*Howard Hewett has given new life to one of the standout songs on his 2008 holiday album “Howard Hewett Christmas.”
The former Shalamar singer has released a video for “That’s Christmas,” a George Duke produced track that had been quietly nestled in the album for years, until a friend and fan of the song, actress/author Shana Mangatal, felt that the lyrics held particular relevance in this insane 2020.
“I just felt that this song needed to be out there now, and we couldn’t wait until next Christmas,” said Mangatal, explaining the decision to film the video during a pandemic. “So I was like, ‘Howard, we need to do a video for this.’ I never thought. I would be the one putting it together, directing it and editing it with him.”
Armed with just an iPhone 11 Pro, no storyboards, and absolutely zero experience shooting a video, Mangatal – a former actress who once worked for Michael Jackson’s managers – delivered a video that perfectly captures the timelessness of the lyrics, and the spirit of the season.
“I always wanted to put the song out, but I always wanted it to be accompanied by a visual situation also,” Hewett said of the video, which took just one day in early December to shoot.
“[Mangatal] came out here to the house, we set up some scenes … and just started shooting stuff,” he added.
Mangatal said, “We shot this video in an hour. A lot of the scenes are with the view of a sunset, so we had to catch that sunset, you know how sunsets don’t last very long. The sunset wasn’t even part of the video. It was just going to be him at the piano. But then I looked outside and saw this incredible sunset and I said, “Let’s go outside right now and capture this, so that’s what we did.
“We ran out there. There was nothing to set up, it was just me and my camera.We didn’t really have lighting or anything, it was just me, him and the sunset. That’s it.”
EURWEB’s Lee Bailey chatted with both Hewett and Mangatal about this heartwarming holiday visual for the latest edition of our interview podcast, “For the Record.”
Watch the video for “That’s Christmas” above, and listen to the incredible story behind it below: