Written by Joan Javits, Phil Springer, and Tony Springer, the song “Santa Baby” was first recorded and released by Eartha Kitt with Henri René and His Orchestra in 1953. Since then it has been performed by a selection of distinct female artists through the years, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Faith Evans, LeAnn Rimes, Ashanti, Kylie Minogue, the Pussycat Dolls and Paloma Faith, among others. This year we have another classy and tasteful version performed by French American singer, Aneessa. Well, to be honest, she has actually released two versions – one in English, and the other in French.
Aneessa’s voice is airy and gentle, without being too sweet and delicate, or too smoky and suggestive. “Santa Baby” is a tongue-in-cheek Christmas song, so in order to pull it off without coming across as improper, Aneessa dials up the sensuality without sounding raunchy. She is inspired, honest and clearly unencumbered by pressures of following in the footsteps of her peers in “Santa Baby”.
The singer lists off the extravagant presents she wants, ranging from a sable to a convertible to a yacht. And she doesn’t just ask for these things, she demands them. After all, she adds with a smirk, that’s really not a lot—at least not for someone of her caliber. Aneessa’s voice projects a woman of class, which works perfectly for this song.
Aneessa’s cover version is set at a playful mid-tempo. It’s sweet and not overdone. Even though the instrumental is lushly layered, and embellished with harmonies, it never distracts from the songstress’ magical voice. In serenading Santa, Aneessa’s voice defines a narrator who seems to understand that her vocal cords can be very effective persuasion tools.
In this Christmas song, Aneessa’s voice is appropriately in the forefront, but what really stands out, however, is the believability factor of her performance. This is not simply treated as just another cover of a holiday classic. It has a very authentic feel, and is a treasure trove of consistently superb harmonies, colorful textures and a groovy rhythmic bounce.
There’s no doubting the quality and consistency of this record, nor the conviction with which it’s performed. “Santa Baby” is a finely sculpted cover version that effortlessly fuses a youthful modern sound with enough relatable, grown up sentiments to elevate it above the usual sonically overcooked, cover-by-numbers song versions we are forced to listen to each and every year.
MORE ABOUT ANEESSA: Aneessa was born in Saint-Étienne in eastern central France. Initially, she made an indelible impression on the dance scene under the stage names Anya Rose and Lady Aneessa. Inspired by international pop icon Madonna, Aneessa applied the singing and dancing skills she picked during her schooling years, and even went on to win a major French dance competition (Championnat U.N.S.S De Danse Contemporaine).
Aneessa moved to Paris, France where she studied literature and languages at University La Sorbonne. It was here that she began singing Jazz, Soul and Pop covers, before moving to Manchester England for a couple of years. She returned to France and started a variety of career moves – from starting her own record label, recording studio and a graphic design company. Along the way she met influential collaborators, and branched out into a number of projects on a global scale.
Aneessa eventually met up with Motown producer Michael B. Sutton (Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross), for business propositions for a media company she was working for. This business relationship blossomed into love commitment, and eventually the two began writing and producing new material together.
*Note: The single releases officially on the 4th of December. You can pre-order the single from 27 November by following the link here: https://backl.ink/143360564