At Legendary Vocals, we value the ability to take a song and make it uniquely our own. When we cover a song or a featured artist performs, we always strive for it to be distinctive in some manner, and not simply because it's a cappella or instrumental. We want it to be a piece that we've poured our hearts and souls into. We want it to be a project that we've spent endless hours perfecting so that each instrument is represented with our techniques and something that we've poured our love and personality into.
Why cover a song? I think one of the things that’s most interesting about covering a song is how much you learn about the artist themselves when you arrange your own version of it. Learning about how each individual artist writes lyrics, which decisions they make about the tempo, the message behind their song, is a process that takes time but we always enjoy. It’s always been crucial to me that when I cover something, I dive into the artist’s work and what it means to them, and take that and apply it to my arrangement.
Musically, covers are also an excellent way to improve my music theory and skills! Similar to taking an artist’s message and amplifying it, the way an artist has written a song can teach me and my team a lot about music theory and all the different styles, techniques and genres of music. It's not always easy to take a piece and turn it into a cappella, but all the many genres of music we've worked with have taught us how to look at a song honestly and see how creative we can be. It's an amazing opportunity to work with a group that can take even instrumental music and turn it into something we can sing.
Peter Hollens and Home Free - Amazing Grace Music Video
I choose songs for arranging for a number of reasons; it can relate to my personal life, there are some that I know my kids will enjoy seeing me perform, and sometimes it’s just a song I really like and would love to make my own! From there we start working on arranging it and studying all the different elements of the music and how we can transform that into a cappella. Figuring out the instruments, tempo, and sounds that make up a song and the best way to replicate those using only our mouths and body percussion is always a lot of fun! I know a lot of the featured artists also tend to pick their music the same way, with their focus on a song and how it relates to them and how the message of it will resonate with their listeners.
In the end, whenever people ask me why covers, I always ask, why not covers? It’s such a unique form of art to take a song and how it resonates with you, and put your own feelings and hard work into it so that it can be shared with more people and connect with them. The creative process and the hard work that goes into our arrangements and our featured artists arrangements is one that takes a lot of talent, hard work, and emotion and I’m grateful for this experience every day, and all the people that support us. It’s thanks to people like you that we get to do this.
What's your favorite Peter Hollens or any Legendary Vocals song cover so far? Let our store support team help you find the album that includes that song or check our featured albums here.
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I love a cappella, it’s always been such a big part of my life. I co-founded the group On the Rocks at the University of Oregon, I met my wife through a cappella, and what really put me on the map as a creator was my arrangements and transforming popular songs into a cappella renditions! I wanted to explain kind of why we focus so much on a cappella here at Legendary Vocals and why it’s so important to me and how amazing a cappella truly is.