For anyone who's had the misfortune of talking to me in any context in the last 3 months, you know that I am absolutely obsessed with the a'cappella group, Pentatonix. They are the group that just won season 3 of the NBC a'cappella competition The Sing-Off over my high school brother-in-arms Michael Odokara-Okigbo.
Pentatonix is an amazing group for a few reasons. One, they were one of the smallest groups on the show, and yet they had one of the biggest sounds. What's remarkable about the small group, is that in almost every other group, there were at least two people singing each part. If one ran out of breath? He could stop for a second then come back in. If one got off pitch, he had the other to pick him back up. Not Pentatonix, Pentatonix has only themselves to trust, and their arrangements were complicated, amazingly specific, and each time added a little trick pony (usually from Avi or Kevin, the Bass and Beatboxer respectively) to make their songs fresh, original, and fun. I love Michael, I mean he might have been the most engaging person in any of the groups, and easily the crowd favorite of the show, but the Aires were not going to win. It would be too hard to give an a'cappella recording contract to a bunch of ivy league guys majoring in philosophy. It's not their world, you know? Pentatonix? A bunch of young, entertainment-minded individuals who formed the group specifically for The Sing-Off? Now I'm interested. In the first week, when the group stepped forward and sang "ET" by Katy Perry, I was pretty certain they were going to win. There was something they had no other group had, call it "Backstreet Boys" syndrome, but they were a group that needed a label. The others were just amazing a'cappella groups.
So, when they won, I was ecstatic. I'm now so excited for their label due to everything that they've accomplished, and the one recording they have singing "We Three Kings" (available on iTunes) for the Sing-Off "Songs of the Season" album, is phenomenal! Today they posted a new song (a quickly thrown together video of "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5) so I started looking back into the members and doing some research.
The girl, Kirstie? A sophomore Musical Theatre major at the University of Oklahoma, in fact all of them have extensive Musical Theatre resumes. Especially Mitch (shorter male lead singer), who may have one of the cleanest, most pure voices I've ever heard. Put the boy on broadway, like yesterday.
However it wasn't either of their achievements, nor the fact that Avi (the bassist) won an award specifically reserved for beatboxers at the ICCAs and now they have created a new category because of him. It also wasn't the fact that Scott has won what seems to be every singing competition that has ever existed on the west coast, as well as being a champion riffer. No, what has finally pushed them over the edge into the world of "people with so much talent it disgusts me" is Kevin, the beatboxer.
Kevin is a quiet guy, a simple guy, a guy who majored in East Asian Studies at Yale University, has played Carnegie Hall twice for his instrumental abilities (he's an accomplished saxophonist, pianist, and cellist), and has travelled extensively throughout China. That guy, who seems to have done it all by age 23, posted a video back in April (the video that led to him joining Pentatonix) which has me dumbfounded at its talent. I won't give any build up, I'll just let you watch it. All I know is that while listening to it, I'm inspired to go write a symphony, write the next great American musical, act the lead in a hollywood blockbuster AND the next sundance winner, and do all of this while sipping a mai-tai on a sandy beach and think about how awesome I am. This song inspires me to just do something crazy awesome.
The day he figures out how to get another person to play the fingering on a saxophone while he plays cello and beatboxes while playing said saxophone? I'll officially kill myself. That would be too much talent for my brain to allow myself to exist any longer.
Until next time!
Photo by Danny Bristoll
(fac·to·tum | \ fak-ˈtō-təm) noun - a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities
I find myself hilarious, and I use this blog to stroke my own ego. Thanks for indulging me.