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Kirstie of Pentatonix talks EP, a capella and more!

Posted by The Star Scoop on July 24th, 2012

THE STAR SCOOP:
Catch us up with what’s been going on since everybody saw you on “The Sing-Off.” What have you been up to in the meantime?

KIRSTIE of PENTATONIX:
It’s been a complete whirlwind of events. This whole year has gone by so quickly. Right after “The Sing-Off” we started doing some gigs around the holidays. Then, in late January, we all moved to California and after that just started rehearsing, thinking about what songs we wanted our EP.

We started doing YouTube videos so people would still know what we were up to, we wouldn’t be lost after “The Sing-Off.”

Really,[we've been] working on our EP…we rehearsed every day, and recording and just doing a couple of other gigs. Then, last month we just released our EP, and it’s been doing so well! It debuted on the Billboard charts at #14 and it has just been really awesome.

We’ve gotten really great responses and people still know about us and we’ve been able to stay current and up-to-date with everything. It has just been really, really great.

THE STAR SCOOP:
It was really exciting to see how well the EP [PTX Volume 1] did in its debut! Do you think there was anything specific about your sound that helped you succeed or enabled the debut EP to do so well? And, what sets Pentatonix apart from other a capella groups?

KIRSTIE of PENTATONIX:
I think from the beginning, our sound. We kind of wanted to stay more contemporary. I guess when you think of a capella, you think of college-group a capella and while that’s such an amazing sound, too, we wanted it to be more contemporary; something you would be able to hear on the radio.

I think we brought a unique little niche to what a capella is, and that’s kind of what makes our sound really cool. I think we all blend very well, and so that kind of helps as well.

Each song, there will be a part with a different, oh my gosh, I never would have thought of that, or, oh, this is so cool, I can’t believe they put this in there. We try to do that and give people a little thrill when they’re listening.

THE STAR SCOOP:
What went into the process of picking which songs would be on the EP?

KIRSTIE of PENTATONIX:
There are a couple of songs…we have “Aha” by Imogen Heap and then we have “Love You Long Time” by Jasmine Sullivan that are just personal favorites of ours. We would pitch songs that we loved and be like, please let’s do this on the EP and we’d all listen to it and when we heard those two songs, we were like, yes, there are definitely some really cool things you can do with that.

“Starships” and “Somebody That I Used To Know” were really current, popular songs. We heard them, and we were like, oh, this would actually help bring out our sound as well. These are really great songs that we feel like we could do a lot of things with, so that’s why we picked those.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Of the covers, is there any one that is your personal favorite?

KIRSTIE of PENTATONIX:
I really like “Starships” and “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Just because I think it’s the type of song, the lyrics, I always get really into it. It’s definitely a really hard arrangement. Sometimes I’m kind of freaking out about it, but just when you get wrapped up into that song, it’s a really awesome song.

“Starships” is just really fun. Who ever thought that Mitch and I would be rapping on our first EP? It was kind of random…but that song is always really fun to perform.

THE STAR SCOOP:
You also did some original songs, “The Baddest Girl” and “Show You How To Love.”
How is that different from doing covers? What was that like for you and were you happy with how they came out?

KIRSTIE of PENTATONIX:
Yeah, we were so happy with how it came out. It was so hard in the beginning because we had never written as a group. During this whole process, we’re still developing as a group.

We just had the “The Sing-Off” where we all first met, and were developing our sound on there, but we continue to develop our sound as well all know each other.

When it came to writing as an a capella group, you have a song and you kind of take it from there and arrange…you have something to base off of, and you can have a change around there.

For writing your own song and then arranging it so five people can have parts, it’s like you have nothing to base off of, so it was really hard. We all have very unique styles of music that we enjoy listening to.

It took a while, and it took longer than it would to pick a cover and arrange that. We’re all so, so happy with how they turned out. Those songs are very perfect to our style as a group.

THE STAR SCOOP:
For you personally, you’re the girl in the group of guys. What is that like?

KIRSTIE of PENTATONIX:
It’s actually really fun! Mitch and Scott, I grew up with. They’ve been my best friends my entire life. I grew up with a lot of guy friends. Avi and Kevin are awesome, so we’re like a big huge family. It’s so much fun.

THE STAR SCOOP:
As an artist being interested in music, what drew you to a capella as opposed to any other type of music that you might pursue?

KIRSTIE of PENTATONIX:
I was doing musical theater, and I was kind of in the touring group doing choir music, and then when I got on the choir in high school, I was introduced to a capella and I knew nothing about it. I thought it was really beautiful.

When you’re singing a capella, you have to be spot-on. You have to join as a group. You have to be a team member. I thought that was really awesome. Mitch and Scott and I started doing a little trio thing. It was just really fun.

If you enjoy singing and you love it, it’s such a fun thing to do. You don’t need any instruments. You can literally just perform or sing wherever you are, with those people. It’s really fascinating and interesting.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Going off of that, do you have any advice for people who are interested in a capella? What is the most important thing for them to know to be really good at it and to be able to succeed?

KIRSTIE of PENTATONIX:
The most important thing to remember is just to have fun. There will be times where bring in a group is kind of stressful, like a group dynamic or getting the parts down.

But really, we’ve seen a lot of a capella groups perform since we’ve been together and my favorite a capella groups that I’ve seen are just the ones that have so much heart in what they’re doing and they just love it. You can see that they love it.

Definitely being in tune and getting along and all that matters in the group, but I think if you’re really enjoying what you’re doing, it always will show, and that’s the most important thing. And never give up on your dream!

THE STAR SCOOP:
What is something that we don’t know about you yet? And can you tell us any fun facts about the rest of the guys as well?

KIRSTIE of PENTATONIX:
I’ve always loved macaroni and cheese, and I freak out every time it’s on a menu. I always have to order it, ever since I was little. My favorite color is red and my biggest dream ever is to be on Broadway!

Avi was studying opera at school. His favorite color is green, and he really likes sushi. Scott was on “Star Search” as a kid. He’s 6 foot 3. And his favorite color is blue. Mitch has always wanted to go to Japan and he wants to produce and be a DJ and I think he has a really eclectic music taste that is awesome. And Kevin, oh my gosh, there are so many facts about Kevin. Kevin went to Yale and speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese. And was majoring in pre-med before he entered a competition where he decided to do music.

THE STAR SCOOP:
Is there anything you’d like to say to the fans?

KIRSTIE of PENTATONIX:
Yeah, just thank you so much for all of your support. After “The Sing-Off” you’ve continually been [there]. Your love on our YouTube videos. Every single YouTube comment or every single person that will come up to us and talk to us or buy our EP…every single one helps.

We’re our here pursuing our dreams and we have that support and that love and sometimes it’s so overwhelmingly awesome that it warms your heart. Thank you so much for all that and please continue to support us. This is what we love doing. We love performing for everyone and meeting everyone.

I’ve heard so many people that are like, I really want to start an a capella group and y’all have inspired me. And that makes me so happy. Even just to be like, I love singing and I love watching you guys, it’s just amazing to be in this position and [to have] everyone’s support. Just thank you, thank you so much!

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