IU Jacobs School of Music junior Kieran Brown released Christmas music Nov. 26, featuring songs such as “The Christmas Waltz,” “I'll be Home for Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland.”
When Brown is not jamming out to Frank Sinatra and Mel Tormé classics, she focuses on her budding career as a jazz vocalist.
What once started out as a passion project and a Christmas gift for her grandparents transformed into a commercially released extended play.
“This actually just started as something that I thought ‘Okay, it would be fun to maybe get some friends together and like to record a few Christmas songs in the jazz style for my grandparents',” Brown said. “Then I thought ‘Well you know if I am going to go and do that I might as well get some arrangements together and make it a little more professional'.”
In the process, Brown assumed the roles of vocalist, arranger, producer and bandleader for her EP, called “Christmas with Kieran Brown and Friends.” Brown said her goal was to bring some holiday joy to people who may be facing tough times during the holiday season.
“The whole thing was such a quick turn around," Brown said. "I basically did the whole thing within two weeks."
Her favorite song on the EP is “I'll be Home for Christmas,” a Christmas classic that has been previously sung by jazz legends Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé.
“My pianist Abhik Mazumder, who plays piano on the record is phenomenal, and he just made it really sound good,” Brown said. “Even when I ask people what their favorite song from the EP was they always say it's ‘I'll be Home for Christmas’.”
Abhik Mazumder, a sophomore at the Jacobs School of Music studying classical and jazz piano, was the accompanying pianist for the EP. This is the first time he has played for an album that has been commercially released on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. Mazumder has worked with Brown before and said she is wonderful to work with.
“She’s fantastic," Mazumder said. "We did a gig together last year where we just played some duets, and we’ve been friends ever since then. She did a great job with writing all of the arrangements for the songs. She was super on top of things, super friendly. She’s a wonderful person.”
“I’ll be Home for Christmas'' is a favorite for Mazumder as well. This song features a piano solo by Mazumder and a duet section with Brown and Mazumder.
“It’s a slow pretty ballad — that’s an aesthetic that both of us have always talked about loving and it’s really cool to see that realized in a recording,” Mazumder said.
Brown said she will be coming out with a music video for “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” a band-favorite. The video will have a vintage aesthetic and is being recorded with an old Super 8 camera from the 1960s.
“Christmas with Kieran Brown and Friends” is currently streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and Youtube.