Our favorite New York City gal, the Queen of Christmas, Elizabeth Chan, is back again this Christmas season. Back? She never leaves! Elizabeth lives Christmas every day, from her 365 days of wearing red to her outlook on life. I got the chance to catch up with Elizabeth for the readers of Merry & Bright!
Merry & Bright: Hello Elizabeth! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for Merry & Bright!
Elizabeth Chan: Of course! ☺ Always love hearing from you!
MB: You have a new single this year, “Red & Green”, and a new album by the same name. Tell us about “Red & Green”. How did this single and album come about?
EC: I have a very different way of approaching writing Christmas music. Partially because of my distinct perspective. My entire life is dedicated to writing and producing Christmas music – so that changes the lens in which you see things and also the way people see you.
Red and Green is an autobiographical account of my Christmas last year. My fans and friends call me the Queen of Christmas, and even though I’ve got this big title – I’m still a regular person! I still want Christmas to be awesome. No matter how much you look forward to an event, whether it’s a holiday, a birthday or even celebration – sometimes things don’t end up the way you planned. That song speaks to that perspective!
MB: You also have a new video release – a version of “Jingle Bells” inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”. The video looks like it was a blast to make, although a lot of hard work, too. Any stories to share about the making of the Swift-y song and video?
EC: I have a running FAQ list – two of the most common questions are: 1. Why don’t you do a Christmas cover and 2. Why don’t you write and perform non-Christmas music. Clearly these two requests are counter to my whole goal in writing an original new Christmas standard. As a joke for my colleagues and friends during my Christmas in July celebration – I performed Jingle Bells to “Shake it Off.” It was a huge hit, and I decided it would be fun to take the joke one step further for them. It’s really my artistic standpoint and answer to those questions. It’s all very much my art though – it definitely has an Elizabeth Chan style and sensibility to it.
MB: Each year seems to get better for Elizabeth Chan and her music. Any hints about what else we can expect, either this season or next?
EC: I’m not a household name yet – I still feel the humility and am humbled when famous people put out holiday records up against mine. I can say that I do have the most heart in all my songs. I belabor over their detail and craftsmanship. In that sense I have definitely heard how I’ve improved as a songwriter and producer, year over year. I’m already working on my next album – I think next year is going to be a really exciting record for me. I’m going to try some new things with my songs. Hopefully my fans will appreciate where I’m going with the music.
MB: Are there any plans to bring other artists into the Merry Bright Music label?
EC: That’s a great question! The answer is yes ☺ Without giving away too much more – stay tuned to this …
MB: Beyond your music, your messages throughout the year on social media are always inspiring and at the heart of the Spirit of Christmas, and Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, and all ways that the season is celebrated - messages of peace, inclusion, and joy. You really do live Christmas every day, don’t you?
EC: You know, my career and life epitomizes this sense and spirit of believing in faith and miracles. Not that any job or career is a miracle – but this belief in my passion, and love for my dream and that it can come true is so core to what the holidays are about. It takes a village to bring my music out to the world – I am definitely the recipient of the gifts of my team that I’ve worked with throughout the years. How can I not show this sense of gratitude and thanks all year round?
MB: Thanks Elizabeth! Merry Christmas to you and your family!
EC: Merry Merry Everybody! :D I hope everyone checks out my new record and please let me know what you think!
Elizabeth Chan - "Jingle Bells" ("Shake It Off" Parody) on YouTube: link
Elizabeth Chan website
"Red & Green" on Amazon
Also available on iTunes and other fine music retailers.