Iam Tongi Reimagines Holiday Classics on New EP

Iam Tongi is making the Christmas season bright in 2023 with his new EP, An Iam Tongi Christmas. On Thanksgiving Day (November 23), the American Idol winner released the three-song EP featuring covers of “White Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Mele Kalikimaka.” Tongi infuses holiday magic into each track, making them feel new with his refreshing interpretations.

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Tongi adds an island flare to “White Christmas,” turning it into a jazzy slow jam that shows off his smooth voice. The soft-spoken electric guitar, accented by a subtle hint of steel guitar, makes the song feel fresh. He also pays homage to his Hawaiin roots with a reimagination of “Mele Kalikimaka.” Tongi strips the upbeat song back, making it sound more acoustic with the twinkling steel guitar in the background while he sings each word slow and steady. Nat King Cole’s iconic “The Christmas Song” gets the reggae treatment, sounding like a completely new song tinged with the steel drum and a lovely pedal steel guitar solo as Tongi croons the famous lyrics.

[RELATED: Iam Tongi Shares Touching Cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”]

“This season is a time of joy and togetherness, and I’m thrilled to share these special moments with my fans through the magic of music,” Tongi shares on Instagram. The EP comes at the end of a stellar year for the 19-year-old. In May 2023, he was crowned the winner of season 21 of American Idol. One of the first instruments Tongi learned how to play was the ukelele in fifth grade. “I didn’t like it at first,” Tongi told American Songwriter. “I started feeling a connection to music when I went home and I told my parents, my family, I can play. They didn’t believe me, so I wanted to prove them wrong.”

Since winning the show, Tongi has released the original songs “Gone,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “Why Kiki?

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