By Joey Phoenix
Pianist/Songwriter Joey Nicotera (he/him/his) and performer/vocalist Jacyn Tremblay (she/her/hers) have teamed up to create the newest holiday hit of the season: “When the Tree Goes Up,” an ode to the return of the most wonderful time of the year.
This upbeat, catchy new Christmas song has already been slotted for radio play on KHUR, KINT FM, and Christmassongsradio.com FM, and the duo hopes that it will get picked up and performed by some of the bigger names in music.
“We would love it if someone with a cheerful spirit and universal appeal like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, or Darlene Love would perform it,” Joey and Jacyn agreed. “We don’t necessarily want to be the pop stars ourselves, we want to write the music for everybody else, and see how they interpret our music and lyrics.”
The song is also meant to be fun and interactive, and the duo encourages people to use the hashtag #whenthetreegoesup on social media when they post this year’s Holiday tree.
Writing “When The Tree Goes Up”
Inspiration for the song struck in an unusual way. Joey Nicotera originally had the idea for the song while doing home renovations in his Peabody house in fall of 2019. “I thought to myself, ‘When the tree goes up, these walls come down.’ And it just clicked that this could be the perfect Christmas song.”
Joey often hosts impromptu cabaret nights in his home, inviting friends to come and listen or perform in the more intimate setting. Longtime friend and fellow musician Jacyn was also there.
One of these nights, Joey played “When the Tree Goes” up for the first time, and the two of them decided it was worth spending more time on. When Joey eventually sent it to friend and film producer Ben Consoli (he/him/his) of BC Media Productions, Ben encouraged Joey to turn the song into a real production.
“Jacyn, Ben, my cousin Mic, his son Drew, and I recorded a demo in my house, doing it over and over again until we knew we had it perfect, and then sent it off to a producer who added more keyboards, bells,, and glittering magical effects,” Joey said.
“We realized that we had a lot in common.”
This collaboration ultimately would spark more ideas extending beyond Christmas music as the two spent more time together writing songs and coming up with ideas.
“When Joey and I first met, we realized that we had a lot in common – not just our birthday, because we have the same birthday. But we loved to create art and music, and we figured why don’t we get together and collaborate on something new?” said Jacyn. “Now we’re getting together once, twice a week to come up with new ideas and see what works.”
“We work with small fragments, listening to them over and over again, before we turn them into a big sound,” Joey added.
Jacyn found her way into the world of music as a child and has been writing and performing music ever since. She’s toured as a professional musician in the pop/r&b vocal group Jada, the pop/rock band Venus Mars Project (alongside musician Peter Tentindo), and as the female lead singer role in the popular event band Beantown. She’s also performed music from The Great American Songbook with the Hillyer Festival Orchestra and The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra.
Over the years, however, Jacyn found herself drawn more and more to the independent performing and writing sides of the music industry due to the freedom it offered her as an artist.
“It’s more rewarding for me when I can call my own shots and make my own rules,” she said. “And for me, writing and performing is all about getting to connect with people, and creating an energy that is able to be received by someone else. I love sharing that energy.”
Like Jacyn, Joey has also been immersed in the music world since childhood, with his instrument of choice being the piano/keyboard. But unlike Jacyn, Joey never really fell in love with performing, but he did love to play.
Early on, Joey’s Grandfather connected him to the legendary jazz performer and music teacher at Al Vega so he could take lessons. “Working with Al taught me that music could be about expression and not just repetition,” Joey recalled. “It gave me the freedom to be able to decide what I wanted the music to sound like.”
Yet, for him, while he wants to be involved in the creative aspect of songwriting, it’s not really his dream to be the one on stage performing it.
“Being part of the creative process is the most enjoyable thing for me. This is my really first proper foray into the music business, and so far, it’s been nothing but fun,” he added.
You can listen to “When The Tree Goes Up” on any of your preferred streaming services. And don’t forget to use the hashtag #whenthetreegoesup to help join in on Joey and Jacyn’s holiday cheer.
Learn more about Jacyn and Joey by following them on Facebook and Instagram @jacynandjoey.
Joey Phoenix (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist and the Director of Brand Strategy and Innovation at Creative Collective. As the resident storyteller and town crier, they encourage you to send story ideas, inspiration, or pictures of adorable critters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creative Collective’s 2021 #StayLocal Campaign
Initiative encourages community to shop small and support local small businesses this November and December
The approaching Holiday season is putting people in the shopping, eating, and drinking mood as small businesses across the North Shore are gearing up for the busiest time of the year. Following up the successful 2020 #StayLocal campaign, Creative Collective is launching #StayLocal2021, encouraging individuals to shop and support small this upcoming holiday season. Learn more.