'The Sing-Off' Season 4: Meet Street Corner Renaissance
The fourth season premiere of NBC's "The Sing-Off" was full of interesting song choices, but none was smarter than Street Corner Renaissance's lovely, old-school doo-wop version of One Direction's hit "What Makes You Beautiful."
A group of elder gentlemen singing a song by the most popular band among the entire teenage population of the world was a good choice, especially since it turned out so lovely. The Los Angeles-based group, which has been together for around a decade, puts their spin on pretty much any type of music. "We celebrate street corner style of performance, which is more organic," says Maurice Kitchen. "We can take basically any song and turn it into a cappella."
Adds Tony Snead, "When they give us a song to do we put the street corner feeling into it. Street corner singing is about feeling -- it's an attitude and it's a culture."
Explains Charles "Sonny" Banks, "We take the songs and everybody has input and we come up with a little formula, but it's just basic. We just put us into it. No matter what kind of song it is, we just do what we do."
The rest of the "Sing-Off" competitors are much younger than Street Corner Renaissance, but the group says they take as much inspiration from the "kids," as they call them, as the kids do from them. "We love and respect the kids. It's really heartening to hear them. There's a lot of talent," says Kitchen.
Adds Torrence Reese, "Not only do we respect them, but we admire them and we're inspired by them. we're encouraged because it proves that a cappella is going to stay alive."