Pentatonix in PH: On the balut experience, pitch perfect Pinoy fans, and more
MANILA, Philippines – After their June 2015 concert, fans wished for them to come back – and Pentatonix has made that dream a reality. They are back for another Manila show set for Saturday, September 24, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Fans are ready for more and are raring to see the gang, famous for its complex, dizzying arrangements and vocal acrobatics (in addition to just straight-up fantastic singing, period) only Pentatonix can perform so elegantly. (WATCH: 10 best moments from the Pentatonix Manila concert)
Also, they are just plain cool. The vocals feel effortless, the teamwork is on point, and the arrangements so original – no doubt the result of countless hours of study and work. (WATCH: 8 awesome Pentatonix facts)
Last year, the gang (Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado, Avi Kaplan, and Kevin Olusola) had the most memorable and poignant moment with Pinoy fans, teaching the crowd how to sing "On My Way Home" on the spot. PTX members and the audience alike basked in the joy of this special interaction, prompting Scott to say that Filipinos were the best singing crowd he's seen. (WATCH: Manila crowd sings with Pentatonix at PH concert)
I caught up with Pentatonix for the second year in a row at the group's press conference Friday, September 23, at the Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas. Here are just a few tidbits we picked up from the session, which you can also view in their entirety below:
1. The balut experience
Yes, they've tried balut – and they didn't hate it! Scott talked about the experience after he was asked about his "fond memories" from their last Manila visit. He even ate the duck, not just the yellow yolk.
"It was so good," said Scott. "It was good, it was salty."
"Mine was less bony than yours," Mitch told Scott.
"True. Mine had a crunch to it," Scott answered.
2. They LOVED their Manila show
"I just remember, we didn't know what to expect because we had never been here before, and then we just walked on the stage, and the first song, the entire arena was on their feet, with lights, screaming, singing so loud, and it just energized us to another level," said Scott.
"Yeah, I feel like it truly is one of the shows we talk about the most, that we reminisce back to and we love so much...and it's really exciting to be here," Kirstie added.
Scott said he was amazed to hear the audience singing "so perfectly in tune" as PTX taught Pinoys how to sing back in their 2015 concert – with the group attesting to the fact that many Pinoys are amazing singers. (WATCH: Pentatonix serenades PH fan onstage at Manila concert)
3. Possibly working with Pinoy artists?
PTX is well aware of Pinoy talent – in fact, Avi helped put The Filharmonic together!
But when they asked which Pinoy artists they should listen to, Scott said he would take notes from a list that included Pinoy greats like Gary V, Lani Misalucha, Regine Velasquez, and more.
Would they do a Filipino song? Avi says, "We haven't done one yet, but I think we'd consider it."
Trivia: Avi actually knows one Filipino song – the Visayan folk tune "Rosas Pandan," which he says he used to sing in college.
Watch him talk about that here:
4. Dream collabs
Here are a couple of answers from Mitch and Kevin:
Kevin: "I've always thought it was interesting if we could work with a rapper, like Kendrick Lamar. I think he brings such an intensity onstage that I think is unparalleled, so I think he would be really, really awesome to work with."
Mitch: "I think Imogen Heap is my #1 because she uses her voice a lot to do really, really cool things, very acrobatic things...our styles would piece together, very well together."
5. How do they decide who does what solo?
Mitch: "I feel like it's pretty intuitive, actually. I think we go into the arrangement session knowing who's gonna sing a solo because we can tell whose voice is going to suit it the best."
I asked Kevin and Avi how their own unique sounds have developed over the years. "He and I have worked tomorrow so much where I feel like we kind of understand intuitively what we would do," said Kevin, noting that now they've been shifting to more original music, they've been able to try newer things, too – and this is sometimes challenging, but helps hone their skills as musicians.
6. Sometimes, they just don't agree, and that's okay
"What's really cool about our group – two things," said Scott. "We're very creatively different, but that's awesome because we can each bring new things to an arrangement. But what else is awesome about our group is that we're very respectful of each other, we always try the ideas."
"Even if I disagree with an idea, I'm like, 'Let's give it a shot,' and if it inspires us and we're feeling it, then I will admit that I was wrong in not liking it, and we'll go with it. We've kind of created that precedent in our group, which is I think one of the main reasons some of our arrangements have done so well."
7. Have they ever tried to sing each other's parts?
Yes, but it rarely goes perfectly, they say.
8. Holiday album, coming up!
They can't say much about it – in fact they wouldn't talk about it much at the presscon – but the gang will be coming up with a follow-up to its hit Christmas album, and it will be out later this year.
Listen to them sing "That's Christmas To Me" here. The group performed this at their Manila concert last year, after asking everyone in the crowd to fall silent in order to give them space to perform the sweet tune.
Will you see the PTX show this year? What would you like PTX to perform at their second show in Manila? Let us know in the comments below. – Rappler.com