10 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Through the years, traditional holiday music has been many things; funky is not one of them. Enter R&B singer Aloe Blacc, who had an idea. “I know there’s a James Brown album called Funky Christmas, but I don’t think the genre had fully been explored in the Christmas realm,” he tells Apple Music. Over eight originals and two covers, Blacc delivers on the album title’s promise, but there’s a serious message behind the levity. “The preeminent and dominating narrative around Christmas has been exclusive to a certain voice. Now is a time in which we can begin to share whatever voices and experiences and understandings of everything.” Here's a simple recipe for loosening up your Yuletide fare.

Put your back into it: “Funk is a style of music, and I can arrange the music to feel that way, but it’s also in the way I perform the lyrics. ‘Tell Your Mama’ is a song I just hadn’t heard for Christmas. ‘Tell your mama Merry Christmas from me and mine to you and yours’—of course that’s a sentiment we’ve heard before, but just the swag and the attitude is different and fun to sing. That’s the beauty of what I get to do—have fun with language. Could I make a funky version of any song that’s out there? Possibly.”

Don’t forget the ladies: “I don’t know if there’s a song that addresses women and Christmas directly, other than ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,’ but I feel like in this day and age and in the awakening of our society, it’s important to put a woman in the forefront and make her a hero. So writing ‘The Mrs, Saved Christmas,’ I thought, was quite appropriate. I have a young daughter and a niece, and I thought it was important for them to see that and enjoy this story.”

Add some hump: “‘All I Want for Christmas’ is one of the most complicated songs I’ve ever done. The melody is so unique and it was performed perfectly by Mariah Carey. I just wanted to challenge myself to funkify it, and I hope I did. I know some people are going to be upset that I’ve modified this song to be a slow, slumpy funk track. ‘Last Christmas,’ the George Michael song, already had funk in it. I just turned up the funk a little bit and gave it that much more hump.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Through the years, traditional holiday music has been many things; funky is not one of them. Enter R&B singer Aloe Blacc, who had an idea. “I know there’s a James Brown album called Funky Christmas, but I don’t think the genre had fully been explored in the Christmas realm,” he tells Apple Music. Over eight originals and two covers, Blacc delivers on the album title’s promise, but there’s a serious message behind the levity. “The preeminent and dominating narrative around Christmas has been exclusive to a certain voice. Now is a time in which we can begin to share whatever voices and experiences and understandings of everything.” Here's a simple recipe for loosening up your Yuletide fare.

Put your back into it: “Funk is a style of music, and I can arrange the music to feel that way, but it’s also in the way I perform the lyrics. ‘Tell Your Mama’ is a song I just hadn’t heard for Christmas. ‘Tell your mama Merry Christmas from me and mine to you and yours’—of course that’s a sentiment we’ve heard before, but just the swag and the attitude is different and fun to sing. That’s the beauty of what I get to do—have fun with language. Could I make a funky version of any song that’s out there? Possibly.”

Don’t forget the ladies: “I don’t know if there’s a song that addresses women and Christmas directly, other than ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,’ but I feel like in this day and age and in the awakening of our society, it’s important to put a woman in the forefront and make her a hero. So writing ‘The Mrs, Saved Christmas,’ I thought, was quite appropriate. I have a young daughter and a niece, and I thought it was important for them to see that and enjoy this story.”

Add some hump: “‘All I Want for Christmas’ is one of the most complicated songs I’ve ever done. The melody is so unique and it was performed perfectly by Mariah Carey. I just wanted to challenge myself to funkify it, and I hope I did. I know some people are going to be upset that I’ve modified this song to be a slow, slumpy funk track. ‘Last Christmas,’ the George Michael song, already had funk in it. I just turned up the funk a little bit and gave it that much more hump.”

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