Sheenon Olson, Jordan Abrantes
You've seen them on NBC’s The Sing-Off and in the movie Pitch Perfect 2, and now Filipino-American a capella group The Filharmonic is back delivering incredible covers of some of the music industry's hottest songs. TWIST caught up with the singers and asked them to share all about their musical journey. Check out our exclusive Q&A with the guys below.
TWIST: You just celebrated your anniversary of The Sing-Off – what is it like looking back on the years since the show?
JULES CRUZ: It's all been a huge blur since the show and we cannot believe that it's already been this long. The best (and worst) part is looking back on how inexperienced we were as a group and how far we've come since then. All in all, we're just grateful it all happened!
Filming for @thesingoff began 3 years ago today. What an unreal 3 years it has been. Thank you to everyone who's followed us on our journey!— The Filharmonic (@TheFilharmonic) July 25, 2016
TWIST: What would your younger selves be most excited to hear about your career right now?
VJ ROSALES: Our younger selves would be most excited about us being in a movie that involved a cappella music [Editor's note: Pitch Perfect 2]. The entire experience was amazing, and if I knew that I was going to be in a motion picture in my lifetime, I would flip! What a great opportunity.
TWIST: Is there any advice you'd tell your younger selves if you could go back to when you first started?
JOE CAIGOY: Having our start on television, I think the biggest advice I could give to our past selves would be to remember that we have so many people supporting us. This industry is scary and can sometimes make an artist feel like they're going nowhere, but as a group, we made it our mission to promote our Filipino culture and that community has given back ever since.
TWIST: What is the best advice you've ever been given?
TRACE GAYNOR: Best advice I've been given has been to just keep working hard doing what you like. A cappella started as a fun side hobby for me, and I would have never believed I'd be able to turn it into a full blown career. If you do what you like, an opportunity will come along that you just have to be prepared to take advantage of.
TWIST: Who are some artists that inspire you or you look up to?
NIKO DEL REY: Groups like Pentatonix who are paving the way for mainstream a cappella, and of course our musical influences like Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. We like to fuse their styles and incorporate it into The Filharmonic's.
TWIST: Which other artists would you love to collaborate with or perform with?
BARRY FORTGANG: There are many artists that would be amazing to perform with, but at the top of our list would be performers like Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Pentatonix, Us The Duo, and Third Story.
TWIST: What's your favorite fan reaction that you've ever had?
JULES CRUZ: We've had people full on break down into tears with particular performances and that's always a special moment as a performer to know that you've moved someone in that way.
TWIST: What's the process like when deciding to cover a song?
JOE CAIGOY: We have different ways to pick which song we will cover next. Sometimes it's as simple as "this song is cool, let’s sing it!", but other times we have to do some fortune telling. Arranging and rehearsing music can take a while and we don't want to sing a song that everyone will get tired of.
TWIST: What goes into putting together your outfits/costumes for stage and videos?
TRACE GAYNOR: We kind of all have our own individual styles. Once the group decides on a general concept of what we want as a whole, we each take our own ideas and styles for how we individually want to look.