Seal Says the Sinatra Estate Approached Him for 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' Duet

Seal, "How It Went Down"
Courtesy Photo

Seal in an episode of "How It Went Down"

Frank Sinatra’s iconic 1948 rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is any Christmas playlist staple, but Seal’s new, beautiful duet of the song with Ol' Blue Eyes himself gives the song a refreshingly modern twist just in time for the holidays. Seal stopped by the Billboard office to reveal how the recording came to be as part of the “How it Went Down” video series.

“The reason why this particular recording is unique is, of course, because I am doing a duet with Frank Sinatra,” Seal explains. After he released his album Standards last month, which included covers of jazz and swing classics including Sinatra’s “Luck Be A Lady,” the Sinatra estate got in touch with him.

“They had already had the Christmas duets record set,” says Seal. “And they heard me and they asked if I would do it. And then I got to meet them and they said that Sinatra would have liked what I did, which was very nice."

The singer explains that he recorded his Sinatra duet at Capitol Studios, in one of the rooms where Sinatra himself sang on many occasions, describing the studio as a well-preserved time capsule “in memory of all of the great artists that have recorded there.”

“I was singing to a multitrack, so this was very much focused around the voice," he continues. At the time, there were also two representatives from Sinatra’s estate in the control room. “I felt like I really had to bring my A-game,” he confides, because “they’ve heard it all and they’ve seen it all, including the great man himself.”

Watch the video above to hear Seal’s full story of how the recording of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” which he describes as “one of the most successful records I’ve ever made,” went down. Then listen to “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” by Frank Sinatra and Seal below.