Brandy Talks First-Ever Holiday Album and Recording with Her 'Greatest Gift' — Daughter Sy'Rai (Exclusive)

The iconic singer released 'Christmas with Brandy' earlier this month via Motown Records

<p>William Sikora III</p> Brandy

William Sikora III


Brandy is taking the reins this Christmas.

The singer and actress released her first-ever holiday album Christmas with Brandy on Nov. 10 and starred in the Netflix original film Best. Christmas. Ever! alongside Heather Graham, which arrived on Nov. 16. Needless to say, Brandy was all in this holiday season — and she opened up to PEOPLE about how it all came to be.

"[The album] was something that the fans have been asking for, for a long time. I've been around for such a long time, to not have a Christmas album is kind of absurd," Brandy, 44, tells PEOPLE.

She adds, "So I'm like, 'Why not make 2023 a holiday moment for me and for the fans?'"

The 11-track album, released via Motown Records, includes soulful interpretations of classics like "Deck the Halls" and "Jingle Bells." She also recorded two originals: a steamy new single titled "Christmas Party for Two" and a duet with 21-year-old daughter Sy'Rai titled "Christmas Gift."

<p>Natasha Campos/Getty</p> Sy'Rai and Brandy in Los Angeles in December 2022

Natasha Campos/Getty

Sy'Rai and Brandy in Los Angeles in December 2022

Related: Brandy Norwood and Heather Graham Are Old College Pals in Charming Best. Christmas. Ever! Trailer

"I wanted to have a variety for everybody for this album. So of course the first single is about love," the "I Do It For You" singer says. "People want to be in love during Christmas too. They don't just want to be joyful and cheerful. They kind of want a little steam here and there."

She adds, "And then I have 'Christmas Gift,' which my daughter is the greatest gift God has ever given me. So it was the perfect song for her to collaborate with me on, and it was just a great experience."

<p>Scott Everett White/Netflix</p> Brandy in Best. Christmas. Ever!

Scott Everett White/Netflix

Brandy in Best. Christmas. Ever!

In addition to Christmas with Brandy, Brandy leaned in to the holidays by starring in the newly-released Netflix film Best. Christmas. Ever! as the joyful and Christmas-obsessed Jackie. Turns out, they're not much different.

"Jackie has a very positive outlook on life. She's been through a little bit more than what I have, but she has a positive outlook on life," Brandy says.

Related: Brandy Thanks Daughter Sy'Rai for Fun Night Out at Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour: 'My Sweet Girl'

"She believes in family, she believes in friendship, and she loves the holidays and just anything to make people smile. That's her spirit. And I think I have a similar spirit. I'm a people person. I love to make people feel good," she continues.

This season, Brandy — who recently performed at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade — says she's most looking forward to traveling with her mom and daughter.

"I'm going to go to New York and maybe catch a few plays with my daughter, a few musicals and do some performing out there," she says.

Reflecting on her New Year's resolutions, Brandy hopes to be "a better version of myself going into 2024."

Christmas with Brandy is out now.

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