Have you noticed the surge in popularity of a capella music? Since The Sing-Off debuted on NBC in 2009, a capella has really hit the mainstream. The breakout stars of the singing comeptition show, Pentatonix, have won a grammy and performed sold out shows at Madison Square Garden. Their youtube channel has over eight million subscribers. That’s more than Lady Gaga, Daft Punk and Beyoncé.
In 2012, Deke Saron, the vocal producer of The Sing Off turned his attention to the feature film Pitch Perfect starring Anna Kendrick as the newest member of an all-girl singing group taking on their male rivals in a college competition. The breakout success of that movie and its soundtrack led to the sequel, Pitch Perfect 2, another box office smash.
This week, one of the most popular music downloads on our digital media service, Hoopla, was The New Old Fashioned by Straight No Chaser an a capella group formed at Indiana University that rose to stardom (and earned a five album deal with Atlantic Records) thanks to its hilarious online video for The Twelve Days of Christmas.
So why is a capella so popular right now? Perhaps it’s the authenticity. Audiences have become used to trickery, from autotune to lip syncing, in popular music. It feels good to hear talented people using just their voices to create something beautiful. A capella offers a sense of authenticity that you don’t get from the overproduced songs you typically hear on the radio.
Do you have a favorite singing group? Tell us about it on the Eisenhower facebook page.