“PTX” Reclaims A cappella

Pat Kenney
Managing Editor

 

 

 

When Kanye West jumped on stage after Beck was awarded album of the year, all audience members and viewers rolled their eyes and quietly muttered, “Here we go again.”

But it wasn’t the blazer/t-shirt/sneaker wearing rapper who made Grammy history this time. Instead, it was a humble looking group of five from Arlington, Texas who inconspicuously became a cornerstone for a genre often overlooked.

Pentatonix (PTX) took the a cappella genre and made it their own. Having gained popularity on The Sing Off, NBC’s a cappella competition show, PTX’s momentum has been slowly building up until they exploded onto the scene in 2014.

Through their YouTube channel and tours across the United States, PTX was finally able to sign with RCA Records, a major record label through Sony Music Entertainment, back in May of 2014.

Since the signing, they have released a third album, PTX Volume III, expanded their tour and even released a highly anticipated Holiday album which sold 1.14 million copies from its release (Dec. 10, 2014) until the end of the year (Dec. 31, 2014). Although only having 21 days in 2014, their holiday album, That’s Christmas to Me, became the fourth best selling album in 2014.

It’s safe to say that Pentatonix has shattered all expectations as their stardom and success was solidified Sunday, Feb. 8, night when they became the first a cappella group to win a Grammy award (Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella).

Winning on the sole power of their Daft Punk mash up, PTX surely had a number of songs in consideration as their range and musical ability hits all sorts of genres.

However, with the tremendous increase in acappella popularity across the country, the genre would not be where it is if it weren’t for two key factors: Pitch Perfect and Pentatonix.

PTX allowed casual and serious music lovers to put a face with the words ‘a cappella’. Whether it was with their ‘Evolution of Music’ or any one of their mash ups, Pentatonix soared, and continues to soar, as musical geniuses who only keep pushing the bar higher.

However, there is still one obstacle that remains for the five vocalists: original music. Although their latest album, PTX Volume III, contained two original songs, it is about time they step away from mash ups and stood alone at the top of the charts with only themselves to thank.

According to lead vocalist and baritone Scott Hoying, PTX is making the switch in 2015.  With the leap to their own music and possibly a whole album’s worth of PTX songs, it is more than possible that their Grammy award this past Sunday will not be their last.

Popular, successful, intelligent and extremely likeable, Pentatonix looks only to be going up from here, lets just hope everyone else can keep up.

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