Vocal harmony like you have never heard it before.
Coming across talented
people is one thing. Coming across extraordinarily talented people
is quite rare.
I first saw Pentatonix
a five piece vocal harmony group on Youtube, and I was instantly blown
away. They are not just any old vocal group, apart from winning the
US show 'THE SING OFF', every instrument you hear in their songs,
is created using their own voices. No gimmicks, no tricks, just pure
organic, spirit lifting music. If talent was good food, you would
want to eat them over and over again. But dont, because that would
be weird, and against the law.
Mitch Grass the youngest in the group, kindly agreed to answer a few
questions for Kezys Blog.
For the benefit of UK readers
and those who haven't heard of you yet, what are your names, ages
and role in the band?
My name is Mitch Grassi. I'm 20-years-old and I'm the tenor. Scott
Hoying, 21, is our baritone. Kirstie Maldonado, 20, is our alto. Avi
Kaplan, 23, is our bass man. And last, but not least, Kevin Olusola,
24, is our beatboxer!
Where are you all from? and at what age did you get into singing?
Kirstie, Scott, and I are all from Arlington, Texas. Avi is from central
California and Kevin is from Kentucky. I'm pretty sure we were all
introduced to music at a very young age
How did did you become Pentatonix?
Scott, Kirstie, and I had an acapella trio in high school and we posted
a few YouTube videos that got a decent amount of attention.
When Scott went off to
college, he had heard about an acapella reality show called "The
Sing-Off" and wanted to audition. However, we didn't have enough
members to enter! We found Avi through a mutual friend, and Kevin
we found on YouTube because he had a viral video of himself beatboxing
and playing cello simultaneously. It's amazing and everyone should
check it out!
when did you first realise that you had something special as a band?
We actually hadn't known each other at ALL prior to The Sing-Off (besides
the trio). Because of scheduling and school and such, we all met the
day before auditions, having learned arrangements our friend Ben had
written for us. The first time we sang together, I distinctly remember
all of our eyes lighting up because the sound we produced was so exciting!
How do you come up with the melody/rhythm and roles for each song?
We will typically start with the chord progression just as a basic
foundation of the song. From there, we'll add a beat for drive. Then
we add the solo line in, and come up with background parts that best
suit the solo & style of the song.
Who are your musical influences?
We all have wildly different influences! I'm really influenced by
a lot of electronic music. Of course, there are a TON of different
subgenres. I mainly like the electronic & hip-hop infusion artists
like Flying Lotus, Teebs, Frank Ocean, etc. I'm also influenced by
a lot of dance music vocalists. I'm a DJ on the side, so I listen
to a ton of dance music. Some of my favorites are Nadia Ali, Richard
Bedford, and Haley.
How do you cope being in each other pockets, especially when on tour?
It can get pretty cramped sometimes. We're basically like one big
family, and because of that, we can sometimes be too much for each
other! We all respect each other's space, if and when we need it.
What do you do to relax?
I like to read a lot. If I'm not reading, I'll be listening to music
or mindlessly blogging on Tumblr.
Who's music is playing on your iPod right now?
Lately, I've been really into a UK-based duo called Disclosure. I
dig their old-school funk vibes, and I think they're really refreshing.
I saw them live in LA a little while ago on Halloween. They blew my
Who is single?
As of right now, Kirstie and I are the only ones in relationships.
I am running a month long anti bullying campaign, do you have any
experience or advice of bullying?
Oh, awesome. Yeah, for sure. I was bullied a bit in middle school.
Even though it wasn't severe, it still hurt. As cliche as it may sound,
it truly DOES get better. What I found helped me was owning who I
was, and letting everybody know that I was a force to be reckoned
with. If you're sure of yourself, nobody will mess with you.
INTERVIEW BY KEREEN GETTEN