Being a member of DU a cappella group the Idiosingcrasies was sophomore Katie Turley’s ticket to appearing on season three of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” but not in the way she expected.
While the DU ensemble was recording its debut CD with local music producer Tony Huerta, Huerta asked Turley if she wanted to be part of a new group he was putting together specifically to audition for the NBC competition show for a cappella singing groups. Turley agreed and soon found herself one of the eight members of Urban Method, one of 16 vocal groups competing on the new “Sing-Off” season, which debuts Sept. 19.
While many of the other groups in the competition have been singing together for years, Urban Method was formed in early May, just weeks before auditions closed.
“The day that we sent in our audition tape was the first day we had all actually sung together,” says Turley, a vocal performance major who starred in DU’s winter musical, Side Show, in February. “We would have rehearsals and one person would be missing or two people would be missing. We all learned our parts individually, and we all got together and ran them a few times and worked out dynamics, and then we recorded three songs and we sent it in.”
Urban Method made it onto the show based on the strength of that recording, which featured the rap-heavy tunes “Love the Way You Lie,” by Eminem and Rihanna, and “Tightrope,” by Janelle Monae with Big Boi. Urban Method features a rapper of its own — Myke Charles — which gives its sound an edge that sets it apart from the competition.
“In a cappella I don’t think it’s ever been done,” Turley says. “Hip-hop and rap are such a big part of our culture right now, it’s really cool that we get to branch out and show people that rap can be put in a cappella and really anything can be made into a cappella, and that’s why it’s so cool.”
The members of Urban Method flew to Los Angeles in July to begin taping for the show — which won’t air live until the finale on Nov. 28. While Turley can’t say just how the group fared, she has nothing but praise for her fellow contestants.
“The 16 groups, each one of them is so talented,” she says. “I didn’t expect to meet such genuine nice people on this show — I thought it was going to be a big competition and everyone wouldn’t like each other, but everyone is so sweet and we’ve made some great friends. I’m hoping in the future we’ll get to tour with some of these groups because they are all so talented and such nice people.”
Yes, the group will stay together after “The Sing-Off” is over, Turley says, hopefully recording an album and going on tour — and using the national TV exposure as a launching pad.
“I’m hoping as the show airs, America will really fall in love with us and see why we’re doing what we’re doing,” she says. “I think it’s really cool that we can also show people that no matter where you’re from, you can really chase after your dreams and achieve that goal. We all are so passionate about what we do, and I think it’s really going to show.”