Kevin Olusola ’11
, has took pleasure in enormous success after a viral video clip of him play the cello and also beatboxing pushed him to becoming a establishing member the the a capella pop group – Pentatonix.

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Kevin was a member of the 2175forals.com cello ar for two years prior to taking a year overseas in Beijing, China. During his time in ~ Yale, he studied with Ole Akahoshi, and developed his now-famous cello beatboxing method. Kevin’s ‘cello-boxing’ was the opening act for two consecutive 2175forals.com Halloween Shows.
Maestro Boughton and Manager, Brian Robinson, take it an afternoon to speak v Kevin about his career, his time at Yale, and also his experiences v the 2175forals.com, from cellist and also featured performer come his time together a member that 2175forals.com phase Crew.
KB: a entirety lot that fun, I typical – playing with civilization who were yes, really passionate about orchestral music. I feel like in such a big place choose Yale where there space so many diverse opportunities; human being who uncover the 2175forals.com really want to it is in there and also so ns absolutely loved that. The was human being who to be really dedicated to the music amidst their myriad opportunities and commitments and also school work. Clearly the 2175forals.com Halloween display is my greatest memory - I acquired to do a few solos which was really, really cool. There to be one year the I opened with a guitarist – we did some type of… i forgot what it was, but it was fun to explore outside of the timeless realm a tiny bit, but yeah, that was so fun. It is my favourite memory. Ns think for any student that is the storage they store with them.
BR: can you provide a shout-out to our stage Crew together a former Stage Crew member, and how go your stage Crew experience help your personal development?
KO: five my god! To it is in honest, that funny you will do ask that, since what it taught me to do was to constantly appreciate the world on her crew. Since now we have an company of five buses, four trucks, and I really have learned to appreciate all those people who assist you perform what you perform best. There would be no display without them. For this reason 100% shout the end to the phase crew.
KO: 100%. I absolutely loved my undergraduate years because I think — whereas as soon as I visited Philips Academy Andover, they offered me the tools to be an effective human — ns feel favor undergrad to be the opportunity to spread my wings and explore mine human. For this reason that’s once I started not just doing orchestra and chamber music with world that were really diverse and different 보다 me, which ns think produced really exciting music. Exploring China, exploring eastern Asia was large for me. Ns think being in an environment where they yes, really pride us on being expansive and also being experimental; ns really love that around Yale. Ns think that gave me the trust to try bringing my beatboxing right into my cello play and additionally trying different forms of play that I use today, whether it’s the singing, R&B vocal layout that I usage on mine cello play or - now that i’ve explored an ext rock genres and also do more fretting ~ above the cello - ns think the all began at Yale due to the fact that I was allowed and provided that flexibility to explore.
KO: that was really legitimately just my own exploration. Okay tell girlfriend this: in state of, because that example, me kind of learning just how to vocalize on the cello; in regards to the R&B, soulful sound that i feel choose I have now? What happened was ns was through Ole Akahoshi, that was my cello teacher in ~ Yale. Is he still there? please tell me he is still there.
KO: thank God. He was an impressive teacher. Not just a cello teacher, i feel an ext about life. And also those life conversations really assisted me increase my artistry. Due to the fact that as a young kid, friend don’t have actually so countless experiences in her life, and also he could talk around some of his experiences, and I think that assisted me grow and also go depth into how I wanted to refer myself, so I just love him.
But there was a day i remember – i forgot the item it was – yet I was play a piece for him, and also he told me come stop and I asked “why?,” and also he said “It just sounds prefer you’re play the notes, and also you’re being very musical, but I nothing feel prefer I hear that you space in this piece.” and so that asked me to go to the Yale Music Library and to hear to various opera CDs. So, I just kind of stayed in there and listened and I heard this beautiful music, and also listened come the means they sang; the so various from exactly how an instrumentalist would. However I thought if ns was may be to attain that, ns would be able to really sing with my instrument. So ns listened and tried come emulate what i heard, and I went back to my lesson and also played the piece again and also he said it sounded completely different.
