Pentatonix, one of the biggest a cappella groups in the world, will be returning to Singapore next month after almost four years away.
Besides its vocal perfection, Pentatonix also promises to deliver a visually stunning performance each time. The three-time Grammy award winners have sold more than 10 million albums and performed for numerous sold out shows globally. Some of its top hits include 'Hallelujah', 'Radioactive', 'Daft Punk', and 'Mary, Did You Know'.
Below, we speak to Mitch Grassi about the group's upcoming return to Singapore, their first album with new member Matt Sallee, deciding on songs to cover and more.
How does it feel to be back in Singapore? Do you have any special memories about the country?
"Singapore is truly unique and elegant. We're very excited to be back! The first memory that came to mind is sharing an evening on top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel with PTX and friends. It overlooks the expansive cities and it's really breathtaking."
What are you looking forward to the most about 2020 and the new decade?
"I'm most looking forward to getting to know my inner self a bit more this year and taking time to do things that really matter to me. I think there is a lot in store for the coming year, and I'm optimistic about the coming decade."
Your previous pop album PTX Presents: Top Pop, Vol 1 (2018) was your first full length album without any original tracks. What made you decide to want to release an all-covers album?
"Covering songs is how we began, and we like to bring the sound back to our roots sometimes. Recreating pop songs in acappella style is really exciting for us. We appreciate pop music and we love to get the chance to deconstruct and rearrange it."
What were some songs you wanted to remake but which didn’t make to that album?
"We've only had a few. "We Are Never Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift, "Madness" by Muse...."
That was your first album with Matt. How was it making a record with a new member back then, and how has things evolved with the recent holiday album “The Best of Pentatonix Christmas”?
"Matt has been a strong addition to the group. Not only is he extremely vocally skilled, his knack for performance is really show-stopping. He's also very creative and involved in a lot of the creative processes. We've all really come to know and understand each other, and treat each other with empathy. I would venture to say we are more bonded than we ever have been!"
How did you decide which songs to reinterpret? Do you have a set of standards or criteria that decides whether a song is cover-worthy or not?
"Not necessarily a written criteria. We consider a lot of factors. Popularity being one. And/or if we just really love the song and feel inspired by it, we will most likely cover it."
I love your take on “Havana”! How did your version of the song take shape?
"We wanted to do a more "stripped down" approach like Camila did. It's a fairly simple arrangement, with a lot of ear candy. Namely, Kevin's expert Latin beats. He really studies!"
The “Despacito” and “Shape of You” mashup is one of the best moments in record. What do you think makes those songs complement each other so well?
"They both have a reggaeton feel to them and their structures are very similar."
Being such phenomenal singers, what are your thoughts on vocal processing technology such as Auto-Tune?
"I don't have much of an issue with it, but I think it makes it a little trickier to distinguish a professional vocalist from an amateur. But at the end of the day, if people enjoy it, what does it really matter?"
Lastly, what advice do you have for young and aspiring singers?
"Work harder than you think you have to. Don't compare yourself to other artists because everyone has their own personal journey. Make sure you love what you do."
Presented by Hype Records, Pentatonix – The World Tour Singapore 2020 will be held on 11 February 2020 at The Star Theatre. Get your tickets here.
Check out the music video for Pentatonix' 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight' below.