[pullquote quote="You're going to hear 'White Christmas' but not in its typical pop form." credit="Benjamin Utecht, on songs chosen for 'Christmas Hope'"]He’s one of only a handful of artists to drop a Christmas album as his second release. But then again [lastfm]Benjamin Utecht[/lastfm] is not your average musician. Utecht achieved his fame during six seasons in the NFL, where he starred as tight end and earned a coveted ring when his Indianapolis Colts won Superbowl XLI. Concussions brought his football career to a premature end, but life works in mysterious ways sometimes, and in the case of Ben Utecht the end of his football days meant the beginning of his new career in music.
Click through to watch Utecht perform songs from Christmas Hope alongside producer and collaborator [lastfm]Jim Brickman[/lastfm], and stick around for our exclusive interview (where we get a peek at that Superbowl ring!).
Benjamin Utecht Interview
[pullquote quote="This is what I want to do. I want to travel the world and I want to sing beautiful music for people." credit=""][lastfm]Benjamin Utecht[/lastfm] didn’t just take up singing after his football career ended. Music and performing have been life-long passions for Utecht, who had his first on-stage singing performance in the fourth grade. These days he describes his style as somewhere between [lastfm]Andrea Bocelli[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Coldplay[/lastfm], with some [lastfm]U2[/lastfm] thrown in for good measure. Right now he’s focused on this holiday record and his tour with Brickman. Beyond the holidays, looking out into 2012 and beyond, Utecht hopes to see his name mentioned in the same breath as the likes of [lastfm]Josh Groban[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Michael Buble[/lastfm].
The next song, “I Pray,” is a special tune that appears on both Utecht’s Coming Home album and [lastfm]Jim Brickman[/lastfm]‘s new holiday collection All Is Calm. The song illustrates the fruitful creative dynamic the two artists share, as Brickman plays mentor and producer, nurturing Utecht’s burgeoning singing talent. Hit play to watch the two men perform the song together, live from the Street Date studio.
We’ll leave you with a shot of that Superbowl championship ring we mentioned (it sparkles even brighter in person)…