With Christmas just a few short weeks away, dynamic pop duo KTJ & Carly have followed in the footsteps of several fellow artists and shared a Christmas song with their fans and with the world. “Gift Me to You”, with stunning harmonies and soaring vocals, bring a brightness and a positivity – a reminder of the joys of Christmas in all its forms – to an occasion and a time that for many will be very different this year as the pandemic keeps many families and friends apart over the holiday period. PopWrapped caught up with the girls to find out more about the single, what their festive plans are, and they answer the age old question as to whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie..
Why and how did you come to decide that this year was the right time to release your debut Christmas single “Gift Me to You”?
Carly: Well, we had planned to write it for sync placement and started writing it last year. We changed it a lot and switched things around, but felt the most inspired to release at this point in time because we wanted to share our empathy with the world; to let them know they aren’t alone. This Christmas will be a hard one since a lot of us can’t be with family. Music has always been there for me; I’m hoping our song can be there for someone else.
How did you find writing and recording the song, and what do you want fans and listeners to take from the track when they hear it?
C: I found the Christmas bell sample and started off with this chord progression in Dm… it was a weird mood when we wrote it, so I remember it being kinda sad. I remember when we finished it in August we were sitting in the grass outside in our backyard, it was blazing hot outside and we were just laughing because of the irony of the situation. It was summer in Texas, 90 + degrees, and just not Christmas. Anywho, we were very inspired by our own circumstances when writing this. Since we can’t spend Christmas with some of the family that we usually do spend it with, we figured that this may give comfort to those going through the same thing. we want them to take away that, “I am not alone in this. I’m understood… I’m heard.” not being able to be with your loved ones on the holiday is hard and there isn’t much anyone can say to make them feel better. we just want the listener to know that they aren’t alone in this. no matter what.
KTJ: I want them to hold their loved one and feel more thankful to have them. We live in hard times and if this song can bring even the slightest smile to anyone between Scrooge and Santa, we did alright.
If you could cover one Christmas song, by any artist living or dead, which would it be and why?
KTJ: That’s a really tough question, there’s so many. I love “River” by Joni Mitchell so, so much. I’d say it’s that one because the lyrics are just so beautiful and it’s still pretty contemporary. “I’m so hard to handle I’m selfish and I’m sad, Now I’ve gone and lost the best baby that I ever had.” It is beautiful poetry combined with a beautiful Christmas melody. I love singing this song. I truly can’t say and have it be the same answer tomorrow. I’m always changing my favorite song. Right now I would say “Last Christmas.”
What are your favourite memories of and about Christmas and how are your plans for this year being affected by the ongoing pandemic?
C: We usually have a bunch of my mom’s side of the family here on Christmas Eve, and celebrate my uncle’s birthday as well. Then, on Christmas day we spend it with just the immediate family. Then the day after or two days after, we drive to Vivian, Louisiana and spend Christmas at our mimi’s house and my dad’s side. we won’t be able to do that this year or have a gathering at our house. It is going to be hard, not being able to see them. I didn’t see them much last year because I was in California so I always looked forward to Christmas. This will be the first year where I haven’t celebrated Christmas with them. We will face time of course, but I just wish I could give them a hug! I’m grateful I get to be with my immediate family though, and so happy we are all healthy and safe, which is all i could ever ask for.
KTJ: My favorite memories of Christmas was playing the Christmas game with my sisters when we were little. We would pretend to be elf’s all day and “get ready for Christmas.” Now that we’re older, I still would say playing games, laughing with my family and friends, and being surrounded by the Christmas spirit is what makes the holiday so special. The pandemic prevents us from seeing a lot of our friends and distant family, but I’m so thankful I can still communicate with them.
There are scores of Christmas movies around that we all love to settle back with, particularly after Christmas dinner. Are there any particular films you’re perhaps planning to enjoy viewing over the holidays?
C: Oh yes… we have already watched the Home Alone marathon, all the horrible Hallmark movies, Nightmare Before Christmas, Borrowed Hearts, Ghost Of Girlfriends’ Past, the Santa Claus movies, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, All I Want For Christmas, a million more. – Carly
KTJ: Everything Carly said, Home Alone, Gremlins, A Family Stone, Elf, Christmas Chronicles, and A Christmas Story on Christmas Day.
Answer this debate: is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
C: I think YES!! I love Die Hard. so here are my points: it literally takes place during a Christmas party; Christmas music is in it throughout, they buy each other gifts, it snows several times, Santa Claus is there in one scene I think… it’s definitely got the spirit of Christmas in there; the friendship and romance aspect.
KTJ: The Die Hard movies are absolutely incredible and immaculate. Action movies like this make me so happy, therefore I say yes, because that’s how Christmas spirit feels.
Finally then, Christmas is a time of reflection and thankfulness, so given the crap year everyone’s had, what are you most thankful for and most looking forward to in 2021?
C: I am looking forward to seeing the negativity and stigma from this year not present as we enter into 2021. I’ve never really been a big believer in new year’s resolutions because I found that new years’ is just a day. if we want to change or start over, it doesn’t have to be on this particular day; it could be now. I feel like everyone is feeling like 2021 is going to be better, and that is a lot more optimistic than we have been. I’m looking forward to seeing that change in society where we all get out of the slump and look on the bright side even if it’s for a moment and 2021 ends up being worse… I’m excited to just see joy across the board for a moment if that makes sense. something for people to hold onto. I’m looking forward to stepping into a new year and leaving the negativity behind that 2020 brought.
KTJ: I’m so thankful for being alive right now. No matter how difficult it gets along the journey, our friends and family make the hardships of life worth it. I can’t wait to make cookies, drink, laugh, be merry, and much more with them. 2021 is a year full of hope and opportunities in my eyes, and even if we are still shut down basically, it will still be hopeful and full of new opportunities.