Vocal Talent

This blog post will focus on well known artists and lesser known artists in the a cappella category.
A cappella (Italian for “in the manner of the church” or “in the manner of the chapel”), is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental sound. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato style… and we’ll stop there.

Although this style of music has been around for centuries, the form in which music takes is always developing and with the benefits of the internet we are able to discover many variations on the style of ‘a cappella’ and the artists that create this form of music.
Today, a cappella also includes sample/loop “vocal only” productions by producers like Jimmy Spice Curry, Teddy Riley, Björk, Wyclef Jean and others.

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Maybe not so new, and not unknown but the first time I took notice of a cappella music outside of a church setting was when Naturally 7 sung in a Paris subway and uploaded it on YouTube in 2006. Together since 1999 and well recognized for their harmonious songs, Naturally 7 is an American music group with a distinct a cappella style they call “Vocal Play”. They sing primarily R&B with extensive beatboxing and recently toured with Michael Buble.

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Pentatonix is an acappella group of five vocalists, Kirstie Maldonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola from Arlington Texas. The group won the third season of ‘The Sing-Off’ in November 2011 broadcasted on NBC. I love the blend between the female and male voices, and they are extremely tight and in tune with each other so there is good reason as to why they won the competition.

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EXIT are a contemporary a cappella group composed of 5 members founded in 2008. To be honest, my researching skills do not cross the border into being able to read Hangeul so my ability to source information was limited. Instead I decided to place two quite different songs from Exit on this blog post to give you a broader feel for their sounds. The passion in their voices and the dedication to working so harmoniously together is evident in the high vocal quality you get from these talented guys.

Slowing it down..

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Another 5 member South Korean group is Red Soul. These guys are certainly a favourite. With an ability to cross between ballad, rap, and beat boxing they are extremely versatile. You do really lose the sense that there are actually no instruments playing. I also love their ability to show that they really enjoy performing. Some of their other videos (eg. Cigarette Girl) are rather comical. One cannot help but get pulled in with their playful flirtatious vibes. 

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Now these two guys do such a nice a cappella version of  Park Jin Young (JYP) – You’re The One. That even the self-proclaimed ‘The Asian Soul’ would be proud of. The cover is a collaboration between Daeho (who runs the YouTube channel), and Banseok (a young fellow who gained fame through K-Pop Star). Both complement each other well and though they are not solely ‘a cappella’ artists, I thought this particular song was worth a mention.

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Side note for those interested,  there’s even a new a cappella movie coming out called Pitch Perfect.. Heres hoping the vocal play is better than the wordplay. 

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This is only a very small look at the a cappella groups/singers out there. So feel free to share your recommendations. 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Vocal Talent

  1. Hey, Emily~! Got your memo at K-Indie FB group 🙂

    I love a cappella groups~ I remembered listening to a couple of Western a cappella groups some time ago, but I forgot their names. And I’m quite excited to see Redsoul featured in your post as I think they are under-rated yet awesome.

    Here are some other recommendations from the Asian region: TENSION (Taiwanese boyband now disbanded) The Gospellers (Japanese group of more than 10 years in the music scene) and Sweet Sorrow (Korean group, as good as Redsoul sans beatboxer)

    • Fantastic! Thank you so much for clicking the link and then reading! Really appreciate it! Thanks also your recommendations, I will certainly listen to them when I’m not at work! haha.

      On a side note, I’ve actually managed to arrange to potentially interivew a few k-indie artists when I go to korea in August for my blog, if you are interested please keep checking back, and share with your other indie interested friends!

      One main purpose of this blog is to create awareness and support k-indie artists! 🙂

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