Patricia Vonne spreads holiday cheer with new Christmas album, ‘My Favorite Holiday’
AL DÍA spoke with musician Patricia Vonne to learn more about her first ever holiday record.
San Antonio, Texas native and artist Patricia Vonne is a musician, actress, and filmmaker.
Vonne released My Favorite Holiday, her first holiday album — and her eighth studio album overall — this past November, sparking early festivity.
The project was produced by Rick Del Castillo, and features an array of notable acts including Rubén Blades (who Vonne called her “hero”), David Grissom, Rosie Flores, and Alex Ruiz who appeared on the track “Nochebuena.”
My Favorite Holiday was released on Bandolera Records. To Vonne, an important aspect of the record is that the project is a bilingual holiday album.
“My original compositions are bilingual because I want to celebrate my Latin heritage — very important to me,” said Vonne.
An ode to her favorite time of the year — due both to Christmas and her birthday, which lands six days before the holiday — Vonne’s project features 10 original holiday songs and a cover of “Carol of the Bells.”
With the holiday quickly approaching, AL DÍA spoke with Vonne to learn more about her inaugural holiday album.
To Vonne, Christmas is a chance to spend time with friends and family. She comes from a large, loving family that includes her nine siblings.
As kids, Vonne and her sisters would sing “We Need a Little Christmas,” wielding oversized candy canes while performing for friends and family.
The tradition of singing with her sisters did not end in their childhood. On My Family Holiday, Vonne’s take on “Carol of the Bells” is performed alongside four of her sisters.
“Every year, my sisters and I, when we’re together, we sing [“Carol of the Bells”] together,” said Vonne. “Three part harmony, acapella, and we’re literally calling up our aunts and uncles on the phone and singing to them.”
The cover was recorded from four different cities across four different American states.
“It’s so great to have [the cover] on this album, because I really feel it really invites the listener into our home, and into my family,” said Vonne.
One additional aspect that made this cover of “Carol of the Bells” so special is that, last year, Vonne and her sisters could not convene in person due to the pandemic.
When it comes to the lessons family members taught Vonne, she credits the sentiments to the spirit of the record.
During health-related lockdowns, Vonne would perform on Facebook Live each week to raise funds for the San Antonio food bank. With the help of others, Vonne’s efforts raised $11,000.
Vonne’s experience raising money would end up influencing some of the concepts on My Favorite Holiday, as she sought to write from perspectives that weren't all “sunshines and roses,” explained Vonne.
“Alone on Christmas” from the record is about those who do not have a family to spend time with during the holidays. The song was based on the homeless epidemic in San Antonio.
“A lot of people just throw up their hands over homeless people,” said Vonne. “What are you gonna do, kick them off the streets and put them in jail? No.”
Community First! Village, a resident community for those coming out of chronic homelessness, assisted in Vonne’s fundraising efforts. The organization was one thing that inspired Vonne after her fundraising efforts.
Vonne’s efforts to raise money to fight homelessness directly influenced her latest project; both through the experience itself, the lessons it taught, and through her own choice to perform a song during a stream for those who supported her effort.
During one of her live streams, Vonne wrote “Santa’s On His Way,” the opening track for My Favorite Holiday. This is how the project’s inception came to be.
The song was written as a unique thanks for all who helped her raise money. Vonne found the experience so enjoyable that she took the track to her producer and recorded it in a studio.
Vonne and her producer sent the song to Scott Plunkett, who added piano to the track. Plunkett, thinking Vonne was working on a full album, asked the singer if they could collaborate on a track for the project.
“The piano player, Scott Plunkett, said, ‘Hey, I wanna write a song with you, for your album.’ I said, ‘Album? This is only supposed to be a single’... So we wrote a song together,” said Vonne.
From this point forward, the project only developed and grew in duration.
Growing from one single, to an EP, to a project sizable enough to be a full length album, Vonne and her team decided to aim for the latter.
The singer called the process a “divine inspiration.” Vonne began to record the project earlier in the year, preparing it for the 2021 holiday season.
“I immediately was in the Christmas spirit in March,” said Vonne.
Each song from My Favorite Holiday will be accompanied by a music video. Overall, Vonne hopes the album sparks a sense of appreciation in anyone who tunes in.
“Never forget the spirit of Christmas,” said Vonne. “It’s important in this dark time: that there’s still a glow. Faith, just have faith. Be close to your family… Family and friends, health [are] very important.”