In Monday’s (12/23) Mother Jones magazine, Julia Lurie interviews Kevin Olusola, a former principal cellist in the Yale Symphony Orchestra and “From the Top” performer currently better known as a beatboxer for Pentatonix, “the a cappella group whose version of ‘Little Drummer Boy’ is hovering at the very top of Billboard’s Holiday chart…. Kevin is just as enthusiastic in a leather jacket, laying down the beat for an Imagine Dragons song, as he once was in a tux performing Beethoven symphonies.” In response to Lurie’s question of whether there is any overlap in skills it takes to be a good cellist and to be a good beatboxer, Olusola responds, “The thing I’ve really gained from my classical music training is how to be a musical person. The band, before they found me, had gone through six different beatboxers. There were some that were good at keeping time, but they didn’t do anything impressive with their mouths.… I think that having the two is really important, because we’re trying to make music, at the end of the day.” Click here to watch a 2011 video clip of Olusola “celloboxing”—beatboxing and playing the cello at the same time.

Posted December 24, 2013