It’s that time of year again, the Chritmas single is as much a tradition as a turkey roast now and we’ve got two very different ones here for you today.
One from ex boxer/rugby player Shinny who has teamed up with his celebrity friends for a charity single
and another from Diane O with a much more classic sound.
Nothing Quite Like Christmas
15 December 2017
Born and raised by a working class family in the heart of the East End of London, from the age of three Diane aspired to become a singer. She loved to watch classic musical films and from being a little girl, she would sing and perform for anyone that wanted to listen to her.
Diane joined a choir at her local church and continued to write inspirational songs, it was then that she was approached to write and perform Christian and inspirational songs. She tried to work with producers and up-and-coming musicians but most of them did not understand her voice or style and tried to mould her or convince her to sing in a more popular style.
At a media conference in the Netherlands, she met Vegard Schow, a Norwegian composer and pianist and was instantly inspired. After the conference, one of the attendees, an American lady, Sullen Roberts, invited Vegard and Diane to America to perform Jazz-fusion songs to large prestigious audiences. Diane and Vegard soon managed to build up a fan base and a few months later they were perfoming to large crowds in Norway.
There is Nothing Quite Like Christmas, is Diane reminiscing the old and bringing the sound in line with the 21st century, enjoy.
Christmas Number 1
15 December 2017
James Davenport (AKA SHINNy) is a former professional boxer and rugby league player. He represented Leeds Rhinos and his hometown club Salford Reds. After rugby, James became a professional boxer and In his final fight, boxed at the MEN Arena on the undercard of the legendary Joe Calzaghe vs Jeff Lacy bout. After his retirement from professional sport, he dedicated more time to his band HANKyPARK who released three albums and supported Manchester legends New Order on four separate occasions. However, during this period he was struggling with drink and drug dependency.
James went into recovery at Smithfield Detox Clinic in Manchester, it was here that he decided to write a song inspired by the times he would struggle at Christmas. He started an online group and used it to promote the song and was surprised by the popularity of the group (over 110,000 members) and went on to complete a training course with Smithfield Detox Clinic to become a mentor.
Last year James released a solo Christmas single ‘Christmas Number 1’ under his nickname ‘SHINNy’. Christmas Number 1 was a huge campaign that was endorsed by countless celebrities including Vic Reeves, Jeremy Kyle and Will Mellor. SHINNy performed the single at the MEN Arena as part of KEY 103’s festive show. He opened a bill that also featured Robbie Williams, Busted and The Vamps. Interestingly, he is the only person to appear at the venue as both a musician and boxer.
The video for the Christmas Number 1 was produced by renowned film and TV director Chris Green. It was incredibly popular and featured Bez, Tina Malone, Jody Latham and stars from Hollyoaks. Despite receiving limited airplay, the single peaked at number 24 in the run up to Christmas and twenty percent of the proceeds were donated to MacMillan.
James now uses his online group to promote his music and to host a weekly show dedicated to recovery, anxiety and depression. Christmas Number 1 will be released again this year (if only half of the online group members download the single, it will out-sell last years effort). On each of the ninety days in the run up to Christmas a new celebrity will give their endorsement to the campaign. The promo was kicked off by England striker Jermaine Defoe and has also featured sport stars Adrian Morley and Gary Lineker.
On New Year’s Day James will release a new single to raise funds for Manchester’s homeless. It is a subject he is extremely passionate about, many members of his group sessions have had first-hand experience of homelessness. He will cover Heroes by David Bowie as part of a North West super-group. Joy Division legend Peter Hook is one of the musicians that have already confirmed to play on the single. Following on from the success of Christmas Number 1, Chris Green has again agreed to direct the video. The influential online group ‘ l Love Manchester’ are amongst several community organisations that are giving full sponsorship and support to the track.