YTOTW: Pentatonix, The A Capella Group Whose Covers Will Give You Goosebumps

This week on YouTuber Of The Week, we take a look at popular a capella group Pentatonix (who will also be coming down Malaysian shores!). Watch how their harmonies complement each other so well here. (You may want to turn up your volume for this one.)

Singing in an a capella group was once considered nerdy but today, it's in vogue thanks to Pentatonix

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Pentatonix was named after the pentatonic scale, a musical scale with five notes per octave which also represents the number of people in the group

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Pentatonix was formed in 2011 in Arlington, Tex. by high-school best friends Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi and Kirstin Maldonado. They later recruited the deep-voiced Avi Kaplan and beat-boxing cello-player extraordinaire Kevin Olusola before competing in and winning the TV singing competition The Sing-Off in 2011.

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The group won "The Sing Off", an a capella competition 3 years ago which thrusted them into the limelight. The release of the movie "Pitch Perfect", a movie about an a capella group also helped increased the group's popularity.

But it was through YouTube that launched them on the global map when their covers went viral. Their first video, a cover of Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" hit 5 million views.

To many fans' delight, NBC renewed The Sing-Off following the success of Pentatonix and Pitch Perfect. But while the show gave the fledgling fivesome (Kevin, Scott Hoying, Avi Kaplan, Mitch Grassi, and Kirstin Maldonado) their start, it was really YouTube — which has overtaken TV talent competitions as the platform of choice for aspiring artists — that put Pentatonix on the musical map.

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Their next video to hit it big was the "Evolution of Music", a showcase of music genres throughout the ages which garnered almost 59 million views

The group also smartly collaborated with Lindsey Stirling, a violinist who also carved an audience through YouTube for a beautiful rendition of Imagine Dragon's "Radioactive"

What makes them stand out among other a cappella groups is through their cover choices. They do well "because of how strong of a grasp they have on what is current and what people want to hear".

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With such success, you may wonder what makes Pentatonix so great, and after watching them live and in their element Wednesday night, I now see that there are many reasons that make Pentatonix the real deal. It seems they've perfected the formula of what makes a singing group work, what with the amount of diversity, chemistry and ability to stand alone that each member has. Everything that makes a singing group great is there, but it takes more than that to gain the level of success and fandom that they have.

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Every a cappella group runs the risk of seeming mediocre and becoming redundant, but the main reason Pentatonix is so successful is because of how strong of a grasp they have on what is current and what people want to hear. They do this not only by picking the most current songs to cover, but by knowing that people are over boring, Autotuned music and are interested in listening to complex, genre-defying art for a change.

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Their ability to understand the power of social media helped boost their popularity, making fans feel connected with the band

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"We wanted to be able to stay relevant and stay connected to our fans," explains the group's bass singer, Avi. "We didn't want people to forget about us. The only way we could think of to connect with our fans, to show them we're still around, was YouTube. We did it, and then we just kept doing it, and kept getting better at it. It's kind of just a part of who we are now."

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Their hard work has definitely paid off. Their cover of Daft Punk's "Get lucky" recently won the group a Grammy for best arrangement. The cover was recorded in a bedroom closet.

Now they’re rocking the Grammys. Pentatonix just won its first-ever golden gramophone, earning the nod in the Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella category for its medley ”Daft Punk". "This is the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to us ,” said Pentatonix singer Scott Hoying in his acceptance speech. “We recorded this in a bedroom closet, filmed it in the kitchen, and now we’re winning a Grammy. It just goes to show that anything is possible.”

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Help us find the next big thing by telling us who should we feature next! Give us names of YouTubers from Malaysia and around the region on our Facebook or Tweet us!

Last week, SAYS Seismik took over our column and gave us Mat Lutfi, a YouTuber from Kedah who has even collaborated with Khairy Jamaluddin. Get to know him better HERE:

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