By Marshelle R. Sanders
CeCe Winans’ new Christmas album has hit the world with an uplifting sound that draws us back to the real meaning of Christmas. “Something’s Happening!” combines Winans’ incredible lead vocals, melodic background singers and a full orchestra to create a powerful expression of holiday cheer. The recording offers excellent music that is a perfect backdrop for holiday gatherings, decorating the tree, cooking up delicious holiday treats and opening presents.
The title song, “Something’s Happening,” is one of five songs written by Winans’ son, Grammy Award winner Alvin Love III, emphasizing that something beautiful happened and continues because Christ was born. Winans’ heavenly vocals effortlessly pull listeners into the Christmas spirit.
“This World Will Never Be The Same” praises the divine event that changed the world and the lives of everyone who would believe in Him. Winans’ powerful vocals accompanied by ethereal background singers invites listeners into an imaginative musical experience.
When asked what she would like the message of this project to be, Winans told the Defender:
“I desire that when the world hears this project that they are reminded of the true reason and spirit of Christmas. When Jesus was born, something AMAZING happened that changed the world forever. In the midst of all the celebration, we must not forget to remember and offer others the best gift of all…JESUS!”
On the lively “Giving Season,” she sings about the joy in thinking of others and the valued treasure that exists in even a simple smile or hug. This airy song with delightful orchestration takes on the feel of a holiday musical and can easily lift your spirit.
Winans had something happen to her this year that was astounding–witnessing her son win two Grammys for engineering her last project “Let Them Fall in Love.”
“This year my son and I received 2 Grammys for my last project, and that was just spectacular to see my son on the stage for producing and writing,” she reminisced. “The first album we worked together on I probably gave him a hard time. It was the first time he was doing a whole record and producing a CD so when he won the Grammys, I said ‘OK, well I guess I have to trust you this time’ (laughs). But we had fun; we both wanted it to be something that’s really magical and that captures the spirit of Christmas with the sound.”
As a mom, Winans was overwhelmed by her son’s accomplishments. Winans stated that winning the awards was encouraging to her son, but he’s always been extremely talented.
“When you get acknowledged by your peers like that, I love to see that, not just for my children; when I see the younger generation being confirmed, affirmed and acknowledged for the gifts and the talent that they have, I love it.”
During this holiday people take a nice vacation somewhere warm, have huge parties or try to do something drastic, but not this year for Winans and her family; they are staying warm and keeping it simple.
When asked how she was going to spend her holiday this year she stated, “I’m doing nothing (laughs). My favorite thing to do at this point of my life is nothing. We are going to be home [in Nashville] this year. I thought I was going to be in front of the ocean doing nothing, but no we will be home in the cold. Just being at home with my husband, my children, and I have a son-in-law this year, so I’m excited about that.”
The Winans family will start their Christmas day by having breakfast with prayer in the morning, talking about the real meaning of Christmas, reading scriptures, telling one another why they appreciate each other, and then for the rest of the day, everybody’s doing their own thing and chilling out.
The holidays are a time of joy for most people. However, the holiday time can also bring unhappiness to some as well, but Winans has some sound advice for anyone who is not in the holiday spirit at this time.
“Be encouraged. Don’t give up…. I know there are many people who are still sad but you know I want them to know that God is with them and things might not feel right, but just know that you’re not alone and if you just keep walking and applying God’s principles to your life, things will get better; so my thing is to hold on, hold up your head, don’t give up because things are going to get better, and we’re praying for them.”
Before her latest Christmas album, Winans released a slew of albums that has crossed genres and boundaries and influenced a generation of gospel and secular vocalists. Her mantel today holds a staggering 12 GRAMMY Awards, 23 Dove Awards, and 7 Stellar Awards. She’s been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Nashville Music City Walk of Fame, in addition to being named a Trailblazer of Soul by BMI and garnering multiple NAACP Image Awards, Soul Train Awards, Essence Awards, and more.
And “Something’s Happening!” follows in line with Winans’ stellar brand. “Something’s Happening!” is sure to put listeners in a reflective yet festive mood all while helping you remember the true meaning of the holiday season.
To keep up with CeCe Winans and listen to “Something’s Happening!” go to http://www.cecewinans.com/
This article originally appeared in the Chicago Defender.