A few weeks have passed and here we are again putting the kitchen utensils to use in a major way. The BIG dawg holiday is amongst us, Thanksgiving times two, it’s Christmas. Here we look to make or continue traditions and the soundtrack is at least 49% of the past or future memories. Unlike the other holidays, this is the one with the most difficult playlist to crack. Of course, we’re caught up in the moment of the Mariah Carey’s run of “All I Want For Christmas,” which is immensely popular, BUT will it really be missed if it weren’t played around the dinner and spade tables?
A few of my personal favorites that get some burn include “Christmas Fantasy” by Anita Baker, “Favorite Time of Year” by India. Aire & Joe Sample featuring Tori Kelly, “Be Mine for Christmas” by Kem featuring Ledisi, “Thank You for a Good Year” by Alexander O’Neal, and Luther Vandross’ “Every Year, Every Christmas.” They get significant likes every year, but that LOVE that the staple songs get is not quite there yet. That upper echelon for my peoples looks like Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas,” The O’Jays’ “I Can Hardly Wait ‘Til Christmas,” “Please Come Home For Christmas” by Charles Brown, “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole, surprisingly “Let It Snow” by Boyz II Men, and the hands down leader of the pack, “Silent Night” by The Temptations.
While tunes are cemented that doesn’t mean attempts won’t be made by artists to make their mark. This season we find Teddy & Tina Campbell sharing their new project “Christmas at Our House.” “Our House” is an energetic and festive song that will immediately transport you to the Campbells’ home for Christmas day. While keeping the true reason for the season, “Remember Jesus” features a host of angelic voices (Brian Courtney Wilson, CECE Winans, Marvin Winans and Natalie Grant) that reminds each of us what this time is truly about. With family and love at the center of each song, “Love Oh Love,” “Ask Away” and “Together for Christmas” round out a full length set vying for contention of favorites for holidays to come.
Also of note is The SRG/ILS Group in partnership with Make Noise Recordings presentation of Vivian Green’s holiday EP, “Spread The Love,” inspired by the BET Networks film, “Holiday Hideaway,” currently streaming on BET properties.
“Holiday Hideaway” was written, directed and produced by the combined efforts of African American women Sharon Brathwaite, Cole Patterson, Lamese Williams and Maieka Saint-Albin, and all songs were written and co-produced by Vivian Green and scored by renowned songwriter-producer, Kwame. The film stars Camilla Winbush (“The Bernie Mac Show”), Vivica A. Fox (“Independence Day,” “Kill Bill”), Ella Joyce (“Roc”) and Reggie C. Hayes (“Girlfriends”). The film centers around Carly Stewart (Winbush). She is the queen of holiday celebrations, but her mistletoe misstep sends her running to a Holiday Hideaway that teaches her the importance of family, forgiveness and fighting for love.
“Spread the Love” is the lead single from the 5-song EP, by the same title. The song was written by Vivian Green and produced by Kwame. “While I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas, I’ve always loved the euphoric melodies and freedoms in the song structure of holiday music. I am a songwriter and that means I essentially should be able to write about anything. When writing ‘Spread the Love’ I was intentional about including the three cultural holidays of the season because it hasn’t been done enough. There’s something beautiful about acknowledging different cultures in one space. I truly enjoyed assisting in helping to energize someone else’s story in the film ‘Holiday Hideaway’ and as a bonus, I’m excited to release this EP,” mentions Green.
Time’s flying. Got gifts to wrap. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife!