Naturally 7By thatch • Feb 23rd, 2009 • Category: Acoustic, Hip Hop, Music
My first reaction on hearing Naturally 7 do their cover Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight” was “Where the hell are the guitars???”. Actually my first reaction was “damn they’re good”. Head over to www.myspace.com/naturally7 and have a listen.
The New York based group are all committed Christians and it is from gospel singing that founder member Roger Thomas developed the style of singing that he calls ‘vocal play’.
Evidentally this is different to a cappella singing in that members don’t just sing without instruments, they sing ‘as instruments’ with each member mimicking a different sound. Check out the “drummer” in the clip below – he’s the one on the drum riser.
Here is some stuff about them…
The origins of the group date back to New York City in 1999 when Roger Thomas started the group with his brother, Warren, and five other talented singers they had come to know over the years from singing around the city. Having been in and out of several traditional male groups over the years, Roger developed an affinity for a cappella sounds and a unique ability to create distinct harmony arrangements. When invited to sing at a major a cappella competition in New York, they won the competition, moved onto the nationals and took away two more wins.
Riding the wave of this newfound success and still unable to decide if Naturally 7 were going to be an a cappella group or a traditional band, Roger had a novel idea: they could be both.
He remembered as a child, his brother Warren always wanted a drum set but their mother always told him no because it was just too noisy. So Warren learned to make true drum sounds, with different ways of making the kick, toms, snare, cymbals, and other drum sounds, to compensate for not having real drums to play. Roger approached Warren with the idea from their childhood, and asked if he could become the band’s drummer, so to speak, to accompany Naturally 7 on up-tempo songs.
Today Naturally 7 are Roger Thomas (musical director, arranger, 1st baritone, Rap), Warren Thomas (percussion, guitar, clarinet, 3rd tenor), Rod Eldridge (1st tenor, scratching, trumpet), Jamal Reed (4th tenor, electric guitar), Dwight Stewart (2nd baritone), Garfield Buckley (2nd tenor, harmonica) and Armand “Hops” Hutton (bass).
On 4 February 2009, they performed “Wall of Sound” for the 2009 TED Conference, here is the “authorised clip ( I will get the TED clip as soon as it’s released)…
Highly Recommended (and there really are no guitars – I’ll get over it)
Website at www.myspace.com/naturally7