Singing and harmonizing in a music group can be very challenging because each member of a group comes together and sings with one voice. If you throw in the element of a capella singing, creating instrument sounds vocally, and trying to sing and dance altogether, it’s like riding a unicycle with one hand on the handle while balancing an apple on the top of your head. Sounds pretty difficult but that’s what the groups on “The Sing-Off” do each week as they sing and perform with no instruments backing them up. Nashville’s group The Collective gave an awesome performance, but it wasn’t good enough to advance them to the next round. Catching up with Ruby Amanfu and Daniel Ellsworth of The Collective was a delight because they were able to share with us their experience of being on the show.
TWID: What was the best part of being a part of “The Sing Off”?
Daniel Ellsworth: Well I think the best part of the whole thing for me was experiencing all the other groups. It sounds maybe funny to say because it’s a competition show, but you need to know all these other people and knowing so little about the a cappella world really to, some of these groups were new like us. Some have been doing it for 30 years plus, a group like North Shore to college groups that are like these experienced a cappella singers and just sort of immersing ourselves in this new world and seeing, I mean, being blown away. We’re doing music stuff every day and we’re, and I mean, our jaws were on the floor at the talent. The competition aside, it was the talent that was unbelievable.
TWID: What would you say to upcoming artists and a cappella groups that would like to be part of “The Sing-Off” and what kind of advice would you give them?
Ruby Amanfu: Okay. The first thing that sticks out in my head was the one thing that The Collective said even before we got on the airplane which is this has got to be about camaraderie, not competition with everyone we come across. I think winning is being able to get to do your passion every single day. You absolutely are winning from the start and you’ll continue winning. If you have that attitude every day, you are achieving, so, you know, to any a cappella groups or singers who want to enter a type of competitive atmosphere, just know that if you get on a show like that, you already have won. And every single day that you give your gift and share that gift, you are absolutely doing what you’re supposed to be doing – winning.
TWID: Who are your personal favorites that you feel could probably go far in the competition?
Daniel Ellsworth: I mean, Pentatonix to me are just, what they do for that genre is so boundary-pushing and it’s new and it’s not typical a cappella, and so for me I guess I would say that they’re exciting. But the guys in the Aires are just some of the coolest guys that we’d ever met.
Ruby Amanfu: I agree with what Dan said about Pentatonix able to push that boundary. If I were looking at this from a business standpoint of how can we get this a cappella genre into, you know, more people’s ears and more people’s hearts, I think Pentatonix definitely does that because they bring something completely new to it. And I think it’s going to register with a lot more people.
As the season continues on, members of The Collective feel that the Dartmouth Aires as well as the dynamic Pentatonix will go far in the competition. The great thing about the members of The Collective is that they all came from diverse backgrounds of solo artists, musicians, and independent bands to create an amazing group. And to gel their sound together with no a capella experience was not only difficult task but an amazing accomplishment and their talents are greatly admired. Like Ruby Amanfu said, “Sometimes it’s not about the competition but the camaraderie of performing with the other groups and that’s what it was all about for me.”
Article Written by: Elizabeth Lavulo
*Photos courtesy of Lewis Jacobs/NBC
*YouTube video courtesy of voices2beheard