Monday , July 22 2024

Music Interview: Amoraa on ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’

As we’re in the midst of the holiday season, I called singer Amoraa to learn more about her new track, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” It came out this month from Trejo’s Music, actor Danny Trejo’s (Machete, Spy Kids) label. Amoraa spoke with me about how the track came together and how she stays busy giving back to communities in Southern California.

Let’s say you’re heading out to karaoke with your friends. What would be your go-to holiday song?

“Jingle Bell Rock.” 

On Helping Out in the Community

You said during our first interview that Danny likes to work with people who give back to the community. What have you been doing this holiday season? 

We just did a show in Pomona. There was a toy drive. We were able to donate some toys to the kids. We’ll do a fundraiser [soon] for the homeless. We’ll perform, then hand out food and blankets. 

Last year, I donated blankets with my friend to the homeless. We might go again on our own this year. 

Who has inspired you about the holiday season and charity? 

Definitely family. My mom, Eloisa, is very much about giving back. She donates every year to kids in Belize because she’s from there. I think right now she’s putting together another barrel [of things] to give them. 

I learned it from her at a young age. She’s always trying to help somebody, friends, or family. I’ve looked up to her throughout the years. 

More recently, there’s also Danny like I’ve said before. I’m around him so much and I see how much he’s done for the community. He goes to prison centers to speak. I’ve seen so many different forms of giving back. Being surrounded by that inspires me!

On the Creative Process with Recording

You sang on Tarah New’s track, “Santa Baby.” What did you take from that experience to your own holiday track this year? 

We recorded “Santa Baby” two years ago and we put it out a year ago. That was a lot of fun. Tarah and Carlos came up with the lyrics, changing it a little to add tamales and going cruising. It was cool to incorporate that into what we know as “Santa Baby.”

Christmas is my favorite time of year! I love being surrounded by friends, family, and cousins, and giving back. This time, I wanted to do a song that represented all that. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is a great representation of what I love about Christmas. I also wanted to do something a little slower and that I could perform to my family and friends. 

What was it like being in the studio recently?

It was very last-minute. I was supposed to do a different Christmas song, a Spanish one. I told Carlos Guillén, our producer, that I want to try this other track. It was “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” He put on a karaoke version and said, “Just go for it.” 

I sang it. I remember Danny, Mario Castillo, and the whole team being there. They were like, “Oh my gosh! Do that one.”

It was really fun. I felt very passionate about it. Even now, I really like it when I listen to it. It’s very loungey, slow, and a little jazzy. We probably did three takes at most. It was fast. 

Photo of Amoraa for her holiday track of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

On Performing and Other Music

What’s different about performing holiday music than when you’re on stage?

It is different than the stage. We perform mostly on cars for Christmas parades. It’s fun being in a cool car and waving at people as you’re singing and smiling. Everybody is having a good time. You see a lot of little kids. People are going crazy seeing Danny on a lowrider. It’s very festive. 

If you record a Christmas album in the future, who do you want to sing with?

It would have to be the queen: Mariah Carey! If I’m picking another person, then Michael Bublé. I was obsessed with him during high school. I listened to his Christmas album on repeat. People would get tired of riding in the car with me! Those are my top two. 

What else is in store for you, Amoraa? Can you tell us?

Stay tuned for upcoming music. Cota the Barber and I have an original track together! We are so excited to share it. It has a Silk Sonic vibe to it, which is a lot different from what we’ve put out before. It’s very dancy!

About Pat Cuadros

Pat Cuadros is Pop Culture Editor for Blogcritics Magazine. She frequently covers TV, film and theater. Her portfolio includes interviews with Ndaba Mandela and actors Juliette Binoche, Fran Drescher, Derek Jacobi and Brent Spiner. She's also spoken with notable voice actors Petrea Burchard, Garry Chalk, Peter Cullen and Brian Drummond.

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