By Lauren Hoffman
Back in 2011, five vocalists came together to form the a cappella group, Pentatonix. Within the same year, members Mitch Gassi, Scott Hoying, Avi Kaplan, Kirstin Maldonado, and Kevin Olusola went on to win the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off. Winning the show came with a $200,000 grand prize, along with a recording contract with Sony Records. Today, the multi-talented group has over 11.6 million subscribers on YouTube and more than 1.8 billion total views. With their fascinating covers of songs from every genre of music, fans have stuck by their side and they’re only getting bigger.
On Thursday, November 10, the Pentatonix World Tour stopped at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and The Journal was in the front row to witness a cappella greatness firsthand. “It is definitely an arena show. I don’t think people would necessarily put the words a capella and arena together. It’s a multi-generational show that everyone can be excited for,” Olusola explained in our interview.
Joining the group on tour are former Vine stars and American husband-and-wife duo Michael and Carissa Alvarado, also known as Us the Duo. Their six-second covers have led them to millions of followers and fans over the past few years. As if this lineup couldn’t get any better, country/pop singer Abi Ann, a former tour mate from Kelly Clarkson’s 2015 Piece by Piece tour, is also on the road with them. If you live near Holmdel, you may remember Pentatonix and Abi Ann from when they stopped at the PNC Bank Arts Center with Clarkson last year in July.
Performing some of their most viewed and beloved covers live, including Meghan Trainor’s “No” and OMI’s “Cheerleader,” had Pentatonix fans exploding with excitement. Speaking of covers, if you’re a Dolly Parton fan, you must sit down at your computer immediately to watch their rendition of “Jolene” with the country icon herself. By performing covers of today’s biggest hits, Pentatonix continues to grow their fan base and show off both their individual and group talents to audiences everywhere, including right here in the Garden State.
“We were really excited to bring the tour here to New Jersey. It is a center point of bringing the New England states together. It really is, creatively, a big smorgasbord of fun and we hope everyone enjoys it!” exclaimed Olusola.
And no matter what age you are while trying to pursue a career in music, it is always a great idea to ask for advice. The Grammy Award-winning group was not shy when we asked what they would want to tell New Jersey music students.
“Find other singers that have the same values as you do,” advised Olusola. “When you work with others that love and enjoy what it is, those are the people that will make it a long way with you. Utilize your resources through social media and the internet. Showcase what you do best.”
Whether or not you’ve already starting listening to Christmas music or kicked off your holiday shopping, you must add this album to your playlist or gift list. Pentatonix recently dropped their second holiday album, titled “A Pentatonix Christmas.”
“We love Christmas. It’s the one time we get to all go home to our families and we all cherish that very much,” Olusola told The Journal. “With the success of the past album, we wanted to make another one. A capella and Christmas go so well together and it gives us that creative leeway to make arrangements we don’t normally do as a pop group.”
To say we were entirely blown away by Pentatonix would be an understatement. We may now have to sing everything a capella until New Year’s.
For more information on Pentatonix, visit www.ptxofficial.com and follow them @PTXoffical.
Let us know if you were at the show! What’s your favorite go-to holiday album? Tweet us @TheJournalNJ, #FromTheFrontRow.