PENTATONIX On Covering A Filipino Song: "Yes! Million Percent! Which One Should We Do?"
Ai dela Cruz
Will Pentatonix be singing a Filipino song in their concert tonight? As a fan of the a capella group, I couldn't help but wonder.
Ahead of their third visit to the Philippines, I was fortunate enough to be granted a MYXclusive interview with one of the group's founding members, Kirstin Maldonado (mezzo-soprano), while she was still in Japan, completing the group's five sold-out shows with Mitch Grassi (tenor), Scott Hoying (baritone), Kevin Olusola (cello), and Matt Sallee (bass) as part of Pentatonix: The World Tour.
It has been four years since they last performed in Manila, so Kirstin was ecstatic to be back: "The Philippines is the best! The last time we played there, the fans and audience were so amazing, so we're just excited to be back."
Fans who got to watch their 2015 and 2016 shows at the Araneta Coliseum will have something new to look forward to tonight. Aside from hearing their new song covers live, it's going to be the first time Matt will be performing in the country since replacing Avi Kaplan as the group's bass singer in 2017.
"Matt's amazing. We went to South America for the first time, so that was fun for all of us. And in every place that we've already been to, we kept dragging him to all things that we love," Kirstin giggled as she shared how they bonded with Matt. "But he's great, he's a wonderful energy. He's so talented so we're all very happy."
Another thing fans should look forward to tonight is an original Pentatonix song which is part of a new album coming out this year! "We've been working on original music. We're really excited about that. We feel like it's been a while since our last orginal album. And now, we feel like we've matured as artists and as people," Kirstin revealed.
We'll definitely be waiting for those original songs to come out, but while we enjoy their covers, I couldn't help but ask if there's any chance that they would be open to cover a Filipino song. Kirstin immediately gasped and said, "Yes! Million percent! Which one should we do?"
Grateful that she indulged me, I suggested one of the most viral songs lately, "Tala" by Sarah Geronimo. After telling her that it literally means "star" and briefing her about how big of a craze it has been—not just the song but its accompanying dance steps—Kirstin giddily replied, "Okay! Nice! Maybe, we'll see!" I know it's a long shot, but at least "Tala" is now on their radar!
Courtesy Viva Records
They may be having a great time touring the world right now, but Kirstin admitted there have been many struggles along the way—the biggest one being their constant absences in special occasions back home.
"We tour a lot, we work really hard, and we don't really take a lot of breaks. I think in different parts of our lives, that seemed overwhelming. Since there are five people in the group, it's kinda hard to balance missing birthdays or missing weddings, missing lives that you lead at home. I think that's been the hardest part for everyone," she said about her group which is now nearing its first decade together since winning the reality a capella singing competition Sing-Off in 2011.
However, the fun side of touring is also not lost on her, as she recognized how amazing it is to be able to tour the world with Pentatonix, whom she had repeatedly referred to as her family during our 15-minute conversation: "But on the front side, it’s amazing to go see these beautiful places and people, and we get to see friends that we wouldn’t normally have gotten to see, and even make new friends."
Luckily, they never thought of canceling their show in the Philippines despite news about confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country. "Actually no, we never discussed cancelling any shows. We just really made sure to take the precautions like wearing face masks and using hand sanitizers."
Days ago, concert promoter Wilbros Live announced that there will be a "No mask, no entry" policy to be applied on their future shows, including that of Pentatonix. So make sure to bring your masks tonight, guys!
Before ending our interview, Kirstin sent a heartfelt message to their Filipino fans: "We're so excited to see you guys! Please sing along with us. Everyone is such a good singer in the Philippines, so I'm so excited. Thank you guys so much for your continued support. We're so happy to be there again."