Another show that showcasing talented underdogs. It is a perfect fit for this blog where I always talk about the underdogs haha.
Disclaimer: all the pictures and videos are not owned by me.
Vocal Play is a music show about acapella under a tv cable – Channel A. There are 4 producers who is going to cater 4 members in each team. The music show will only use human voices as the instruments. Each team is a combination of rapper, beatboxer, acapella group, or vocalist. Nothing is more exciting to see different groups, different style working together as one group. And, I am happy to see the list of producers. The four producers are Muzie (from V), Yoonsang, Yoon Il Sang and my forever favorite Korean group – Sweet Sorrow.
Yoon Il sang
Muzie (and the right, Bae Dae Hae)
I am not going to lie that I was a little bit bias watching the show. I am so into Sweet Sorrow, but actually all the groups are unique, and I am happy with the combination of each member in each team. The recruitment episodes are like a blind audition, but instead of the producers chose them directly, all the performers will be performing in front of 100 audiences. The audiences will then vote for the performers, if it ireaches above 70, a curtain will be revealing the four producers. While doing that, the four producers can press the button by only listening because the curtain is still closed :).
Muzie ends up with two poppera singers; Paradise (a boy group) and Bae Dae Hae (who has been in Qualification of Men) and two beatboxers; H-Has and Hiss. This is interesting but can work very well creating a new fusion. Classical and techno. Yoonsang gets lucky with having great vocalists. There are Maytree – a notable Korean acapella group who has won many international competitions, Napkins – an independent youtuber, You Sung Eun – a Korean singer who sang in Immortal Songs 2 as well, and my favorite girl group – The Barberettes. A power house team. They are indeed amazing singers! Yoon Il Sang gets the youngest among all, but with the most diversed genre. He’s the only one who gets almost everything – a rapper called Huckle, an acapella group named EXIT, a brother group of Mamammoo – Vromance, and the duo semi rapper – KHAN. Sweet Sorrow gets what is left (haha), boys. They have 2 rappers; G2 and Hanhae, a popera group named Contempodivo, and a rapper – Mighty. Absolutely not their element, but surprisingly (or not), they manage to make it work.
You Seung Un
They are given 6 challenges with distinctive theme for each. These six challenges will be showcasing each member individuality, team work, and creativity, and in the end of each challenge, audience will vote. The highest vote will be titled MVP (master of vocal play). There will be a hundred of audience who votes every performance.
The first theme is Creative. At this time, each producer only has two teams instead of four, and the MVP for this challenge is Muzie’s with his duo beatboxers. I acknowledge it very very well. He makes the team work showcasing the two strentghs. They sang “ Itaewon Freedom “- by V. They are not vocally trained and turns the song become one that is produced by a DJ. It is indeed very creative when limitation is pushed.
The second team is Dynamic. Yoonsang team gets the MVP! Maytree and Barberettes are the powerhouse! They sing “ Boom-boom ” by Momoland in a sassy, jazzy, and sexy vibe. Truly dynamics.
The third theme is Mash-up. At this time, each producer has the four groups together so the theme is splat into two episodes, meaning each team will have the two groups perform separately, and the results will be added in the end to determine the MVP. I am gladly saying that Sweet Sorrow gets the MVP!!!! Truly shown as a true producer. First performance is Contempo Divo with Mighty singing Circle of Life and My Heart Will Go On in a very smooth manner. Mighty, the rapper, mimicking animals and their performance’s graphic is the winner. The second team is G2 and Hanhae singing about 5 songs. These two super rapper gets the highest score among the highest. 97 out of the 100 voters!
The fourth theme is Christmas Harmony, and this time Yoon Il Sang finally gets the MVP. Vromance and Huckle singing a medley of Christmas Songs in a very cute manner.
The fifth theme is Chemistry, and perhaps you can take a guest who gets the MVP. It is the powerhouse team – Yoonsang team. Yes, it is their second MVP. For this episode, each team can have a guest singer. Muzie has Kwon Hyuk Su (a Comedian), Yoon Il Sang is with Park Jimin (one of 15& vocalists), Greg from I can see your voice is recruited by Sweet Sorrow, and finally Yoonsang has a rapper named Wing. They sing Attention by Charlie Puth. It is truly a strong performance showing a great chemistry. It feels like a record already.
The last and the finale, Altogether. Seeing the word “Altogether”, everybody is involved including the producers! It is more like a celebration instead of a competition. Everyone is involved and the choice of songs are amazing. Yoonsang is first to perform singing “Thank You For The Music” by Abba and “Happy” by Pharell William. No doubt, they are truly amazing singers. The message of gratitude is well received.
Muzie brings the mood into more grande by singing “Hand in Hand” 1988 official Olympic song and “Don’t worry” by Wild Chamomile. The combination of the classical singers and rhythm by the beatboxer concludes the performance well.
Third to perform is Yoon Il sang’s team and as the age shows, the performance is showcasing the cheerfulness of youth. They sing “One Candle” by g.o.d. I, however, found the arrangement is lacking of something. The middle voice is not strong enough and because KHAN’s voice is light and higher it feels too separated between the baseline and the main vocalist. Well, I am not the expert, but it just feels like so.
Lastly, but not least, All Men Choir – Sweet Sorrow team *grin. All dressed in white and they are the only one who sings a mellow tuned song, “Wild Flower” by Park Hyo Sin. At first, I was sceptical about this because I do love all the songs the other team sing. I prove my self wrong. It is a beautiful performance! A powerful one. Sweet Sorrow combined with Contempo Divo is really great. To tell a little bit background, Sweet Sorrow is a group about 4 friends in college men’s choir, so they are really technically good. Even though, now they are only three man group, their characteristic is still showing and not lessen anything. My surprise is Hanhae. He is really a good singer for a rapper. Of course, they deserve to get the last MVP. 🙂
Indeed, each producers create a team with their own color. I dont really know about Yoon Il Sang, what I know he is a composer of a million seller song. A Korean Pop songs producer. He puts a modern touch in every performance of his group. Yoonsang is a singer song writer starting as a guitarist climbing up as a notable composer. Muzie is one of a group called V. His music genre is hip hop, so that is why he picks many beatboxers in the first place, but things are twisted. He then needs to work with two classical singers along with his beatboxers.
Overall, I appreciate the hard work of the production team. The graphics is amazing, the sounds, the casts, and the editing are also great. It is a true gem. I hope they continue to many seasons ahead. I like the fact that all the singers involving in this program are not really as famous as the other K-pop stars, but it is alright. Proving that talent is always revealed.
One more thing to note, the finale performance opening is arranged by Sweet Sorrow. Talking about the last episode, I am grateful that they invite a famous Korean acapella group who was a hit in the 80s. A group who was born from a college choir as well – Seoul University.
Thank you for the music.
Thank you A Channel for giving us a great show.
Thank you 🙂