EXCLUSIVE ARTIST INTERVIEW: ECHO ACAPPELLA | PERFORMING September 28th AT BAR NINE
The NYC-based, award-winning Acappella group is back on the Bar Nine stage! "We always like to have fun when we perform", says the group of their live show, "whether we are doing a dramatic serious song or a silly pop number, we definitely move with the mood. From stank faces to body rolls, we do it all!"
In anticipation of their live show with us on September 28th at 6PM, the band was nice enough to email us from their home-base in New York to discuss their musical influences, live show experience, and what inspires them on a day-to-day basis
BAR NINE: What type of band are you?
ECHO A CAPPELLA: We are a semi-professional a cappella group based in NYC
BN: Tell us the brief history of your band
EA: All of us have our own day jobs; and all were looking for some creative outlet during key moments in our lives. Some of us auditioned for the same group, but didn't make the cut as they were only looking for one new member. The group liked us so much that they wrote us saying that we all were talented enough to start our own group, as opposed to waiting for the next round of auditions. So that's what we did, and the rest is history!
BN: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
EA: Some people would say we love Beyonce and Adele. They would be correct. We also have a flair for nostalgia like 90s-00s pop and r&b, and we dabble in some angsty country tunes now and again.
BN: What are your dreams and goals?
EA: Currently we support ourselves as a group with the money we make from gigs, public and private, and we really hope to keep doing so while traveling more and reaching new audiences! We have a show in Berlin next April so we hope to pay for all of that through our group funds, which of course starts with shows at Bar 9 and other awesome places like it! Of course it would also be great to be famous, but ain't nobody got time for that :)
BN: Who writes the songs, what are they about?
EA: As an a cappella group, it's typical to do covers. We have a few people in the group who like to arrange, so we get a variety of styles and nothing gets stale. We do everything from medleys to mashups to full reinterpretations of songs. We'd be open to doing originals, but those take a lot more time to create, and we are a group full of very opinionated voices!
BN: How do you promote your band and shows?
EA: Mostly through social media; we haven't done too many as of late, as we have been booking private events and then prepared for competition. Bar 9 is our favorite place to do gigs for ourselves; it's in a perfect central zone for all of us, and it's too easy for our friends not to pass by after work :)
BN: Describe your show, visual and musically
EA: We always like to have fun when we perform; whether we are doing a dramatic serious song or a silly pop number, we definitely move with the mood. From stank faces to body rolls, we do it all! While our best choreography has to be when we compete in larger spaces, where we can really use the floor for impact, bar shows allow us to connect more with the audience.
BN: What do you think about downloading music online?
EA: We are definitely more of a streaming group these days!
BN: What's your outlook on the record industry today?
EA: Overall positive. Being an unconventional style of group for the industry, it's great to look up to performers like Straight No Chaser and The Pentatonix to see what works and what doesn't in the a cappella space.
BN: What's your claim to fame?
EA: Trying to be as fabulous as possible! One time Chromeo favorited our video of their song "Jealous," while we were still a baby group. That felt pretty awesome!
BN: Tell us a story about a day in your life
EA: That's hard- all of our lives are so different! Here are some of our jobs, to get an idea... wedding coordinator, marketing manager, software engineer, graphic designer, stage performer, music teacher, executive assistant, restaurant glassware sales, etc. The one thing we have in common is our love for music and spending time with each other!
BN: What inspires you to do what you do?
EA: Making amazing sounds and hanging out with our friends. Getting some recognition and bringing in funds are also nice perks! We somehow got invited to sing at a music festival in Berlin- these opportunities also make being a part of Echo feel incredible!
BN: What advice would you give to fellow bands?
EA: Surround yourself with talented people you want to spend all your time with! But also, never lose the passion. It's a great sign if you would still be performing even if you made no money at all.
BN: What are some of your pet peeves?
EA: When people don't listen in rehearsal! We are guilty of going off track more than a few times when we practice haha
BN: How does music affect you and the world around you?
EA: Music is always important, but ESPECIALLY during the current tough times we're living in. It's hard to stay positive and feel connected with people these days, but music brings people together in a way that nothing else can, and we truly hope that our audiences feel that way when we perform for them!
BN: What's new in the recording of your music?
EA: We haven't recorded in a while! The most recent development has been hearing the difference between performance spaces. Our sound with individual mics is much more grand, but depending on the space, it can drown out the soloist or make them really shine. For a group our size, hearing everyone is key, and that definitely affects the end result.
BN: What are the biggest obstacles for bands?
EA: Knowing how often to play gigs, how often to switch the rep, and how to reach new listeners
BN: What's the best and worst thing about playing clubs?
EA: We haven't played too many "clubs" per se, but the one thing we don't love is asking our guests to pay a drink minimum, especially if there is already a cover to get in. We never want to inconvenience the people who are loyal to us! The best thing is the exposure, and reaching fresh ears.
BN: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there
EA: Besides our September gig at Bar None, we have an upcoming birthday show in November, and we typically do some Holiday singing at the NY Botanical Gardens. Then there's Berlin in April if anyone wants to fly out! Be there because we are always a blast.