Pitch Slapped: 7 Ways to Get Hooked on the A Cappella Phenomenon

I was eleven years old the first time I listened to a cappella music. My mom put on a classic rock a cappella CD in the car; the group (conveniently called Rockapella) sang the song “Tempted” by Squeeze. I remember being hooked and initially in total disbelief that this music was being made entirely from their voices with out any form of instrument. Almost 10 years later, society is joining the a cappella bandwagon thanks to recent movies, TV shows, and YouTube sensations. Listed below are several ways you can also be a part of the singing craze and join the phenomenon! (hint: click the links!) 
1. Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect 

If you haven’t seen this 2012 film yet, you may or may not be living under a rock. This movie depicts the story of Beca, a college freshman that is persuaded against her will to join her school’s all-girl singing group. She injects some much-needed energy as they take on their rivals in competitions. The film not only grossed $113 million world wide, but also became a cult classic with its breath of fresh air, witty humor and not to mention aca-awesome singing (see movie for “aca” reference).  It also produced a hit you may have heard on the radio called “Cups” by star Anna Kendrick. See the movie before the sequel hits theaters in 2015.
Anna Kendrick – “Cups”
Pitch Perfect Official Trailer 

2. The Sing Off
This is not your average singing competition. Forget what you see on American Idol or the X Factor. This NBC show is all about a cappella groups and their raw, natural talent. The fourth season, airing December 9th, will take on a new look with new judge, singer Jewel (joining the rankings of Ben Folds and Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman) as well as the new executive producer Mark Burnett (most notable for producing CBS’ Survivor and NBC’s The Voice). Burnett has brainstormed new ideas for the show with producer Deke Sharon, who has also arranged music in Pitch Perfect. The new season will only air for the brief holiday season (approximately two weeks), so don’t miss it! Be sure to check out past season performances on YouTube and Hulu.
The Sing Off Season 4 Promo
3. Pentatonix


This quintet is the real deal, no ifs, ands or buts. After winning the third season of The Sing Off, Pentatonix pursued an independent recording career and exploded on YouTube with over two and a half million followers. Their channel includes countless videos of popular song covers with their signature twist as well as their original music. Their second album “PTX Volume 2” debuted in November at number 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart. Not too shabby for an a cappella group, huh? They kick off their US Tour December 14th so check out their YouTube videos while you wait for them to come to a city near you.
Pentatonix – “Evolution of Music”
Pentatonix – “Daft Punk”

4. The Maccabeats
Not your average a cappella YouTube sensation, this group formed at Yeshiva University in 2007, emerging as both a Jewish and a cappella phenomena with more than 10 million views on YouTube. They made their mark with their Hannukah song “Candlelight” in 2010, which has 8.9 million views and counting. They also most recently released their own version of the Pitch Perfect song “Cups” called “Cups (D’ror Yikra).”
Maccabeats – “Candlelight – Hannukah”
Maccabeats – “Cups (D’ror Yikra)”
5. FSU Acabellas
There seem to be countless covers of the hit song Royals by Lorde, but this one takes the cake. With the voices of angles, the Acabellas of Florida State University released their video in early November, and within a month has had over 6 million views. Warning, you will be watching this video on repeat and it will be awesome every single time.
Florida State University Acabellas – “Royals” 
6. We Can’t Stop (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)

Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots

Picture this: Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots singing the pop hit “We Can’t Stop” with out instruments. This is not the kind of thing you imagine when you hear that Miley Cyrus will be a guest on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, but that is exactly what happened and it worked. Once airing in early October, the video was available on Hulu, NBC.com and YouTube, with over 13 million views solely on Youtube. This video will make you forget about that foam finger and the twerking, helping you focus on Miley’s actual talent.
Jimmy Fallon, Miley Cyrus and The Roots – “We Can’t Stop (A Cappella)”

7. Doo Wop Shop – Disney Medley
Last but certainly not least, another YouTube hit, and with good reason too. This a cappella group The Doo Wop Shop, from UMass Amherst, became popular with their medley of Disney classics. This video was uploaded back in 2010 and has since had over 5 million views. The video will not only make you feel warm and fuzzy inside but will bring you back to your childhood of watching these Disney classics.  
UMAss Amherst Doo Wop Shop – “Disney Medley”

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