Earlier this week, NBC’s “The Sing-Off” had a theme where each of the groups performed a medley from one of their favorite artists. The remaining seven groups battled it out and this week the performances were intense and the stakes were high. Each group gave it their all as they sang classics from Queen, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, Elvis, Janet Jackson and Billy Joel. The judges had to make yet another tough choice of elimination and this week the Yellow Jackets didn’t make the cut. The WhatItDo had the opportunity to catch up with members of the Yellow Jackets yesterday to get some of their thoughts on their overall experience.
TWID: What was the most rewarding and gratifying part of your experience on “The Sing-Off”?
Aaron Sperber: Well I think that the idea that I was mentioning before of getting to meet all these amazing people was really amazing, was really exciting and definitely gratifying. But the most gratifying for us was the opportunity for us as 15 best friends to share a message that we feel about how music brought us together and it can bring more people together across the country and across the world. And so whereas we were excited to be going to Kenya and working with these kids and then we were going to have a documentary that we hoped would really be able to share the message to as many people as possible, suddenly we had, you know, 10 million listeners right there to hear our message and to sign on board. And I think that that’s what happened. We’re really honored that America had such a positive reception to us and we won’t let them down in the future.
TWID: What kind of advice would you give to other collegiate groups or a cappella groups out there who aspire to be on “The Sing-Off”?
Aaron Sperber: Well I remember that when we went to the audition in New York City we actually had sort of a cool experience with that. We got a call from “The Sing-Off” from some producers who had said, ‘Hey we’ve heard about you guys and we’d love to have you come audition.’ And we said well it’s in like three days and this is during our finals period so we can’t make it. And we would love to because of course it’s like a dream for us to be on “The Sing-Off,” but we said we really can’t make it and then they said, ‘You really should try to come down.’ So we finished our finals and then drove overnight on a Friday night and arrived early Saturday morning just in time for our audition.
And when we arrived we were sort of excited because we had been called and we thought, Oh wow this is very exciting. Maybe we have a shot. And then we saw hundreds of groups lining the streets and we were very nervous and overwhelmed and I remember that Jamal, he like sort of pulled us all in a huddle and just said, ‘Guys don’t worry about them. Just be us.’ And that sort of became a motto for us about not trying to be too flashy or too anything, just being us and who we are – the guys in the University of Rochester who love to sing and dance and have a good time. And so I would suggest to A) Make sure you put a lot of heart into your performance and B) Just be yourselves.
TWID: What should we expect from the Yellow Jackets now?
Aaron Sperber: Well besides Kenya and the documentary, we in our minds, what we always say in the Yellow Jackets, ‘Once a YJ, always a YJ.’ So we always have our hearts here and we’ll always be investing in the college group but several of us do intend to be touring. We will hit the road and we’re working on potentially planning a tour with some of our best friends from “The Sing-Off” touring together around the country. And we intend to be doing that hopefully in the spring. You’ll have to stay tuned and keep watching to see if that ends up happening. But a lot of us are aspiring musicians and what’s so cool about the Yellow Jackets is that also a lot of the guys are not. We’re just brought together because we like to sing. So there are several guys that want to be doctors and lawyers and teachers and writers but then several of us who do want to be professional musicians; I know Nick and I are some of them. And we’re actually, we’re at the sad point in the road where we’re going to be graduating in December and off we go into the music world and “The Sing-Off” has been just the inspiration that we needed to make sure that this is really what we want to do and we know it for sure now. So we’re going to be going on. We actually are having so much fun singing a cappella that we don’t want to say goodbye to it.
The Yellow Jackets are more than just an a cappella group. They’re a brotherhood who will continue to represent wherever their path leads them. With their inspiring trip to Kenya and being part of “The Sing-Off,” these guys are ready to take on the world.
Article Written by: Elizabeth Lavulo
*article photos courtesy of Lewis Jacobs/NBC
*YouTube video courtesy of mrduckbear11