A Capella Performance Starts off African American Ancestry Month

In celebration of African American Ancestry month, the a cappella group Kazual brought their four part harmonies and coordinated dance moves to Ramapo’s stage. Students came out to the H-Wing Auditorium on Friday to enjoy the group’s unique style of music.

A cappella music is created entirely by voices. Members of an a cappella group are responsible for singing the lyrics, harmonies and beat of a song without the help of instruments. Recently, television shows and movies have explored a cappella music, which is how many Ramapo students, like freshman Christine DePope, may have come to know about it.

“When I think of a cappella, I think of the movie ‘Pitch Perfect,'” DePope said. “Unfortunately, that’s kind of a stereotype.”

Freshman Shannon Jirkovsky discovered a cappella in a similar way, through the television show “Glee.”

“I think of the Warblers, who are an a cappella group on ‘Glee.’ Kazual didn’t have as many members as the Warblers, so I wasn’t sure how it was going to go down,” Jirkovsky said.

For the four men of Kazual, making music is all in the family. Three of the members, DMac, PlayBoi and Lil Gabe, are brothers. The fourth member is their cousin EJae.

Kazual’s musical talent has taken them to perform on “The Maury Show” and at Showtime at the Apollo. They have opened for performers such as Jaheim, Destiny’s Child, Nelly, and Ginuwine and have even made it to the Top 40 of “America’s Got Talent.”

At Ramapo, Kazual performed a number of old school, contemporary and original songs. Their classic hits included a cappella versions of “California Dreaming” and “My Girl.” They mixed these old hits with newer music and some songs of their own, including “Her Way” and “Bounce.”

The combination of old and new songs pleased many audience members.

“I thought they were good because they did old songs and some contemporary songs,” Jirkovsky said. “They had a really good mix.”

DePope agreed, saying “they had original works with classics thrown in. It was refreshing to hear the different styles.”

Freshman Sarah Murphy also enjoyed Kazual’s musical diversity, much to her surprise.

“When you hear of an a cappella group, you think they’re only going to sing boring songs, but they were actually really up to date,” Murphy said.

The musical mix was not the only thing that impressed students. They also appreciated Kazual’s ability to create enjoyable music with only their voices.

“I think it’s cool how they can make music without actual instruments. It takes a lot of skill and talent to make music with only their voice,” Jirkovsky said.

DePope echoed this sentiment.

“I thought they were extremely talented,” she said. “They were really in sync. They had some great dance moves, some great songs.”

Murphy not only enjoyed the songs and dance moves, but also the personalities and humor of the members.

“I really enjoyed their performance. It was entertaining because they didn’t just sing; they danced too. Plus they were really funny guys, so it was a really good experience to go to,” Murphy said.

Kazual’s well-received performance even inspired DePope to check out more a cappella music.

DePope explained, “I definitely want to listen to more a cappella. We have an a cappella group on campus called 4GotteN SuitCase, and this show made me want to see more of their music.”