Who is Running Lights?
Mike: Thanks for having us! My name is Mike. I'm the singer and guitarist for Running Lights. I’m joined by my brother Nick Squillante (keys) and longtime friend Stephen Ranellone (drums). We’re a 3-piece band based out of NY.
Can You Tell Us More About The Group
Steve: At the end of 2018, we signed a deal with IDAP Music, home to multi-platinum producer/songwriter William Larsen. He’s not only a great guy, but he’s produced some incredible songs; Nico and Vinz’s “Am I Wrong”, Kygo’s “Stay”, and Florida Georgia Line’s “H.O.L.Y.” to name a few. In May 2019, we dropped our first single “Speechless” with IDAP and sold out Gramercy Theatre in New York for the release show.
Mike: Since then we’ve been releasing singles and playing shows right up until COVID-19 happened. We’ve done a few livestream gigs and managed to build a substantial following on TikTok (66k+) but in all honesty, we can’t wait to get back out onstage.
Nick: With the holidays coming up we collaborated with an artist named Charisma and are excited to release “This Xmas” together on November 13th!
What Gives You The Christmas Feels?
Nick: Christmas is such a special time in our family. Mine and Mike’s mom would put on the most insane party for family and friends, sometimes 70+ people would be there. It’s easy to say December 24th is my favorite day of the year.
Mike: That being said, things will undoubtedly be a bit different this year. Friends and families will be separated; could be because of COVID-19, possibly even due to political differences. It’s a tough time and we have to remember the 200,000 plus families in the U.S. alone that will be doing Christmas without a loved one because of the pandemic.
What can listeners expect from your new Christmas single “This Xmas (feat. Charisma)”?
Mike: All the nostalgic feels as well as a bit of loss, followed closely by hope for the future. Plus, an incredible vocal performance from Charisma!
What will the song mix be like (More covers, more original?)
Steve: We reserve covers pretty much only for social media content. So, if you’re following us on Instagram or TikTok, you can expect more of that there.
Mike: As far as official releases go, they’ll continue to be original songs. We really enjoy writing and producing original music so it’s really just an exercise in being ourselves.
What were you drawing from for inspiration on the single?
Nick: Well, the song started as just a holiday love song about dealing with heartbreak on Christmas. After going through 2020 the song meant something more to us.
Mike: We tried to expand it so that it could apply to anyone who’s missing someone this year, not just romantically. Sort of an “insert your own story” kind of song.
How has this differed from creating non-holiday music?
Mike: Holiday music has a flavor all its own; certain sounds and textures have to be present in the production to give it that vibe. There’s a timelessness that, if you can capture it, can mean the song will live forever every time the holidays roll around. Other pop songs don’t necessarily have to live up to that standard.
Steve: Essentially, if you’re gonna release a Christmas song, it’d better have something special to say!
Since this is an original holiday song, how was the writing process different?
Nick: It was an interesting session because we wrote it around Christmas time but not for that particular year. You can’t really write Christmas music at any other time of the year because the vibe just isn’t there. So we had to anticipate releasing it a year after or, in this case, two years later.
Mike: With that in mind, I don’t think any of us anticipated what 2020 was gonna be like. But I think the song has a place in the world this year and hopefully it brightens up a few folks’ holidays.
Steve: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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