The Holidays have arrived. Whether one celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, it is without a doubt that good holiday music is an important part of setting the tone for the special festivities that make this time of the year truly memorable.
Nat King Cole’s musical release, “The Christmas Song”, is a holiday song that fits the occasion with the grace of an exceptional musical classic that lasts through time and generations. The tune has resurfaced in a new rendition in the format of a new music video.
The musical artist in focus is a new singer who is rising in national recognition as a veritable force in jazz and contemporary R&B. She’s opened for Chris Botti, the Temptations and performed with Delfeayo Marsalis. Some see the artistic purity of a young Natalie Cole in her vocal style. Others compare her on stage presence to the artistry of a young Ella Fitzgerald. With all that is said, her name is simply Nayo Jones.
Jones’ solid vocals and interpretation of “The Christmas Song” stand out with all the elements that can catapult this particular video to become a new Holiday classic. The music video comes complete with celebrity cameos including film star, Obba Babatunde, surrounded by the natural pure talent of Jones.
Jones received the pleasant surprise this week of learning that her music video, “The Christmas Song”, has been selected to premiere on BET for the holidays. We spoke with Nayo's video promoter who had this to share."The key ingredient to this video is that it is representative of what family is about...sharing precious moments together in love and unity . It is this positive message that I felt would be a match for BET. When I pitched it and got the positive green light, we all were overwhelmed with joy. It's Nayo's time.",says Belinda Foster.
With the debut of the video on the national platform of BET, suddenly Jones is at the center stage of the national spotlight and she is handling it with the gracious humility of a true artist who lives for the music.
We had a chance to sit down with Jones on Christmas Eve to talk about her new video and what it means to her as an Artist. She shared about family, the holidays and how she feels about receiving an official music video debut on the national platform of BET debut:
An Up-close and Personal Interview with Ms. Nayo Jones on BET and The Christmas Song:
How does it feel seeing your music video, The Christmas Song, debut on BET?
It's amazing, surreal even to be able to share my gift on such a major platform.
What are some of the memorable moments in the making of this project both in the recording studio?
It's a memorable experience any time you have an opportunity to work with such great talent, the musicians and production team alike. Being in that environment pushes me to be on my A game. That's when magic happens; and of course being able to work with and share that with my dad is a blessing in and of itself.
What inspired you to record this particular song? Are you a fan of Nat King Cole's music?
The project was the brainchild of my father’s but when it came to choosing which songs I’d sing on my holiday album, I tried to pick songs that took me back to that cozy Christmas feeling as a child; and of course, "The Christmas Song" is always at the top of the list.
Who are the vocalists that you admire and find inspiration from as a Singer?
I grew with so much music around me that it’s hard to say but as a child I wanted so much to be like Diana Ross, I thought she was the most graceful and beautiful individual to hit the stage. I studied Whitney Houston before I even knew I wanted to be a singer. Still today, I am a super fan!
Are there any special experiences you'd like to share about the making of the music video? It was an incredible honor to work with Obba Babatunde. Even though he's a veteran film actor, he was extremely gracious and helpful, and such a kind spirit, truly a pleasure. Miguel Nunez was so nice and surprisingly funny during the whole shoot and also had plenty of tips that made me feel more comfortable in front of the camera. They both were so professional and enhanced the experience in their own way. They made me seriously consider possibly doing something on the big screen one day.
Is there a message that you'd like to give fans regarding the holidays?
I truly appreciate all the support and I wish everyone an incredible holiday season. Express random acts of kindness to as many people as you're given the opportunity to do so with.
Who do you aspire to perform with and collaborate with?
Honestly, there are too many to only name a few.
If you could give a message to Debra Lee, President of BET, what would it be?
I admire your work and I look forward to working with you more in the near future!
In review, Nayo Jones’ “The Christmas Song” is an impressive music video production that can be enjoyed by music lovers and anyone who is looking for great music to set the festive mood and tone for the holidays. Equally impressive is the presentation of the Artist herself. It’s refreshing to see a young artist such as Nayo Jones taking the high road and allowing her musical talent to carry her career while maintaining the professional style and grace of a young lady of wisdom in both musical presentation, interpretation and fashion style. Nayo Jones is indeed the songstress of the season. Well done, Nayo.
BET Premiere of Nayo Jones’ “The Christmas Song”: