Following their success in this year’s Voice Festival competition, all-male group from King’s College, London, All the King’s Men, they were invited to compete as the UK’s representatives in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) Finals in New York, following in the footsteps of previous VF-UK Winners Out of the Blue, The Oxford Gargoyles and Cadenza.
With the competition taking place on Saturday 28 April at the Town Hall in New York at 8pm, the boys are flying out on the 26th to prepare for the big day. I spoke to founding member and Musical Director of the group, Henry Southern, about their prospects.
UACUK: Hi Henry! Firstly, congratulations on winning the Voice Festival UK 2012! How does it feel to be the best a cappella group in the country?
HS: Thanks Mark. It feels amazing! Considering the group only started up three years ago, it is a huge achievement and one which we are very proud of.
UACUK: What was your favourite moment of the entire competition?
HS: The final was obviously a highlight, but aside from that, we also enjoyed listening to all the other amazing groups throughout the competition. On a more personal note, after helping to found the group, winning was a lovely way to end my time with the Men.
UACUK: You’re the second all-male group to compete in the ICCA Finals after Out of the Blue – given that OOTB have come second on two occasions, how do you rate your chances against America’s best?
HS: Out of the who? No, but seriously, we know first hand how high the standard of a cappella is in the States – we sang with SoCal VoCals [ICCA Winners in 2008 and 2010 and finalists this year] on our California tour this year and they were awesome. However, I think the scene in the UK is rapidly developing and catching up. I’d like to think we have created our own distinctive style, which will hopefully win over the discerning American judges! We are excited and honoured to be representing the UK and competing against some of the best groups in the world, and we just hope we can show them all what us Brits are made of!
UACUK: What other plans do you have while you’re out there?
HS: Eat lots of burgers?! And maybe sing a bit… I’m sure one of us will keep everyone updated using one of the many social media hubs.
UACUK: What can you tell us about your plans for after the ICCAs? Are there any plans to perform up at the Edinburgh Fringe, maybe another album, any upcoming gigs worthy of mention?
HS: After the ICCAs, we have quite a few gigs in and around London and then we will be start recording a new EP – which our feature our VF-UK set – at the beginning of June. In August we will be at the Fringe again for one week. We are hosting two a cappella showcases up there as well as our normal show; so far we are excited that we will be joined by the King’s Chix, the Accidentals (both of whom are making their Fringe debuts!), Out of the Blue, and the Alleycats. Then at the end of August we will be going to South East Asia (Singapore and Hong Kong) for two weeks, becoming the first British collegiate a cappella group to tour this area. Lastly, in October we are planning a UK schools tour. More details about that will be available as soon as we know them!
UACUK: Is there anything else you would like to add?
HS: We actually have some more rather exciting news – we are delighted to announce that Paul Phoenix, a long standing member of the King’s Singers, is the new patron of the group, and we’re honoured to have his support. Aside from that, we’re excited and honoured to be representing the UK in the ICCAs, and we hope to do the UK proud.
UACUK: All the best in the States and good luck in the final – we’ll be rooting for you from back home! Thanks for talking to us.
HS: Thanks Mark.