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5 Questions with Pentatonix's Mitch Grassi

Interviews and Features
January 31, 2013
By: Jacob Elyachar

Since the beginning of the 2010s, A cappella musical groups have increased their presence in the entertainment industry.

One A cappella group that continues to stand out is Pentatonix.

Since their inception two years ago, the group participated and won the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off, released their first EP: PTX, Vol. 1, which charted #14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and #5 on the digital charts and have appeared on multiple shows including Katie, the Tonight Show and The Talk.

I recently had the opportunity to correspond with founding member Mitch Grassi and he talked about the group’s origin story and the progress on the group’s third EP.

Jacob Elyachar: Mitch, could you please share Pentatonix’s origin story to my readers?

Mitch Grassi: Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, and I grew up in Arlington, Texas doing musical theatre & vocal performance. In high school, we formed an A cappella trio and released a version of Lady Gaga & Beyoncé's "Telephone" on YouTube and it gained quite a bit of attention. When Scott went to college in California, his friend suggested that we audition for The Sing-Off. However, the minimum number of members you could have was five. Through that same friend, we found Avi Kaplan (our bass), and we found out beat boxer Kevin "K.O." Olusola on YouTube, because he does this brilliant thing called "cello-boxing" in which he plays cello and does vocal percussion.

JE: How long does it take to create a song arrangement?

MG: It depends on the song! Typically, if we're feeling inspired, it will take us two to three days.

JE: What was the biggest factor that lead to the group’s decision to audition for NBC’s “The Sing-Off?”

MG: Like I said earlier, Scott's friend from college urged us to. And we are glad he did!

JE: Right now, the group is in the middle of recording your third EP. Could you share some of the album’s progress with my readers?

MG: Our third EP is in its beginning stages, but we can tell you that it will have a LOT more original content.

JE: How has social media helped your careers in the entertainment industry?

MG: Social media plays a large part in our success. Not only it is way easier to spread the word about new material, but it's a great way for our fans to keep up with our current activities, plus they get to know us on a more personal level.

To learn more about Pentatonix, visit their website: http://www.ptx-official.com/