I have dreamed of making this album for 15 years.
“A King is being born, welcomed by Angels, that is coming to save the entire world” …that is an EPIC story. And my dream was to make an equally epic soundtrack to accompany that story!
In 2005, one of my class assignments in college was to “re-arrange a Christmas song and make it your own” … the result was “Joy to the World 2 (He Is Come)”. I had so much fun doing it, and immediately knew that someday I wanted to make a massive Christmas album, re-arranging, and writing choruses, and putting my spin on Christmas classics. But I also knew I had to keep it timeless and classic at the same time; People don’t like it when you mess with their precious Christmas carols TOO much, so I knew there needed to be balance.
I actually intended to make this Christmas album every year for the past several years, but every year time got away from me, I had too many projects on my plate, and I said “i’ll do it next year”. Well, when COVID-19 hit earlier this year, and the world shut down in quarantine… my schedule finally opened up, and I began production in March 2020.
The following 5 months, I spent 12-13 hours a day, scribbling on paper, writing ideas, producing tracks, like a crazy scientist in his lab… it had to be right. There was 15 years of pressure on myself, and I wanted to do this once, and once only!
So I began the process of figuring out each song. What could I do a LITTLE bit different to make each one feel unique, and cohesive throughout. I wanted to make a project that my ‘20 year old video game audience’ would love, but also my ‘65 year old moms baking christmas cookies in the kitchen’ audience would love. How could I produce an album that sounds like a movie soundtrack, that is for EVERYBODY! …that was the biggest challenge.
However, throughout the process, things morphed – it became less about the “sound” and the “production” … and became more about the message. I started realizing that an album like this is something that the world needs at the end of 2020 – arguably the worst year in history. People need hope right now. They’re craving it. And God started reshaping my vision, while keeping intact the integrity of my original vision… and I believe the album turned out to be the exact thing it’s supposed to be.
As I was arranging these songs, a specific artist would come to mind. So I ended up arranging the entire thing around their voice, and their range, and blending their sound with mine… all before I even asked them! And I’m so grateful, because every artist ended up saying YES and they were all super excited to be involved. And they crushed it.
The result was 17 tracks, with 17 different featured artists. All of them, giving everything they had into their vocal performances, and recording the most dynamic versions of some of the most beloved Christmas classics. It feels like one giant collaboration… all of these eclectic artists, with different backgrounds, all coming together to make the most epic Christmas album ever made!
While it was the most challenging project I’ve ever immersed myself in… it was also the most fun I’ve ever had working on a project in my life. It was so exciting finally seeing this vision come to fruition, and hearing where each song organically led during the process. At times, it’s dark and urban, with hiphop drums and 808’s and a gospel choir. All the while being soft and beautiful with piano and strings when necessary.
The entire thing is a story, meant to be listened to the same way you would watch a movie. I want it to be an experience. A cinematic journey that takes people somewhere. My prayer is that people go in thinking the’re just going to listen to Christmas music, but through the process, get hit with powerful moments that impact them in ways they weren’t expecting.
A story so beautiful and epic deserves the same kind of treatment. That was the main goal, and I hope people are reminded more than ever before, WHY we celebrate this time of year – to honor the greatest gift in history – “The Birth of a King.”
by Tommee Profitt