Anything but Swift

Anything but Swift
US acapella group Pentatonix comprises (from left) Avi Kaplan, Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado and Kevin Olusola.

US POP acapella quintet Pentatonix has covered songs from some of music's biggest stars, winning millions of views on their official YouTube channel.

These include Beyonce, Pharrell Williams, Lorde, Justin Timberlake and Psy.

But there is one wildly successful Grammy-winning hitmaker they simply can't do: Taylor Swift.

This is despite her hit singles being cover favourites for YouTube sensations like Jayesslee and Tiffany Alvord.

"It's not like her songs are bad or anything. We're tried covering her songs before, like I Knew You Were Trouble and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, but it didn't work for us," vocalist Mitch Grassi, 21, said yesterday before the final show in Singapore.

"We wanted to include the songs in our album and even had a second go at them, but we weren't too crazy about them," said fellow vocalist Scott Hoying, 22.

The Los Angeles-based act, who also include vocalist Kirstie Maldonado, vocal bass Avi Kaplan and beatboxer Kevin Olusola, who are all in their 20s, were in town to perform three shows at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands starting from Tuesday.

After the first show was announced, two more dates were added due to "overwhelming" demand.

"We were at Ku De Ta a few days ago looking at the city skyline and I had a moment where I thought, 'I'm in Singapore, I can't believe we're here.' You have moments where you think, 'This is not real, how is this happening?' But we are so happy and excited to be given this chance," said Maldonado.

Pentatonix rose to fame after winning the third season of US reality singing competition The Sing-Off and did popular covers with their own twist. They had sold-out shows in North America and Europe.

FANS

Their fans include celebrities like Kelly Clarkson and Ariana Grande, the latter whose song Problem, with Iggy Azalea, they covered as the first single off the upcoming third EP PTX, Vol. III.

With more than six million subscribers on their YouTube channel, their cover videos receive anything between one million and 87 million views.

They also released three EPs of covers and originals called PTX, Vol. 1, PTX, Vol. II and PTXmas.

They will release PTX, Vol. III as well as second Christmas compilation That's Christmas To Me in September and October respectively.

The quintet will also star in their first Hollywood film Pitch Perfect 2, alongside Australian comedienne Rebel Wilson and US actress Anna Kendrick.

Even while on tour, Pentatonix are busy working on their various projects.

Between interviews with the media yesterday at Yellow Box Studios at 1 Ubi View, the quintet were busy recording for a "top secret" project.

"We can't say what it is, but a tiny part is work on the upcoming Christmas album."

But they did say it would include a surprise act. They are "big and talented" was all they would say.

ashikinr@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on August 15, 2014.
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