Had it been the early '90s, British band The Magnets would find it tough to make people understand their form of music. But today after Hollywood films such as "Pitch Perfect" became a rage with the youth, one of the group members, Nic Doodson says they do not have to explain to the public that an a cappella band produces music using their vocal chords, without instrumental accompaniment. In an interview with PTI, one of the bass singers of The Magnets says, "I think it's becoming mainstream now. A capella is getting popular with movies like 'Pitch Perfect' and also music shows 'The Sing Off' in America. "We've been doing this a long time and no longer do we have to explain that a cappella means 'music without instruments'. For the first 15 years of our career, we had to explain that, so there's certainly progress." Other members of The Magnets include Duncan Sandilands (bass), Callum McIntosh (baritone), Mathhew MaCabe (baritone), James Gibbs (tenor) and Ball (zee). The band was formed in 1995, when some of the members met at University at London and decided to sing together. "We started singing in a place called Covent Garden in London where you can perform on the street for money; when we had earned enough money to go to the pub and buy a few pints we'd stop singing and start drinking. "Several years (and many pints) later we graduated from university and decided to try and see if we could make a living singing." And there was no looking back. Doodson says, "Now, of course, we are much more professional, evolved in terms of technology, right microphones for right sounds, collaboration with various talents, but at the heart we are still a bunch of guys passionate about a cappella." Making music together is already a difficult job and hitting the right note, literally, when it comes to an a cappella band is not magic that happens on the drop of a hat. "It's surprisingly hard to have six people singing into microphones at the same time and make it both easy to sing on stage and easy to listen to in the audience. There's the challenge of getting a balance of sound onstage so everyone can hear themselves, which is the hardest thing for singers. "Next difficulty is to make the sound good for the audience.
Unlike a guitar which can be made louder or quieter easily from the sound desk, the voice is as loud as someone decides to sing so the sound engineer has to be constantly mixing based on how the singers are feeling, singing and projecting - it's harder than it looks," he says. The Magnets are currently on their first tour of India where they performed with Bollywood soprano Natalie di Luccio, and are having a great time. "We are really enjoying our India tour; so far we're been to Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Agra... All are so different and so amazing. In the years to come we can't wait to get to see new venues and cities. We integrated some Bollywood hits in our performance. 'Dum Maro Dum' is one of our favourites." The group is set to prepare for Christmas shows in the UK and will tour Australia in January next year. The band performs in Delhi's Siri Fort tonight. It is up for two shows in Mumbai tomorrow - at the Royal Opera House at 12 pm and at Rangsharda Auditorium at 7.45 pm.
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