Chantal Kreviazuk, platinum-selling, three-time Juno Award winning artist, has released her very first Christmas album titled, Christmas Is A Way of Life, My Dear.
The 10-track album features five brand new original songs and Kreviazuk’s spin on classics such as Silent Night, Blue Christmas (a duet with her husband Raine Maida) and Wonderful Christmas Time (featuring her 11-year-old son Sal Maida).
“The world could use the Christmas spirit all year long,” says Chantal Kreviazuk. “The kindness, gentleness and thoughtfulness that goes with the season is so healthy. The world could benefit from living by the values that radiate during Christmas.”
Along with her new album, Kreviazuk will be touring across Canada for holiday shows, beginning Nov. 23.
Global News sat down with Kreviazuk ahead of her performance at the Toronto Christmas Market on opening night to talk about her Christmas album.
Global News: Congratulations on your first Christmas album. Are you excited for the release?
Chantal Kreviazuk: Yes because I genuinely really like it! It’s hard to mess it up in a way because it’s holiday music.
What made you want to create a Christmas album?
A couple of things inspired this. My husband was away on tour, and that’s always an interesting time because, believe it or not, Raine leaving adds a lot of work for me because then I have the kids to myself and that’s a lot. But it also frees me up in another way or it shifts where I am creatively, because with him around, it’s almost like I navigate my my creative process differently. When he’s not there I don’t have a witness. What is that? And then he becomes more of a silent witness. I thought I would use the time and do something that I would enjoy doing.
I also had a vision of the first song called Christmas is the Way of Life, My Dear. I actually thought one day ‘you’re going to write a Christmas song while you are riding your bike with your father in the summer in the country road.’ Weird thought. And I dismissed it. And then I dropped the kids off at camp and I was back at the house in Toronto because I did the long three hour drive home and my plans got cancelled, I was kind of bummed and I had empty nest syndrome. My dad called and I told him, I’m having an empty nest moment. And he said, ‘oh, come here, we’ll ride bikes’ because that’s what we do together. We went to the country roads biking and the song came.
I think also on a spiritual level — I love the holidays for the food and all sorts of little parts of what Christmases are — but I think ultimately people are a little more intentional and a little woke. It’s like this unspoken thing because you give more, you share more, you take more time for things and people. The theme of the album was meant to be ‘what if it was actually something that you could keep with you all through the year.’
How was recording Blue Christmas with Raine?
It was hard because he was away. We did a little bit of remoteness and figuring it out but eventually we kind of trashed what we both sang and the day he got home, the day before it was due, we really did the vocals.
How does it feel to be the special guest performer at The Toronto Christmas Market opening?
It’s a really big deal and it’s a lot of pressure because I know they normally don’t really do this kind of thing.
Something that I’ve always liked about you is the fact that you’ve collaborated and written songs for so many other artists. You’re vocals are featured on Drake’s Over My Dead Body. How was the process working with his team for that song?
It was a lot of fun and I cherish the memory very much.
You also sing the hook in one of my favourite Jay Rock and Kendick Lamar’s song Pay For It.
Yeah that was a lot of fun. They were both fun experiences but so are all of my experiences working with other artists, no matter what came in the end with business and various things that come up. The creative process, whether it was Avril , Drake, Kendrick , Christina Aguilera, Kelly , Gwen , all of it has just been magical and I cherish those experiences because they’re pretty top shelf. The voices I’ve recorded and been in the room to watch record are all phenomenal and inspiring. It’s amazing to watch them all navigate their life for what that is. It’s amazing to be a fly on the wall and see them. I have a very different perspective on it now than I did then and so every opportunity I have to work with artists, I get it, and it’s powerful stuff.
What’s your favourite part of the creative process for a holiday album?
Well, first of all I met the producer sitting on a plane next to me. This guy came in, sat down next to me and looked so rad. He looked like he was like a kid, but with a purpose and he was very original in his presentation. He was a leader. After a few minutes I asked him if he was in the music business and he said yes. I asked him to play me a few tracks and he did and then I told him we should do some work together. We started working together the next day and now he’s my friend and we worked together a ton and he did the whole album. He’s a total G and a gangster and a genius and every G imaginable, God (laughing). And I love him and we had so much fun. Working with him for 31 days straight, I really learned a lot from him as a person.
And then recording my son Sal singing The Christmas Train was one of the highlights of my life. He duets with me on Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmas Time and Raine heard that one and said we need more like that on the album. I decided I would write an original song for Sal and it’s one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written. Watching him sing and directing him was just the highlight of my life and he’s such a natural.
Check out Kreviazuk’s holiday tour dates below.
Nov. 23: Edmonton, Alta., at the Century Casino
Dec. 4: Mission, B.C., at the Clark Theatre
Dec. 5: North Vancouver, B.C., at the Centennial Theatre
Dec. 8: Winnipeg, Man., at Club Regent Events Centre
Dec. 9: Kenora, Ont., at Knox United Church
Dec. 11: Regina, Sask,. at the Casino Regina
Dec. 14: Belleville, Ont., at the Empire Theatre
Dec. 15: Sarnia, Ont., at the Imperial Theatre
Dec. 16: Hamilton, Ont., at the FirstOntario Concert Hall
Dec. 17: London, Ont., at The Aeolian
Dec. 18: London, Ont., at The Aeolian
Dec. 19: Midland, Ont., at the Midland Cultural Centre
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