Gwen and Blake together again in Stefani’s Christmas special
Whether it’s making a record or designing clothing, Gwen Stefani has an implicit trust in the creative process. And it’s what guided her through the at-times daunting challenge of making of her first solo special for NBC, “Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas.”
“You have to start at the bottom of the mountain,” she explains, “and just (take) little baby steps, and it started just coming together. And it was really just coming down to ‘Who am I and what am I trying to say?’ And it just was like developing over time and it was like meeting after meeting of what I don’t want to do and what I do want to do. And ‘What is the message I’m trying to make?’ And those kinds of things.
“And then it just turns into a budget issue just like everything else,” she adds with a laugh, “so that kind of edits things out. And then you try to get really creative within a budget problem, which is what I do with designing as well, which is part of the creative process. And you start to get really creative then.”
Stefani also performs a duet with Blake Shelton, the country artist to whom recent reports have linked her romantically, and it’s a song he wrote for her Christmas album.
“I guess when he started hearing about the kind of record I was going to make,” Stefani explains, “he was so excited about it. And he was on his tour bus and he came up with this idea. And he was funny because he sent me a voice message and it was like, ‘OK, I was thinking about your record and I was just sitting around. I kind of came up with this. I don’t know if there’s anything here.’ But it was basically like, ‘I wanna thank …’ … ‘You make me feel …’ I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! What a jerk!’ Like he’s so talented. He just sends me a hit like right when I’m trying to write this record. So I knew automatically that it was so good … .”
Stefani also gets to perform in comedy skits, something at which she has limited experience. Though she’s happy with her performance, she’d just as soon stick to recording, touring and designing and leave the acting to the professionals.
“It was really unexpected, something I never thought I would do in my lifetime,” she says of the Christmas special, “but really up my alley, like everything I love. So it was really fun to sit down and be creative and figure out a way to do it where it works for me creatively and represents my point of view and things that I love. So it was a really fun project.”