Take Five with... Jully Black: My Holiday Mixtape

With her larger-than-life stage presence, timeless sound and incredible voice, Jully Black is a diva in the very best sense of the word. Whether she’s singing for the Queen or in-concert alongside Alicia Keys, the R&B songstress says she gets the same rush every time she’s on stage.

“It could be one person, or 20,000 people,” Jully tells Hello! Canada. “I get the same feeling in my soul. I love it.”

Fans in Toronto can see her next at the Nov. 12 unveiling of Yorkdale’s Swarovski Crystal Wonderland, which benefits the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), where the "Here 2 Love U" singer will bring back holiday classics. Get into the spirit of the season with Jully’s festive playlist.

It’s my favourite song to perform at Christmas. It gives me the same feeling every single time. I actually recorded it for a CBC compilation, so I have my own version that I get to practice to. I used to do a performance called The Glow Show. It’s a fundraiser where female singers would sing and then be each other’s background singers. We did one [where I performed “The Christmas Song”] at Hard Rock Cafe years ago. It was really special. After that it made me want to record a version of it.

It reminds me of being a kid in school, where everybody would sing together in the assembly. We’d be sitting together, with our legs crossed, singing, “Rudolph…” Even singing it as an adult, it’s very nostalgic. That’s why I still sing it. Some people prefer to just move on to the grown up Christmas songs, but that’s a special one to me.

I always love to hear the Donny Hathaway version of “This Christmas” at get-togethers at this time of year. I don’t host though, Mom does. I’ve got to be at the Queen Bee’s house (plus, the food’s better!)! Every year we play Xbox Kinect until we’re tired and sleep over. My mom who’s 78 does it too! We always say we’re going to wake up early the next morning to open gifts, but we don’t wake up until noon. It’s just a tradition of being together and playing video games. I love it.

It’s not a guilty pleasure, but it’s a [Mariah Carey] song that you can’t help but sing along to. Christmas is the one time when everyone’s guard is down and we’re free to be kids. Even at Halloween, not everybody participates, but during the holidays everybody is just free to dream – and sing!

Seeing this performed by Kelly Clarkson was especially moving. I have been to her show before and she’s a very passionate, very fun performer. She has a sense of humour and that big voice – you feel it. I got a chance to see her in Germany, actually. It was her first time doing a non-stadium show so it was very intimate. It was awesome.

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