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Artikel Tagged ‘EXIT’

Vocal Asia Festival 2015 – Impressions of Day 4

19. September 2015 Keine Kommentare

by Juliana Baron, Vocal Blog Asia, September 2015

Every moment is just so special – Juliana’s first-hand impressions of the Vocal Asia Festival 2015

And here comes part 4 of my VAF 2015 diary:

Day 4: an impressive experience to sing and entertain people on four levels of a shopping mall

Sat (Aug 8), after the warm up session with Leo Tsai, everyone had another chance to sing with Naturally 7: „Meet and sing with N7“. Needless to say, we all had a blast. Check out the snapshot video of „Rivers of Babylon“.

Workshop  „Meet and sing with N7“

This afternoon, there was not so much time to join the workshops and group coaching sessions as a lot of the participating groups were performing at the ACA Day Concert in Shanghai’s MetroCity, a huge shopping mall with four levels’ view onto the stage in B1. With my local group A-CAism, I had the honor to open the ACA Day event. It was astonishing how fast all levels filled with an interested and curious audience who would stay and grow even more during the 3 hours concert. It was an impressive experience to sing and entertain people on four levels around us and above our heads. The audience coming late were struggling to catch a good view. Some were taking the escalator up and down several times to enjoy a better sight.

Exit from Korea at their performance in MetroCity, Shanghai.

Exit from Korea at their performance in MetroCity, Shanghai.

The atmosphere in the shopping mall was excellent. Despite or because most of them wouldn’t know a cappella, the audience was stunned of the musical diversity and the power of pure voices. Regardless of which city or country the groups performing came from, regardless of which music style they performed, each group received a big hand and cheering echoing through the halls of the shopping mall.

DeltaCappella caught the audience in the MetroCity Mall in Shanghai.

DeltaCappella caught the audience in the MetroCity Mall in Shanghai.

The final performance was by DeltaCappella, the VAF’s special guests from Memphis. It was their first performance on this Shanghai trip and they were obviously a little nervous how the Chinese audience would receive their music. But no need to worry. DeltaCappella was just amazing and the audience immediately fell for them.

Exhausted we headed back to our hotel for the Farewell Party, yes, it was already the last evening. Some technical constraints wouldn’t keep a party room full of a cappella lovers from singing. DeltaCappella, EXIT and a charming group of Vocal Asia staff and volunteers performed as well as the „walking jazz drum kit“ Kaichiro Kitamura and the amazing VP talent Fishball. You shouldn’t provide plastic cups at an a cappella party, if you don’t fancy Pitch Perfect’s Cup Song. It was great fun to mix up with Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese, American, Singapore and Hongkong people at a round table and just start to sing and do the cup percussion.

Watch the snapshot recording by Roger Thomas from Naturally 7.

Vocal Asia Festival 2015 – Impressions of Day 1

13. September 2015 Keine Kommentare

Every moment is just so special – Juliana’s first-hand impressions of the Vocal Asia Festival 2015

by Juliana Baron, Vocal Blog Asia, September 2015

Last month, the Shanghai Mass Arts Center was hosting the 2015 Vocal Asia Festival (VAF) as well as the 2nd Asian Cup A Cappella Competition. It was an amazing festival and I still try to figure out which of the many great moments have been my favorites? Although, already several weeks passed, I would like to share with you some in-sight impressions and several very interesting talks on Asian A Cappella – here comes part 1:

Day 1: It’s not all about winning.

On Wednesday (Aug 5) the festival started with the 2nd Asia Cup A Cappella Competition. Awesome groups from whole Asia (Taiwan, Korea, China, Singapore, Japan, Hongkong) were performing. As Deke Sharon (member of the Jury) said, it is unbelievable how much the Asian groups improved over the last few years. Refreshing young groups, powerful voices, a lot of up-tempo pop songs and, just a few, but beautiful arrangements of local songs from their respective country. „The Present“ for instance, performed a charming version of the Korean folk song Arirang. Absolutely mind-blowing was the youngest group, high school students from Taiwan: 尋人啟事人聲樂團 The Wanted. They took the audience on a journey through up and down emotions, making us clap along with Pharrell’s „Happy“, filling tears in our eyes with „Maybe tomorrow“ a Taiwanese song with a breath taking solo by Fangchi Hyun and blowing the audience away with a powerful and precise Get Lucky of Daft Punk. Special guest and last performance before the judges were announcing the results of the contest was EXIT from Korea, winners of the first Asia Cup Competition in 2012. During the break, I had the chance to do a short interview on their musical journey since their success 3 years ago (see below).