So it was from that totally different way of thinking around music, the I said “Well, if I have the right to do it through this, well, I’ve constantly listened to famous singers v my late teens and also early twenties and also I loved the method they sing. Ns wonder if I have the right to take the framework and also utilize the with how I’d love to likewise play.” and I stated “I nothing really know anybody the does this.” yet I stated “whatever. Ns mean, why not shot it anyway?” and so i think that’s been really valuable in the means I play and also I think there have actually been human being who believed that was a yes, really interesting way of me play the cello.
KO: Please! He’s among the best influences in my playing. Not just from a technological perspective, but really from a thought/leadership view on how you should technique practice and also playing. Because I feel favor he to be one the was very smart in saying “Don’t just practice for practice sake. Of course you have to do her fundamentals, however what is the purpose of this practice? What execute you want to accomplish?” and also then you engineer it backwards, and also that’s constantly been at sight important because now the I’ve explored so plenty of different species of music, ns say well, i’m not simply going to exercise these fundamentals simply to exercise it – perform I have to practice it in a fully different means to help me attain what i’m trying come achieve? and also so he’s to be super critical in that for me.
KO: girlfriend know, ns did not, actually. What happened was I applied to Music School and also I acquired into Berkeley and also – i’m not certain what the called, now – but the NEC program. I was going come go, however in my feather semester of my an elderly year, I had this video clip that went famous of me play cello and beatboxing; and also when that video clip went viral, a few opportunities come from it, which was, girlfriend know, to shot out v my band, Pentatonix and also we the day prior to the audition which was 2 weeks prior to I graduated. That, and also I likewise to sign up with a tour for a Christian worship band called Gungor due to the fact that they needed one instrumentalist come round the end their sound, together they only had two that them. So, I thought I was going to go to Berkeley, and I still had my applications there. Ns thought, “if these methods don’t pan out, well, what not what have actually you, that fine. Ns can continue with Berkeley. But, it happened that the tourism went really well, and it looked favor we were starting to execute really well in The song Off. For this reason I had actually to make a decision while ns was top top The song Off whether i was going to stop and go to Berkeley, or ns going to forfeit my admission to Berkeley. I forfeited it, and thankfully we won the TV show, and also we started this acapella business.
KO: for sure not. That really counts on what’s going on. The band is so full time. But I do try to focus on the things that i personally want to gain done before I begin working v the band, due to the fact that I love what us do, but there are personal projects that I’ve been functioning on that would certainly be nice to gain done an initial so that i feel an ext energized and rejuvenated prior to you start doing your various other work. But, no, there’s no a really typical day. Ns couldn’t tell friend one.
KO: Interesting! i guess in the lexicon that what human being deem as famous music, and how the music sector tries to specify things, sure. But for me i feel favor this is just me digging deeper right into who i am and understanding that large part the me and how come let the out, therefore I average if that’s ‘crossover art’ for people in the industry, it is fine, yet I think it’s simply me make the efforts to recognize me and be authentically who I am.
WB: and what are you currently working on as well as the Christmas Tour? Is there a cello beatboxing disc on that is way?
KO: No, not appropriate now, but I actually composed a piece for our tour that has a many looping and beatboxing and lots of strumming ~ above the cello. But for the past 5 years i have been functioning on a more pop solo project which will certainly be combine a lot of of different sounds. I’ve simply been writing a ton of songs. It is been really fun, trying out parts of that I am, like my singing ability, trying come play different instruments while performing - which you have the right to see on my YouTube channel. And it’s been really good. Ns feel prefer I’ve been really broadening myself in a method that permits me to write some pretty interesting songs. It’s to be good. I don’t know when that’s coming out. I have been releasing samples on Spotify recently which has been good. And also it’s to be getting an excellent response. I’m really happy around that.
WB: ns didn’t know that. Congratulations, Kevin. Ns mean, her success is fantastic, and also I’m glad you’re for this reason happy in what she doing.
KO: thank you so much. That was absolutely unexpected, especially in the music business. I mean, girlfriend really have actually no idea. Ns thankful for the roots that I have to Yale in terms of just being really open up minded about the way you have the right to do things, due to the fact that I think had I not had actually that, and thought over there was just one way of doing things, then ns think i would have actually never sought these various other opportunities. And so I’m just really, yes, really thankful.

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