Jules Cruz of The Filharmonic
We asked a few questions of each of our headliners to get to know them better. Here, Jules Cruz, vocal bass of The Filharmonic answers!
How did your group get started?
Joe, Niko, and I went to Mt. SAC together and were all in the a cappella group, Fermata Nowhere. Also an alumnus of Mt. SAC is Avi Kaplan of PTX. When he heard The Sing-Off was coming back for a fourth season, he mentioned we should try to form a group. We decided to put a group together to showcase the talent we had within our culture, so we found VJ who attended CSULB, Barry from AMDA, and Trace from USC. We arranged a few songs and met for the first time all together, the day we sent in our video audition. Luckily, things worked out for us!
What are your musical/a cappella influences?
Boyz II Men, Justin Timberlake, Brian McKnight, ‘N Sync, Take 6, Committed
What changes has being on The Sing-Off brought to your group so far?
The opportunity to be on “The Sing-Off” has already been life changing. Being a new group, the show was the best start we could have possibly asked for. Obviously the exposure is great, but just being surrounded by so many talented groups forced us to find our edge and pushed us to the limit to make sure we held our own musically.
Any insights for groups looking to win?
Play to your strengths/don’t try to be anything you’re not. A lot of groups tend to want to force themselves into a mold that just doesn’t fit. If you have a killer R&B soloist, give them a song that will complement their style. Just because Pentatonix’s dubstep breakdown sounds amazing, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do one.
What are you looking forward to at LAAF 2014?
As former ICCA competitors, we’re really excited to see all these amazing groups compete. We know how intense a cappella competitions can get! Also, we always love the opportunity to meet ANYONE who loves a cappella. Make sure to say “hi” if you see us around!