This week, a blizzard slammed New York City.
The snow, coming at the end of a difficult and painful year, felt cathartic. Everyone seemed to be out celebrating on social media. At the end of a terrible year, it felt like we could just come together over something other than horror and watch the snow fall, wiping away everything and inviting us into a new season.
In the nick of time, Toronto pop and R&B artist D!XON has released a gem of a holiday song with “Let It Snow.” It’s a celebration of staying warm during this festive season, but also of letting everything go and fully leaning into the joy of the holiday spirit. In that, it’s the perfect song for this snowy moment.
The song is a cover of Boyz II Men and Brian McKnight’s ’90s classic. “I’ve always really appreciated that they collaborated on this song!” says D!XON of the collaboration that brought the song into being. “The lyrics, melodies and the vocal production really help make this song sound so magical. The layers, textures and deep harmonies that they have consistently produced is so inspiring.”
The song is a holiday anthem, which feels bittersweet right about now. “It also triggers special memories at annual family Christmas parties,” he added. “I’m so sad that we can’t enjoy family gathering the way that we are used to. I really wanted to sing this to remind myself of the special memories and help spread Christmas cheer.”
Though the song is about the holiday season, it’s really a showcase for D!XON’s amazing voice, which soars and flutters flawlessly over a snowy bed of piano, played magnificently by Mark James. When the harmonies kick in during the chorus, you get the sense that you’re in the most entertaining church you’ll ever attend. Tasteful hints of autotune, virtuosic riffs and a bit of well-placed hoarseness make this a vocal performance for the books.
“I had such an amazing time performing with Mark James!” D!XON added. “We got together after he finished working on a project with Jessie Reyez, and I’m so thankful that we were able to have this moment together! His energy is so warm and [I] feel so comfortable with him, as we’ve known each other for a while now and I truly trust him. He ‘s so, so talented!”
Raised on greats like Toni Braxton, Michael Jackson, and Mariah Carey, D!XON is a natural entertainer, and he’s been dancing, singing, and acting since the age of six. Still, it took a long time to get to where he is.
Growing up, he faced many struggles, receiving daily death threats for his gender identity and sexual orientation and struggling in a religious home that did not accept his true self, which he discussed further in a CBS interview called “How I Became A Singer After Music Was Taken From Me.”
But, fortunately, he was able to leave home and find solace in art, music, and a new relationship with religion. Along the way he understood the “fact that his peers may have used him as an outlet for the projection of their own insecurities.”
Today, D!XON is an advocate for anti-bullying, anti-oppression, and self-acceptance. He’s also the creator of Toronto’s Drag Masterclass, which helps LGBTQ+ youth train and excel in drag. The program offers special mentorship for at-risk LGBTQ+ youth and has received so much success that it’s been renewed annually by the city of Toronto.
And of course, D!XON is giving the world the gift of his talents through his music. He’s shared stages with Estelle, Ciara, and Deborah Cox, and he’s graced Canada’s greatest stages. He released his debut EP Sweet Illusion in 2016, and it (like all of his following singles and videos) celebrated his identity and talent, infused with an infectiousness that makes it impossible not to feel swept away by his beautiful energy.
When I first heard D!XON’s version of “Let It Snow,” it was the day after the snowstorm hit. All over Brooklyn, people were out on their blocks helping their neighbors to shovel snow, slowly unearthing cars and stoops and stopping to wave at each other. Christmas ornaments glittered in the December sun. It felt like the perfect time to listen to “Let It Snow” and celebrate the community and love we do have, even – or especially – within the storm.
D!XON – Let It Snow (Live)