Danny Gokey is a hugely popular country-Christian singer/songwriter who rose to fame through American Idol back in 2009. Since his time on the show, he has released several hit albums and picked up many award wins and nominations.
Back in October of this year, he released his gorgeous holiday album ‘The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Collection. Here we speak exclusively to Danny Gokey about the record:
What made you want to release a Christmas album this year?
I know it’s cliche to say this, but it really is a special time of the year. To me, it seems this is the only holiday where almost everyone takes off of work, and everyone slows down to enjoy the season. It seems like this world keeps turning and turning and never stops for anything. Many believe money has become the ultimate goal, but Christmas teaches us differently that it’s not about what you are getting, it’s about what you are giving. I think there’s a beauty in the holiday that is putting others first and treating each other right, and I felt like this year was the perfect time to release the album.
What does Christmas mean to you?
The kindness of the holiday and the story of Christ, and that the holiday is all about giving. Christmas means catching up with family as well. A lot of times, it’s hard for families to find time to spend time together, but I love the intentional time together and taking time off to get closer. Getting rid of diets over the holidays is fun, too.
Do you have a favourite track off the album?
Oh man, I can’t pick just one. Of the original music, “The Prayer” with Natalie Grant and “Until You” are both very special songs to me. As far as the classics go, “Angels We Have Heard On High” would be my favorite Christmas classic.
How did you choose the songs for the tracklist?
You know, there are so many Christmas songs out there. For the album, I just went straight to my favorites to help narrow it down. I just love Christmas music, so choosing some of my favorites growing up and mixing in originals was really great.
What are you hoping fans take away from this project?
I truly hope that they can pause and it helps them to remember. There’s something so important about remembering; remember what the meaning of Christmas is, remember what’s important in life and what’s not important. We have to be intentional; that is what I want listeners to feel through this album, to remember the true meaning of Christmas, the spirit of Christmas and what’s important. And, I hope they really like the melody of the songs!
What was the recording process like for the record?
Being on the road traveling, touring, and having a brand new baby at home while making the Christmas album was pretty intense. Putting that amount of stress on my vocal cords was strenuous at times, but we made it happen. I thank God for a great life.
Do you have a favourite Christmas tradition with your family?
We’re actually making Christmas traditions now that I have a brand new family. My oldest son is six, and my youngest son is three months old, so we’re starting traditions as they grow older each year. We typically do Christmas at home with my wife in Nashville, and we go home for Thanksgiving to my hometown, Milwaukee. It’s always nice to have a little break with family before heading back on the road to tour around Christmas.
How do you feel your faith ties into your holiday celebrations?
It’s huge, my faith is very important to me. We try to go to church on Christmas Eve every year because I want the importance of Christ in Christmas to be established deep within my children. For us, that’s the true meaning of Christmas. It’s about what God did for us. He set the precedent, the precedent of giving. That He gave His only child. So, the importance of what the gift of God did for us through Jesus. That’s the most important thing.
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