A cappella group performing on stage
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Soloists Who Sound Like the Original Artist

200 Reasons To Love A Cappella

Reason #162: Soloists Who Sound Like the Original Artist

There are those a cappella soloists who flounder for trying to hard to imitate the original artist on a song—trying to nail inflection and mannerisms, often at the expense of intonation or other more foundational elements of singing.

But then there are those happy turns of fate when a soloist more naturally taps into the sound of the original recording artist. One of the most sterling examples I can recall, though unfortunately I could not find a video, was the 2007 incarnation of New York University APC Rhythm, featuring a soloist on The Cranberries’ “Hollywood” whose voice was a dead ringer for that of Dolores O’Riordan. I don’t suspect I’ll ever know if that was her natural voice or an impersonation, but the performance itself came across so effortlessly, and so beautifully, that it still rings clearly in my mind a decade later. It was the kind of solo that transcends strong mechanics and stage presence to arrive an unforgettable musical experience. On a broader level, it called attention to the merits of choosing songs that complement soloists—that allow the soloists to show off their greatest talents and capture the imagination of the audience.

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