The Evanstonian

Holiday music offers artists recognition

Nora Miller, Entertainment Columnist

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As the smell of evergreen wafts through the air and the time for turkey passes, the holiday music industry, historically more focused on Christmas themes, bursts into our hearts with full force. As the familiar voice of Mariah Carey starts to ring through our ears, performers begrudgingly admit where the money goes in the months of November and December, while still seeing the advantageous opportunities Christmas music presents.

From Apple Music and Spotify’s immense collection of holiday playlists to the classic 93.9 Lite FM, which exclusively plays holiday music starting Nov. 1, merry tunes flood the music industry.

One fatal flaw I have found during the holiday season is that I listen to my favorite artists significantly less. What if all you can seem to hear on your holiday playlist is the oldest version of “Jingle Bell Rock,” produced in the late 1950s?

Due to the prevelance of holiday classics, current artists are losing airtime, which results in an imbalance of music released during these months. In turn, artists are dealing with the lack of attention by putting their creative writing skills to the test which has translated to creating their own renditions on holiday hits. We must remember that Mariah Carey created what is now the most listened to Christmas song, “All I Want For Christmas is You,” while she was just a rising star of the 90s.
With a list of recognizable names such as Ariana Grande, Blink 182, Chance the Rapper, Ingrid Michealson, John Legend, Justin Beiber, and even Tyler, the Creator, it is likely a favorite artist of yours has produced a holiday album or, at the very least, a single.

Looking back, Taylor Swift, now a household name, released her country holiday album, The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection when she was still an innocent country girl with an acoustic guitar. Holiday albums, like this one, often help boost an artist’s popularity, giving them a path into the hearts and homes of listeners.
To combat the hard truth that nobody will listen if it is the same old, same old tune, numerous musicians have gotten creative by producing original holiday songs that have roots in their own style or genre.

While established musicians have released a holiday album, some performers have built their entire career off of carols and sleigh bell sounds. Just look at Micheal Buble, who is often recalled when thinking of the song “It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas,” or a capella group, Pentatonix, which has released four holiday albums, each unique and containing around fifteen songs.

Making a holiday song is advantageous for lesser-known artists, who are trying to make a name for themselves. Even internet stars like Walmart singer, Mason Ramsey is trying to make bank by releasing a holiday album.

As the holiday season draws to a close, I dare you to explore what musicians are coming up with in their holiday music and otherwise. Find an artist you adore, and try to discover any holiday music, or find an artist you have only heard sing Christmas takes and listen to some of their non-holiday music. Point is, if you are going to treat yourself this season, give yourself new music from talented artists; it will be a gift to your ears.

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Holiday music offers artists recognition