Sarah McGuinness Has the Xmas Factor

Multi-talented Derry artist releases sentimental holiday single and video packed with familiar faces ahead of a busy New Year

Derry-born singer Sarah McGuinness is celebrating the holiday season this year with hitmakers of Christmas past, in the 'star'-studded video for her new song.

Released on December 4, 'Christmas Every Day' features partygoers in the guise of artists famed for festive classics, from Slade, Wizzard and Mariah Carey to Wham, John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Make no mistake however, this number is no novelty. After a year marked by global despair and hardships closer to home, McGuinness – who has performed on stages around the world from Reading Festival to the Sydney Opera House - aims for the track and its accompanying clip to provide some positive reprieve by reminding us of better days.

'This year has been a really hard one for a lot of people and 'Christmas Every Day' is a bittersweet song about the mixed feelings we often have at this time of year,' she says. 'Ultimately though, it’s a song of hope, of sharing good times together and having a real spirit of optimism as we move into 2017.'

In addition to the festive recording, the McGuinness original 'Mama Can You See Me Now?' can currently be heard soundtracking a powerful new anti-speeding advert from the Department of Infrastructure, which launched the same weekend as her single.

Entitled ‘Classroom’, the campaign is a reworking of the 2014 film of the same name, which made memorable use Guns ‘n’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child of Mine’. Whereas the previous version of the ad was taken from the parent’s perspective, this new version is seen from the child’s point of view, and McGuinness' song is performed by a child.

'‘Mama Can You See Me Now?’ was originally written for the soundtrack of my Emmy- nominated film Believe - the Eddie Izzard Story and I have performed it at the Hollywood Bowl and Sydney Opera House,' she explains. 'I think it seems particularly poignant sung in a child’s voice and I am delighted that the song is being used to help communicate such an important message, especially during the pre-Christmas period.'

Meanwhile, McGuinness is also preparing for the release of her new full-length album Too Many Fires. Due out in February, the production is currently being handled in Los Angeles by ex Psychedelic Furs member Ed Buller, whose credits include work with Britpop godfathers Pulp and Suede, and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer.

Too Many Fires is an evocative mix of film soundtrack-style torch songs, a selection of the best of my years of writing,’ the singer says. ‘It’s the story of my life in reflection, through heartbreak, frustration and despair through to maturity. I’ve spent years writing for other people and projects but this one is all my favourite and most heartfelt work in one collection.’

Earlier this year McGuinness curated and hosted the inaugural Jewel Box Festival, which featured two days of music, literature, comedy, visual arts and more at her home in Moville. The singer said her vision for it is to channel the same spirit of events as great as Glastonbury.

'Christmas Every Day' is available to download now via iTunes. Stay up to date with Sarah at www.sarahmcguinness.com and Jewel Box Festival at www.jewelboxfest.com.