during spring break with Luke Bryan for five (5) straight years. One of the band’s milestones was winning the Battle for the Saddle, a battle of the bands style competition, at the world famous Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, TN in 2012. Among the judges for the competition was industry veteran, Michael Knox (Jason Aldean).
In 2014, Brushville went on to release their first and only studio album with GRAMMY winning producer, Kyle Lehning (Randy Travis). The album flew to #1 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart in its first week of sales, but even with multiple radio tours, the band was unable to chart a single in the Top 40. Brushville continued to tour and signed a management deal with Hallmark Direction Company (John Dorris, Marty Dillingham). The band showcased for multiple record labels in Nashville, TN during 2016 but ultimately were not able to secure a record deal.
In early 2017, Brett then made a decision to change the trajectory of his life, yet again. He parted ways with Brushville and moved to Nashville, TN to further pursue his musical career. Brett is currently living in Nashville and continues to grow as a songwriter. In 2018, he entered a song into the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition. The song, “Lighthouse”, co-written with Matt Houston, was selected as one of 3 FINALISTS in the “gospel/inspirational” category in the worldwide search.
Brett, also, currently serves as the Program Director of a non-profit charity called CreatiVets which is run by Richard Casper, one of Time Magazine’s “Next Generation Leaders” of 2017. CreatiVets teaches conceptual art and songwriting to combat veterans that suffer from unseen wounds of war (post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, etc). CreatiVets has teamed up with such institutions as The Grand Ole Opry, The Country Music Hall of Fame, Belmont University School of Music, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), University of Southern California (USC), The Smithsonian Anacostia Commmunity Museum and others to help eliminate the staggering number of veteran suicides (20 per day).