15-Year-Old Montco Girl Somehow Makes the Perfect Christmas Song for 2020
“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” said singer-songwriter WALLIS on Thursday night as her single “Lonely Christmas” breached 100,000 YouTube views.
When a friend of mine reached out to me on Thursday to tell me I just had to hear this new Christmas song by some 15-year-old girl who goes by the mononymous stage name WALLIS, I honestly wasn’t expecting much. After all, the Christmas song thing is a hard nut to crack. Even Paul McCartney screwed it up. But then I checked out the YouTube video for “Lonely Christmas” and WALLIS definitely cracked it.
As the title might suggest, this is not some joyful ode to all that is Christmas. “Lonely Christmas” (see the full video below) is very much the Christmas song that reflects what the holiday feels like in 2020. We can’t see our friends. We can’t see our family. This is unlike any other Christmas we’ve ever experienced. It’s, well, sad.
“People have definitely been saying it’s a sad song,” WALLIS told me from her Montco home on Thursday night as the YouTube views on “Lonely Christmas” surpassed 100,000. (Her first name is actually Wallis.) “But I want them to find hope in it as well. Yes, these are the hardest moments. But it’s not permanent. It’s going to be OK. As I sing in the song: It’s alright. We’re just stuck at a red light.”
“Lonely Christmas” was a family affair. WALLIS began co writing the song with her father, Gene Schriver, in October. Her sisters Soleil, 10, and Maren, 13, sing on it. Once they finished recording “Lonely Christmas” at Philadelphia’s MilkBoy Studios, Gene began playing it for people, and somebody told him, “You simply have to make a video.”
So Gene whipped out his iPhone 11XR and started shooting. Soleil and Maren appear in the video as well, as do the girls’ grandparents.
“We shot it all in one day,” says WALLIS. “It was crazy.”
Gene sent the footage to a friend in Los Angeles who is a professional movie editor and, voila, the video for “Lonely Christmas” was born.
Though the Internet can be a rather mean place, WALLIS insists that almost all of the comments she’s seen have been very kind. She’s even drawn comparisons to that monopolizer of the modern Christmas music industry, Mariah Carey.
“I love Mariah Carey,” WALLIS says. “I’ve sung her songs many times in cabarets.”
WALLIS, who attends the Center for Performing and Fine Arts in West Chester, has been performing music for as long as she can remember in local community theaters and other venues. She sings. She plays the piano, guitar and ukulele. And she was also once part of a production of Annie at the Walnut Street Theatre. But this whole YouTube world is a very different thing for her.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” she observes. “My friends are texting me all day long. I’m thankful.”
Below, the full video for the new WALLIS Christmas song “Lonely Christmas.”