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Singers on Singing 2015

KIRSTIN MALDONADO

Contact: Ken Phillips – Ken Phillips Publicity Group, Inc. kppublicitygroup@gmail.com

AFTER WINNING THE THIRD season of reality TV’s The Sing-Off in 2011, Pentatonix notched the fourth best-selling album of 2014, That’s Christmas to Me, and followed it up with a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella, earlier this year. Maldonado, at only 22 years old, helped found the group with two high school friends.

What makes you a better singer today than when you started?
The past four years, I’ve gotten to know my voice as an instrument better.

What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced as a singer?
At first, we were all so excited to be on tour that we’d be out there screaming every night and blow out our voices on the first couple of days of tour. But we got better about that.

Have you had any formal vocal coaching? What effect did it have?
I started voice lessons when I was eight. After the first lesson, my voice teacher said I should audition for this youth program at a community theater that became my second home growing up.

How do you warm up your vocal cords before a performance?
We used to warm up together, but since we’re so vastly different in our vocal ranges, it’s better to do it separately. We all have individual inhalers now, personal steam humidifiers. We drink as much water as possible. In dry places, they’ve been a lifesaver.

What are your diet do’s and don’ts (alcohol, caffeine, weed, etc.)?
I didn’t drink any alcohol this tour. I also didn’t drink any caffeine, but I was a zombie instead of bouncing off the walls. We don’t eat a lot of dairy; that’s bad for singing. We have medicine to block acid reflux.

How do you shake out any stage jitters, or cope with red light fever?
I always get more nervous when there are people in the audience I know, like my mom or friends, that I don’t want to disappoint. But I just keep in mind that no one in the audience is wishing me to do poorly.

How do you calm yourself and focus? Do you meditate before a performance?
Since I’m the only girl, I share a room with our hair and makeup person, so it’s relatively quiet.

Can you name some favorite personal performances of yours, live and studio?
The end of the last tour. Three of us are from Arlington, Texas, and the theater we were in [Verizon Theatre] was where we saw everyone growing up. My second grade teacher and high school choir director were in the audience. It was so nostalgic and amazing. Also, I’ve always wanted to go to Japan, because I’m obsessed with Japanese culture, and we went there last year.

What are a few of your favorite all-time recordings or performances by other singers, and why?
“Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. She was a judge on The Sing-Off, which was a show we were on. But I had never seen her live until 2013, and she sang that song, and I was in tears the entire time. Beyonce’s entire “I Am” tour is just stunning.

What are your most memorable stage mishaps? And how did you deal with them?
No one ever really noticed this, but now I’m going to reveal it: On The Sing-Off, they put an extension in my hair that day, and I had a bunch of rings on, and a ring caught in it, so I had this brown extension hanging from my ring the entire performance! I was embarrassed, but I just swung it around my hand and held it. They tried not to show it on TV.

Are you loyal to specific types and brands of microphones and in-ear monitors? If so, which ones?
Right now we use Shure wireless microphones. I use the KSM9. Also, I just bought a Neumann microphone, because I’m trying to build a studio in my apartment, for when I want to work on demos.