Sam Ryder on You're Christmas To Me's Christmas Number 1 chances

"Christmas Number 1 would mean such a great deal as an independent artist..."
Sam Ryder You're Christmas To Me

Sam Ryder's well on his way to becoming a national treasure, is he not?

First popping up on our TikTok FYP during the pandemic, before going on to turn the UK's Eurovision fortune around and nab a Number 1 debut album, the silky-haired one continues to recruit fans the world over.

Now, Sam's ready to enter the race for 2023's Official Christmas Number 1 single with Amazon Music Original You're Christmas To Me.

Already challenging Wham!'s iconic Last Christmas for the top spot this week, You're Christmas To Me joins the likes of Sleaford Mods' West End Girls, Slade's Merry Xmas Everybody and Creator Universe's I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday in the battle for 2023's most esteemed Number 1 of all.

Today, Sam explains why this release means so much to him as a newly-independent artist - and tells fans how they can get involved in some festive fun with him this weekend.

Sam Ryder

MORE: 2023's Official Christmas Number 1 single contenders

Sam! You're Christmas To Me is already tracking for Top 5 - it's been so well-received...

I can’t find the words for it, I’m just buzzing that people even seem to be hearing it.

How does one go about writing a Christmas song? Talk us through the process.

I wrote it in August, so high summer. When I wrote it, the deadline was that day; I had to get it to Amazon Prime Video for their movie Your Christmas or Mine 2. I thought ‘I’ll sort it out tomorrow,’ then ‘tomorrow’ became the next day, then the next day. 

The day came and it was like ‘have you got your homework to hand in?’, essentially. I was like ‘oh my God!’ I took a train to my friend Max [Wolfgang]’s, and I’d had the chorus for a Christmas song in my head for a long time. I was thinking ‘whatever I come up with on this train journey is the song, because there’s no other option.’

Ah, proof that procrastination isn't necessarily a bad thing. Good to know! Do you reckon the track could go on to become a modern Christmas classic?

That was the goal, for sure, but with this very reserved understanding that it was an honour to have been invited by Amazon Music to write a song for such a cool movie. That’s where I expected it to finish. I hoped people who watched the film would enjoy it, but didn’t think it’d transcend that into the charts.

Well it has, Sam - and you're challenging actual Wham! for Number 1 this week. You're in the big leagues.

Isn’t that so cool? Our little Christmas song standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the songs that are the fabric of the very season. I can only hope, regardless of what happens, that it’s a song that can be enjoyed for years to come. That was the hope for it, just a lesser scale. But if it happens on a bigger scale, everyone’s welcome! 

I thought it was so far removed from being a chart possibility, but here we are.

Fans can catch you on The Sam-ta Grotto Bus this weekend (December 16 & 17) in London and Manchester. Tell us more...

Yeah, I'll be at London's Southbank Centre, The Queen's Walk on December 16 and Manchester's Spinningfields on December 17 from 12pm-6pm. Come down for some chocolate cookies and rock ’n’ roll - and a performance. It’s gonna be wicked!

Can we expect to see you in a Santa suit (please)?

Haha, of sorts. I might not go the full hog, but there’ll be festive elements for sure. There'll be some kind of yuletide adornment. 

Sam Ryder You're Christmas To Me

MORE: Every Official Christmas Number 1 song ever

What are your favourite festive tunes ever?

My favourite, and one that’s inspired You’re Christmas To Me, is Darlene Love’s All Alone On Christmas. Darlene’s the Queen of Christmas, in my opinion. 

It’s very much in that Home Alone 2 era of Christmas songs. Late eighties, early nineties Tina Turner-sounding saxophones, big New York swing drums. Those songs that remind you of shopping on a freezing cold, festive night. 

We went with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band vibes, and wanted to add an element of The Darkness with the guitars. 

If you want to know my favourite Christmas songs, just listen to the whole of the Home Alone 2 soundtrack.

What would a Christmas Number 1 mean to you?

It would mean such a great deal, because it’s my first record as an independent artist outside of that major label world. That’s what makes it really interesting. Throwing no shade at that paradigm and that system at all, it’s just clearer to me since we moved out of that space halfway through this year that we were right in thinking that the landscape’s changing for so many artists. Grassroots movements are happening everywhere.

I can’t lie, a Number 1 would be fantastic for the whole team who’ve worked so hard; our little band of conspirators that are pulling together every single time to make things happen in this new independent lane.

Getting a Number 1 record really helps and springboards your career into the next level. I totally understand, and respect, the importance of it.

As always, it’s all down to the fans and those who support it. Let’s rally the troops, let’s do it!

Your artistic independence sounds like the start of an exciting new era for you...

It’s such an exciting future. I started making music in my shed. But once I started making an agreement to put music out into the world, and this is regardless of whether you’re an independent artist or signed, you’ve made an agreement with yourself to play by the rules of what it means to release music. 

Looking ahead to 2024, what does next year hold for you?

We’re kicking things off on January 6 at the Emmy Awards, finding out if [Brian May collaboration] Fought & Lost did what it needed to do to get the Emmy. Then we’ll be in South Korea. Festival season’s looking hectic next year, too. And, most importantly, album number two!

Catch Sam on Amazon Music's The Sam-ta Grotto Bus at London's Southbank Centre, The Queen's Walk on December 16 and Manchester's Spinningfields on December 17, 12pm-6pm.

Does Sam Ryder have what it takes to secure the Christmas Number 1?

Be the first to know who's leading the race this weekend by signing up to Official Charts Breaking News alerts. Click the image below and opt in to Breaking News.

Christmas Number 1 breaking news alerts



Sam Ryder's You're Christmas To Me: how to listen to the full song

Sam Ryder's You're Christmas To Me is out now, available exclusively on Amazon Music.

Related artists

Related Articles

Related Singles and Albums

Join the conversation by joining the Official Charts community and dropping comment.

Already registered?

Log in

No account?