It's always great catching up with entertainers/recording artists Will & Anthony Nunziata, not only because they are so talented, but because they are my friends and I love seeing my friends climb the ladder of success! On November 16, they are releasing their holiday EP The Gift Is You and on December 16 & 17 they will be making their Carnegie Hall debut alongside The New York Pops + Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway!
Kick off the holiday season with Will & Anthony at Barnes & Noble (86th Street & Lexington Ave) on November 16 at 7pm for their EP release celebration with a performance and signing! Click here to order The Gift Is You!
1. You are about to release first holiday EP, The Gift Is You, featuring three original songs and two classic holiday tunes. What made this holiday season the right time to put out your first holiday EP?
Anthony: I love Christmas! The thought of writing original Holiday music and record these songs during the sweltering summer months felt like the perfect time. My hope is the original songs capture the universal sentiments of love and family tradition.
Will: The holiday season has always been about spending time with family for me - immediate family and family of friends. That sentiment combined with our Carnegie Hall debut coming up in December made this the perfect time to release the EP.
Anthony: There are three original songs I co-wrote on that I'm really proud of and I think they offer a fresh look at what the season is all about. My hope is that the new songs become a new addition to your Holiday playlist.
Will: Our EP has an intimate sound and familial feel and hope that people will enjoy listening to the songs to get into the Holiday spirit!
3. This is also the debut of your songwriting skills. What was that process like for you? What do you like about songwriting? What are some of its challenges?
Will: The process was fantastic and thrilling. I had a blast collaborating with Anthony and composer Jeff Franzel on creating the melody and lyrics for a song that is deeply personal for me, for us, and, hopefully, for everyone else in some way.
Anthony: Songwriting is soul-writing. Writing "The Gift Is You" with Jeff Franzel and brother Will was an emotional and gratifying experience, as the song was specifically written with my mother in mind. The idea of someone being a "gift" to you is a sentiment that I hope rings true in a universal way for listeners. I co-wrote "Mama's Little Angels" with Maria Christensen, and the song was inspired by my mother who every Christmas Eve, puts atop the fireplace mantle the family angel collection that has been passed down from generations past. Maria famously wrote "Waiting for Tonight" which was covered by Jennifer Lopez, and her songwriting style is free-flowing and so organic. I've learned from Maria to "just go for it" and not second guess your instincts. We wrote this song in her New York City apartment with Maria at guitar, and that's how the song was born. The third song I co-wrote was "Love Is What We Celebrate" with Jeff and Maria. It was a few days after the shooting at the Orlando nightclub and we all were thinking that "Love" is the real meaning of the Holidays. When we were writing this song, we actually wrote two songs, that then morphed into one. You never know what's going to happen when it comes to creating something -- you just have to go for it and trust your instincts.
4. You are celebrating The Gift Is You with an in-store performance & signing at Barnes & Noble on November 16. Barnes & Noble is also where you launched your debut CD a few years ago. What do you like about launching your CDs at Barnes & Noble?
Will: There's an old-school feeling in doing a Barnes & Noble Event - to be able to sing a few tunes, then sign and sell CDs, and greet friends, family, and fans is really fantastic.
5. Since you are brothers and this EP is all about the holidays, what is your favorite part about performing together and how does performing during the holiday season take on new meaning for you as opposed to other times of the year?
Will: The holidays are a time to celebrate life and loved ones...
Anthony: I'm excited that we both will be able to celebrate both of these sentiments for audiences with our upcoming concerts this Holiday season.
Will: I love the tradition. NYC has so many amazing "Holiday hotspots" that have been around for generations that I love to go to - the Radio City Rockettes, a Broadway show, ice skating at Rockefeller Center and Central Park - the list goes on and on!
7. Another classic Christmas song you sing is "O Holy Night." What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions you like holding onto from your childhood?
Anthony: Putting up the family Christmas tree and Christmas ornaments with the entire family on Thanksgiving-Eve is a tradition that I love. Mom and Dad reminisce about early Christmas's with the family. This time of year reminds me how lucky I am to have such a loving and close knit family.
8. One of the original songs you wrote is "Mama's Little Angels." Who are some of "Mama's Little Angels" watching over you? Of your family members that have passed, what do you miss the most about them during this time of year?
Anthony: All of my grandparents are my "angels" that watch over me and I feel them with me and their love and words of support and encouragement are driving forces.
9. The next original song you wrote for this album, is the title song, "The Gift Is You." Some of the lyrics you sing are "Even in the darkness, your voice, shines through." What has been your darkest Christmas and through that darkness, whose voice shined through to get you back into the light?
Will: The darkest Christmas' has been the ones without grandparents who had recently passed. Celebrating the memory of them was and still remains what gets me through the times of missing them greatly.
Anthony: I pray for people who may not have a home or family to go to during the Holidays and that during this time of year we all find ways to bring light to people who need it most.
10. Another original song you wrote was "Love Is What We Celebrate." What are you celebrating this holiday season? What are you most grateful for this year?
Will: I am celebrating my health, my happiness, my friends, my family, and my great fortune to get to do what I love to do most - to try and entertain and inspire as many people as possible through the power of music and art.
Anthony: I'm celebrating the recent marriage of my sister and her husband, the good health of my parents and family, and I am grateful for doing exactly what I love to do.
Entertainers, recording artists, funny-men and advocates of arts in education, Will & Anthony Nunziata are the Brooklyn-born, classically trained singing and comedy brother duo hailed by The Huffington Post as "a nearly impossible pairing of talent, stage presence and charisma."
Will & Anthony will be headlining Carnegie Hall on December 16 & 17, 2016 with the New York Pops and Broadway stars Liz & Ann Hampton Callaway.
The brothers have brought their distinct take on classic and contemporary songs to performing arts centers and theaters, as well as symphony concerts with orchestras such as the Detroit Symphony, Cleveland Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Lancaster Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, Cape Cod Symphony, Toledo Symphony, and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.
Featured on Good Morning America and The Rachael Ray Show, Will & Anthony are extremely proud to have created their Arts in Education Outreach Program "Arts Matter!" in which they visit schools and conduct master classes with students, providing education and inspiration in supporting the arts as a significant component of young peoples’ lives.
Separately, Will is an acclaimed stage director and is the concert director for many of Broadway’s Leading Ladies, including Tony Award Winner Lillias White. Anthony is an emerging songwriter whose songs are featured on the brothers’ Christmas EP - The Gift Is You – which is available on their website.
Get social with Will & Anthony on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @willandanthony.