The Wanted at the award ceremony.

The Wanted at the award ceremony.

„And the winner is…“ – The international jury consisting of Deke Sharon, Guangxian Chen, Kaichiro Kitamura, Roger Thomas and Ray Chu, was very clear about the first price – well-deserved, going to The Wanted from Taiwan. Second, The Present from Korea and third, the City Singers from China. But the judges also awarded a special price, a special price for living the „spirit of a cappella“. Because it is not all about winning, it is about going on stage, singing with all your soul and heart, bringing joy to the audience and enjoying and having fun with your group – and sometimes to stand-in for a team member. A few hours before leaving for the competition, a member of Singapore’s group NANU stepped out. Rather than resigning from the competition, NANU decided to sing with the remaining members and shared their joy of singing with the audience. For me, this was indeed the spirit of the whole festival and the jury’s special price relieved the tension, somehow the atmosphere changed from „who is best?“ to „let’s sing together, let’s make friends and let’s exchange our experience and learn from each other“. So, the special price for NANU became my greatest moment of Day 1.

Interview with EXIT 엑시트 from Korea (the interview was done in Korean language)

(left to right) Chan-Han Park, Jin-Hyuk Kim, Juliana, Young-June Kim, Seul-Ki Lee, Min-Wook Kim

(left to right) Chan-Han Park, Jin-Hyuk Kim, Juliana, Young-June Kim, Seul-Ki Lee, Min-Wook Kim

Juliana: In 2012, you won the first Asia Cup A Cappella Competition. Since then, how did your life change?

Young-June: It seems it became more difficult (laugh).

Jin-Hyuk: Well, it didn’t change that much. It’s just that we could start to work and tour in the Greater China region, like Hongkong, Taiwan, China, ah and also Japan. Before, nobody knew us in those countries. Vocal Asia really helped us.

Juliana: So, how often are you going abroad for concerts? How much are you on tour?

Young-June: Well, most of our concerts are in Korea, about twice or at most three times a year we are touring abroad. But once, we are going to foreign countries for concerts, of course, we are doing a lot at a time.

Juliana: Can you live from singing and touring? Is Exit your full-time job?

Seul-Ki: Yes, it is our full-time job.

Juliana: In Korea success and high reputation is so important in all areas of life. Do you think, it is also necessary to win a competition as an a cappella group to have the chance to gain popularity and be successful?

Young-June: I would rather say, although having won a competition, most of the groups have to really work extremely hard for their success. I would say, there is no relationship whatsoever between winning a competition and being successful. There are professional groups who never took part at a competition and still are very successful, there are other groups having won competitions, but struggling and working really hard to gain some popularity. So, you cannot rely on being successful after winning a competition.

Juliana: In Korea and in whole Asia K-Pop (Korean pop music) is very popular. Does it help or does it make your life more difficult?

Jin-Hyuk: It helps.

Seul-Ki: Yes, it definitely helps.

Jin-Hyuk: When we go to countries like Hongkong, China, anywhere were the Hallyu wave is strong (Hallyu stands for the increase in the popularity of South Korean culture since the late 1990s) and if we prepare K-Pop repertoire we feel even more close and the audience loves it.

Juliana: Did you watch Zenith’s performance at vokal.total this year – through the Youtube-live-broadcast?

Jin-Hyuk: Yes, we did.

Juliana: How was your feeling watching your fellow Korean a cappella group performing overseas?

Seul-Ki: Of course you feel with your fellow Koreans going this far of a journey to compete in Europe. Big congratulations! And my full respect, they had to cover the whole costs by themselves, for sure not an easy thing. The more I am happy, that they could return with this wonderful result.

Juliana: For the participating teams at this year’s Asia Cup Competition, what do you recommend them for their future career?

Seul-Ki: Fighting! (laugh)

Chan-Han: And have fun! Enjoy!

Juliana: Thank you, for this interview! Looking forward to your performance tonight!

EXIT Music Video: Beautiful