Interview: Gil McKinney Talks New ‘Christmas’ Album Released Today & More!
Today, Gil McKinney’s second album, Christmas, has officially released! Gil’s first album, How Was I To Know, was released in 2017 featuring some covers such as Creep, Make You Feel My Love and Haven’t Met You Yet, as well as some original songs.
The new album, Christmas, was funded on Kickstarter raising over $22,000. The album is produced by Jason Manns, who also produced Gil’s debut album, and features Emily Swallow on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.
We got the chance to talk to Gil about his new album, as well as a few fun nerdy questions! Check out the interview below, and make sure to pick up a copy of Gil’s album here.
Gil: I have always loved Christmas Music and wanted to record some of my favorites. This just seemed like the perfect time to make it a reality.
Nerds and Beyond: What is your personal favorite song on the new album?
Gil: Surprisingly, my favorite song on the album has been “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”. It just came together beautifully from start to finish.
Gil: While they all presented their own unique challenges, I would say that “O Holy Night” was one that I placed significant importance in. I sang this song at my hometown church on Christmas Eve for about 15 years straight. So everyone who knows me from childhood is expecting this one to be impactful.
Gil: Family and food. Recalling old memories and creating new ones. And of course, the music.
Gil: “Ave Maria” has always been one of my favorite Christmas songs. Unfortunately, it just didn’t seem to fit on this album.
Gil: Aaron Beaumont, Jason Manns, and I discussed the overall concept of the album in detail, and then Aaron went to work arranging. Due to the time restraints, we decided to go with a less is more approach when it came to instrumentation and overall size of sound. Half of the songs are more straight forward and traditional in their arrangement, while the other half are very much out of the box. But it is really about the piano and the voice.
Gil: I chose “Merry Christmas Baby” to do with Jason because I love Elvis’s version and I wanted a more upbeat track. I thought Jason’s voice would sound great and he did not disappoint. As for Emily, I have always loved her voice and immediately thought of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. We did, however, change the lyrics to make it a bit more consensual in its tone. Both of these duets were filled out nicely with the addition of drums and bass.
Nerds and Beyond: Are you interested in writing any more original music in the future?
Gil: I am absolutely interested and intend on writing more original music in the near future. Writing has never come easily for me. Sitting down and taking a chance is the hardest part!
Nerds and Beyond: We also wanted to throw in some fun nerdy questions. So, what is your favorite superhero?
Gil: Classic Cars.
Gil: “Angels Flying Too Close To The Ground” – Willie Nelson.