Interview: Jaymay Talks Her Christmas Album

Interview: Jaymay Talks Her Christmas Album

The singer-songwriter provides fans with a new tune each day until Christmas.

New York native Jaymay has been churning out anti-folk tunes since the early 2000s. Her most recent project is "Jaymay Sings Christmas." She spoke with about this album as well as the future for both Odyssey and WNYU.

"It's a 26 song advent calendar," Jaymay said of the album. "I grew up listening to Disney and always wanted to do Christmas songs but in a special way, and I met this producer in L.A. Daniel Belardinelli." It became a snowball effect until she and Belardinelli, who also arranged all the music on the album in addition to producing it, came to the decision to release one song a day in the month of December leading up until the holiday.

The process of comprising the album has been a lengthy one. "I actually started recording some of the songs in 2010," Jaymay said. "Half of the album is with an orchestra, and we recorded with the Prague Philharmonic, and then the other half we worked on in the studio. Some are classical Christmas songs and there are like six original songs, some are funny, some are sad."

Three songs on the album additionally feature The Manhattan Choral Ensemble, directed by Thomas Cunningham. Another track, "Up In The Sky," was co-written with Gary Go and features his vocals along with the UCLA lab school intermediate kids, who are directed by Nick Kello.

She felt the format of releasing one song a day was beneficial, and possibly something she would attempt again in the future. "Having a deadline really gets stuff done," she said. "Even a song a day for a year would be really fun if you weren't so precious about the songs. Having a theme is a really good way to go."

It was important for her to not only produce a Christmas album but to also include her own Christmas content. "I felt like I needed to write original Christmas songs," Jaymay said. The producer also asked her to craft songs about certain subjects such as New York at the holidays. There are six original songs by Jaymay on the album.

From there, it was a process of deciding which classic Christmas tunes she wanted to include covers of. "I thought, 'I should do public domain songs to make more money,' but it ended up being which songs resonated with me the most when recording them," Jaymay said. She also asked fans for their input in the process.

"Fallin' Like Snow" as well as "Farewell, New York" were Jaymay's favorite tracks to record off the album, in part because they are originals and also because she feels they are the best songs on the album. "The funny part is," she said, "I basically wrote these songs in Venice Beach, California, so to be thinking of Christmas in New York when I'm looking at the ocean and palm trees was a nice dichotomy."

Up next for Jaymay is the plan to work on a pop record, as well as a Christmas musical utilizing the original songs she wrote for this album.

To download the album and receive a new Christmas song all the way up until December 25th, you can visit her Bandcamp page or her website.

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15 Texts We'd Get From Dogs If They Had Thumbs

"If you're reading this, send Milk Bones."

Let's be real, anyone who has a dog knows that it if we could, we would text our dogs all day long. If they could text us, our thread would look something like...

1. "Are you coming home soon?! Let's go out!"

2. "So not to be weird... but you never ended up answering me last night... Am I the good boy? Idk I just want to be clear on our relationship I don't want to be lead on if I'm not."

3. "The cat is being such a bit** I literally can't stand her"

4. "Hey, just wondering, are you going to wear those black booties tonight? If you are, I'll chew the zipper out of the brown ones instead."

5. "Okay, so don't freak out, but something not so chill happened on the rug..."

6. "Are there any leftovers in the trash? I'm not gonna get into it, I was just curious. Love u."

7. "If you're reading this... bring Milk Bones."

8. "Hey, what's for dinner tonight?! Purina again?"

9. "Miss you!!"

10. "Are you gonna eat that food on the counter or is that for everyone? Asking for the cat."

11. "I LOVE YOU"

12. "OMG, I can't wait for you to come home on break! Can you sleep in the guest room tho? Mom said I could have your room when you moved out. Love u!"

13. "Ice cream date later?!"

14. "We should go for a walk I need to get my ass back in shape for summer. You should be my workout buddy!"

15. "Netflix and chill tonight?"

Cover Image Credit: Salon

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Poetry On Odyssey: Hustle and Bustle This Holiday Season

"...Have conversation, turn off the cable..."


It's Holiday season,

Time to be freezin'.

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it,

Don't stop now, you can't quit.

Numerous trips to grocery stores,

Pure mayhem when you walk through those doors.

Shelves bare,

You're ready to pull out your hair.

Long check-out lines,

Or delayed airlines.

Prepare and cook the turkey low and slow,

Wait for that golden brown skin to glow.

Place the gravy and cranberry sauce on the table,

Have conversation, turn off the cable.

Before you know it, Christmas is here,

The classic songs are music to our ears.

Yet we all dread the trips to the mall,

To find the perfect gifts, big or small.

The Christmas Tree Lighting floods TV stations,

With singers from all generations,

The scent of candy canes fill the air,

We wish the day runs smoothly, Lord, hear our prayer.

Lots of wrappers and bows cover the floor,

As we obsess over our presents more and more.

New Year's creeps up on us,

Throwing a party is always a plus.

Streamers, noisemakers, food,

Who knew planning the perfect party was of this magnitude.

The line at the liquor store gets longer and longer,

Because of the stress in picking a champagne or sparkling cider.

Deciding to prepare finger foods or a five-course meal,

Why not get take-out? DEAL!

Clock counts down from ten.

As the clock strikes one, we've made it to another year, AMEN!

Glasses clinking,

People drinking,

"Happy New Year,"

We cheer.

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