Gwen Stefani‘s first-ever holiday album, You Make It Feel Like Christmas, is out now, and she says the project is something she’s been wanting to do for years.
Speaking to Billboard, Gwen says after she wrote her intensely personal 2016 album This Is What the Truth Feels Like, she felt that she’d reconnected with the “spiritual” act of songwriting and decided to try to go ahead and write a Christmas album.
“It was really a whim. The way it works is you have to get it done really early, and I had no idea that I would be able to write so quickly, because I’m such a slow writer,” she explains. “It just came right out. I did six songs in three sessions.”
Gwen says the new album is “one of my favorite projects” because, she says, “It doesn’t have pressure on it. Whoever wants to listen will listen. It’s not like I’m trying to say, ‘Get this on the radio!’ It’s just fun, and Christmas is a special time. Being part of music, you can have such an impact on people.”
In addition to her original songs, Gwen’s album features a handful of Christmas classics. She says the one that was most fun to record was Wham!’s “Last Christmas.”
“[It’s] a masterpiece as far as the music goes…To me, that’s the most, of all the covers, that was really flipped. But yet, it still has the spirit of the original,” she says. “Lyrically, that song speaks to me and things I’ve been through.”