Encanto star Jessica Darrow has opened up on what it was like to record the song behind Disney’s new Christmas advert, The Gift.
The highly-anticipated ad is the final instalment of Disney’s From Our Family To Yours trilogy, with Jessica performing the original soundtrack A Little More.
Jessica voiced Luisa Madrigal in the popular Disney film Encanto, for which her song Surface Pressure became a viral sensation earlier this year.
‘I feel like it’s a tearjerker,’ Jessica told us about the ad, adding it felt ‘amazing’ to be the voice behind the song.
‘The song is just written so well and it feels so good on my voice, so you know, technically speaking it felt really good to sing it.
‘Once again, getting my voice to be a part of a Disney Animation feels amazing.
‘I’m always so honoured to be able to do it, and to be able tell again yet another extremely important story that brings people together, it’s a dream come true.’
Jessica added that recording the song felt ‘surreal’, despite feeling ‘nervous’ beforehand to be recording an original song.
‘I’d say probably the most challenging moment was when I recorded the song in Spanish, because I do speak Spanish but for me, I feel like I could be better.’
She continued: ‘It turns out I was a lot better than I thought,’ praising the Latin American artists and recording artists who helped her with pronunciation through the process.
On watching the ad with her music for the first time, Jessica admitted: ‘That was the moment I started to cry.
‘I just started thinking about my mom watching and knowing how she would respond, because every time I do something that’s a little more vulnerable and emotional, and I get to do that in my work, I know that it means something especially to her.
‘So I think about that, I think about my family watching it, which just always makes me so emotional when I think about the people who are going to be able to watch it during the holidays, with their families as well.’
Jessica, who starred as Luisa in Encanto, also opened up about growing up watching Disney and the importance of representation in Disney’s first Latina musical.
‘I never knew any Latina princess or representation in Disney period,’ she began, adding: ‘I was always hoping to hear a voice that sounded, you know, close to mine.’
Being a part of Encanto, Jessica told us: ‘It meant everything you know, any time I can bring my community and my family into my career is a blessing
‘I never thought that it would be a vital part of my artistry until I was able to work on Encanto.’
She continued: ‘Being able to represent so many things for so many people that I now realise it is my duty and my responsibility, I feel like anyone who has given access in this way to mean so many things for so many people.
‘You must make it count, and I am honoured to do that, and it always makes work so much more fulfilling.
‘Stories being told so much more satisfying and meaningful when you are bringing up a community behind it and giving visibility to a huge community of people who very much exist and have existed for a very long time.’
Disney’s new animated heart-warming Christmas advert, ‘The Gift’, developed in support of Make-A-Wish® as part of its festive campaign, ‘From our Family to Yours’ is available to watch on Disney UK’s YouTube channel. Its original soundtrack, A Little More, is performed by Encanto star, Jessica Darrow. The glow in the dark sleeping Mickey soft toy featured in the ad is available to purchase from Amazon.