Naturally 7 are an all male a cappella group that have risen to international fame in only a few years thanks to their unique style.
Using a practice they call VocalPlay, each member of the group not only creates brilliant vocals, but the sound of a different musical instrument, from drums to brass instruments and guitars, using only their voices, mouths and distortion effects.
Naturally 7 already have three world tours under their belt as special guests of Michael Bublé and have collaborated with the likes of Quincy Jones and Coldplay.
This year, the seven-strong group, made up of Roger Thomas (musical director, arranger, 1st baritone, rap), Warren Thomas (percussion, guitar, clarinet, 3rd tenor) Rod Eldridge (1st tenor, scratching, trumpet), Ricky Cort (4th tenor, guitar), Dwight Stewart (2nd baritone, vocals, trumpet), Garfield Buckley (2nd tenor, harmonica) and “Kelz” Mitchell (bass), are gracing the UK with their presence.
The London A Cappella Festival (LACF) will welcome the group this month.
They are excited about sharing their talent with up and coming singers at the LACF, telling iSing: “The vast majority of our performances around the world are outside of the a cappella community.
“So when we get the opportunity to perform at an event like this we always have a great time. It’s like a homecoming and the level of appreciation and understanding is at its highest.”
Naturally 7 have a lot to bring to the festival, which has been enhancing and offering guidance to the singing community since 2008.
Having toured Europe, South America, and Australia, they have a wealth of performing experience.
“We pride ourselves on our show and showmanship,” they said. “We strive to achieve the highest level of entertainment that we can. So the set list, vocal performance, choreography and timing are all crucial elements. We hope to share that philosophy so that we all can continue to raise the level of excellence we can expect from a cappella.”
Each member brings a different element to the group and it’s this unique makeup which has captivated audiences all over the world.
They said: “When we first began back in 1999 we still finding ourselves. We quickly discovered that each member of the band had the ability to imitate a sound or musical instrument and we thought that would be the route to take.
“We also had a lot of musical influences amongst us and we wanted to draw from what was most natural to us.
“Growing up in New York, during the golden age of hip-hop, it seemed as if everywhere we turned someone was beatboxing and rapping. And having a strong church background, gospel music played a huge role in our lives. So we decided to build upon the foundation of those styles, amongst others, to form the sound you hear today.”
Alongside their abilities to sound like various instruments, the group also have had to learn to live and work together closely over the past nine years.
They admit that they all have their different personality traits: Roger is the most opinionated, Rod is the loudest, Dwight is the most down-to-earth, Warren is most right-wing, Ricky is the most left-wing and Kelz is the most helpful of the seven. But for all their differences off stage, when Naturally 7 perform together the result is seamless.
TOP SIX TIPS
- Practice, practice, practice
- Stay hydrated
- If you’re performing regularly it’s important to get rest. Sleep is key to preventing vocal fatigue
- Study other good performers regardless of style or genre
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
- And lastly, PRACTICE.
As well as their growing fame and fan base, they released an album last year and have a produced a number of CDs.