Written by Ashley Paskill
Even though singer Danielle Hollobaugh has been releasing her own Christmas albums every year since 2016, this year’s process has been unique. Her album, Peace On Earth, was released on November 27th of this year and has already received praise.
Hollobaugh has been performing from a young age. Her parents signed her up for a theatre camp when she was 6 years old and her life has not been the same. She began working on honing her craft and when she started competing, she won the Talent Quest karaoke competition in the Women’s Country category and Florida’s Southeastern Idol competition. She was also recognized as the Best Songwriter and the overall winner at the Florida Ignition showcase.
This year’s Christmas album includes both original tracks and covers of Christmas classics. However, on all of the songs, her unique style oozes through. This album has a more electronic feel to it, complete with upbeat songs and more reverent tracks. The upbeat songs allow listeners to truly celebrate the meaning of Christmas, even during this tough year.
Despite the current pandemic, Hollobaugh was able to release her annual Christmas album, but it was not without a few changes to the process. This year, she did more than half of her own production on the the title track of the album. Last year, she was able to do a duet with a friend of hers in Singapore.
“I also got to record the lead track in person because there was no pandemic; this year I did everything remotely,” said Hollobaugh.
In terms of her writing process, she creates her covers of songs the December of the previous year. Her covers tend to have a sense of electronic music coming through, even on songs such as “O Holy Night” that are more reverent.
“I’ve always been somewhat of a composer, and I really immerse myself in Christmas music during the season and over time different ideas come up as I’m singing them in my head over and over,” she said.
For her original songs, she sometimes gets a phrase stuck in her head that she wants to turn into a song, which was the case for “Peace On Earth.”
“For this year’s, ‘Peace On Earth, good will to everyone’ just stuck with me, and I thought it would be cool to add a fun beat to it, because the Christmas miracle was something to celebrate and dance about,” Hollobaugh said.
In other cases, in songs like “I Made A Wish,” she will collaborate with friends. On this track, her friend Rachel Starr wrote the lyrics and gave them to Hollobaugh to write a song to. Hollobaugh’s friend Steve Vito even did the production for the track.
“I loved the romantic message so I had a lot of fun with it,” said Hollobaugh.
Even though this year has come with challenges, Hollobaugh used this year to help her grow as a musician and as a producer. As mentioned before, she was able to produce over half of the song, “Peace On Earth,” since she was able to learn about production. Along the same lines, she learned how to vocal produce her own stuff, which has allowed her to expand her horizons. This year, her music was also featured in a movie trailer.
Though Hollobaugh has been blind at birth, she obviously has not let it stop her from accomplishing her dreams, and she hopes her music will continue to inspire others to do the same.
Like many, Hollobaugh is looking forward to what is coming up in 2021. She is looking forward to releasing more music next year. She also hopes to travel more once things open up again.
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