Once called “the future… of a cappella,” by Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men), Pentatonix continues to amaze audiences with their innovative and creative covers. This group produces incredibly intricate arrangements with just five members. Winners of “The Sing-Off” Season 3, Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola have had nothing but success since their television debut. They have been recording, touring the country and producing some hilarious videos on their YouTube channel.
Maldonado, the only female in the group, is no newcomer to singing and performing. Since the age of 8, she has been acting in musicals and taking voice lessons. But when it came time to join the cast of “The Sing-Off,” Maldonado almost backed out. “I gave up going to school for musical theater with a full-ride merit scholarship. Thankfully, they’re still holding it, but I think giving up school after just a year was hard,” Madonado said. Other members made sacrifices, as well, including dropping out of school or missing their high school graduations.
Something people may not know about this impressive group is that 24 hours before they were to audition for “The Sing-Off,” the members still had not met. Maldonado, Hoying and Grassi had been friends in high school, but beat-boxer Olusola and bass Kaplin were just meeting the trio for the first time. Throughout the show, the group found their chemistry and sound as they got to know each other better. However, the show did not come without challenges. “I definitely didn’t expect the show to have such demanding hours,” Maldonado said. “Some days we’d have to wake up at 7 a.m. but still be rehearsing until 12 a.m. at night. And then were expected to be singing full-out the next day! I just went in knowing it would be a lot of fun and a great opportunity and I love some competition, so I was in it to win it.”
The quintet succeeded on the show, partly because of their diverse styles and interests in music. Pentatonix derives its influences from pop, dubstep, electro, reggae and hip-hop. Grassi loves groups like Deadmau5, Hoying is a Beyonce addict, Olusola is influenced by classical music and Kaplan is partial to Americana folk music. Maldonado looks up to many female vocalists, including “Sing-Off” judge Sara Bareilles. “It was such a privilege to meet her on the show,” Maldonado said.
This year is going to be a big one for Pentatonix, full of touring and writing new material for their upcoming EP “PTX Vol. 2” and eventually for their full-length album.
“I love waking up and knowing my job is simply doing what I enjoy most,” Maldonado said. “It’s rewarding to know I can base a career off singing; it makes me very happy.”
Pentatonix will be performing at The Pageant on Thursday, March 7.
“We wanted to make this tour a full production that is in every way aesthetically pleasing. We have definitely upgraded from 2012,” Maldonado said. “This time around we have a set, amazing lights and some choreography. It’s a full production now, and we’re hoping it’s as fun to watch as it is to perform!”
For more information about the tour, visit http://www.ptx-official.com.