HomeHopkins' Octopodes produce all-original a cappella album

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The Johns Hopkins University Octopodes list among their credits crisp a cappella renditions of Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball," "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga and "In this Moment" by David Archuleta. A fan asked them to perform the Beatles' "Hey Jude" as part of an elaborate marriage proposal. No problem.

But when the 14-member vocals-only group piped up at a recent rehearsal to practice an original song, some difficulty was apparent. The singers stumbled at points as they sang "I Won't Wait," a love song written by senior international studies major Duncan Crystal. They stopped, readjusted and started again.

In a genre defined by pop music covers, the Octopodes are trying to become one of the first-ever collegiate a cappella groups to record an album of original compositions — a project that they say is pushing their creative boundaries as they look for an audience beyond the bounds of Hopkins.

"There's a pull that we're the first ones through the wall," said Crystal, the Octopodes' business manager. "Part of being the first one to do a project like this is you won't know how people will react to it."

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/music/bs-ae-jhu-acappella-octopodes-20140516,0,5393531.story#ixzz3219yGTAl