Naturally 7 are a unique vocal group who have toured with Michael Bublé, performed with Coldplay and appeared on the Royal Variety Show and the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
We catch up with musical director, Roger Thomas, who takes us behind the scenes…
What skills must a singer have in order to do what you guys do and sing a cappella with others?
Discipline, confidence, and creativity
How do you create an a cappella arrangement of a pop song?
It can take different amounts of time from a few days to a few months. There is a lot of planning when writing a pop song for an a cappella band.
We make sure the song itself is catchy before even arranging vocals for it. Many a cappella groups sing mostly covers because it’s so hard to connect with original music. We feel like the song has to be even better than a song done with accompaniment to jump that hurdle.
But this process has become more natural to us, and you have to make sure the arrangement doesn’t get in the way of the song.
How important is improv and jamming for Naturally 7?
It’s important for all good bands to be able to freestyle and improv so that your music can actually grow while you are in the middle of a show.
You want a fan to be able to see you several times and know that they will get something different each time even if the setlist is the same.
What has been the most inspiring collaboration Naturally 7 have done?
On this latest album, we did the Jerusalem Hymn with The Swingles who are also 7 a cappella singers and the result was heavenly. You’ll see!
Do you have any backstage rituals before or after a show?
Some members to push ups/press ups, others drink tea, we do individual warm-ups and we always pray.
How do you look after your voices?
None of us smoke or drink. We have found a good night’s sleep to be the best line of defense for the amount of touring we do.
When you are on the road, what are the most important things to remember so you stay in peak condition?
No loud talking for long periods – we learned this the hard way!
How do you get the balance of sound right when you are performing live?
Lots of practice of knowing exactly what each of us sounds like and what’s the best way to make it sound like one.
How to deal with live mistakes?
When things go totally wrong they are very hard to overcome. As the musical director in the band, I try to stay several steps ahead in the music so I can let the group know if I see any storms approaching.
A changing industry
Do you have any unusual or unique ways of building your fanbase?
YouTube has been a big tool that gets our music out beyond the places we can actually go.
What was your biggest breakthrough moment as a band?
Touring with Michael Bublé (3 world tours).
What is the biggest lesson you have learned about the music industry?
It’s hard to predict just like the weather. It has patterns that can be followed but surprises should be no surprise.
Check out their latest album, Both Sides Now.
Naturally 7: with over 20 million views on YouTube, some of the band’s biggest successes were interpretations of global hits from Phil Collins’ ‘Feel It (In The Air Tonight)’ to Coldplay’s epic ‘Fix You’ as well as their self-penned track ‘Wall Of Sound’. Embarking on 3 world-tours with Michael Bublé took their music to a global audience, playing 467 shows to over 4 million people in 25 countries (they have also performed 3 duets with Michael). The album Wall Of Sound broke the top 30 album chart in the UK. The band have been special guests for Coldplay and appeared on major TV shows such as the Royal Variety Performance, ‘Night at the Proms’ at the Royal Albert Hall, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Jay Leno Show and the Today Show. Notable collaborations with other artists include a duet with Ludacris on Quincy Jones’ most recent studio album. Find out more on naturallyseven.com.