The British a cappella supergroup, The Magnets, featuring strong vocal and beatboxing talent on the international a cappella scene as well as London’s West End, is currently on a multi-city tour across Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi and Kolkata. The show is called “The Magnets featuring Natalie Di Luccio” – Natalie being an Italian-Canadian-classical crossover singer from Toronto, Canada, often referred to as Bollywood’s Soprano because of her unique renditions of Indian classics.
The band that dates back to the late ’90s has left their sonic mark on the a cappella music scene with a hard-won reputation as festival favourites from Edinburgh to Adelaide. They’ve performed in major London venues such as the Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Jubilee, the O2 Empire, and The Roundhouse.
A cappella, an art form that swears by the human voice, is solo or group singing without any instrumental accompaniment. The idea is to navigate through the dynamic range and fulfill all roles of a piece of music using only the human voice. It began as church music and can be traced back to the 15th century.
Today, it is a well-established style. The wave of a cappella music has been growing and The Magnets are one of the torchbearers of the art form. Most a cappella artists can expertly imitate musical instruments – from guitar to drums. Beatboxing – often known as vocal percussion – is an integral part of the routine of such bands.
I watched the group live at The British Council, New Delhi and they are a full package! The six-piece group comprising of Callum, Michael, Duncan, Ball-Zee Matthew, and James live up to their name by making sure their listeners are constantly magnetized to their voices, with never a dull moment. The band’s repertoire ranges from classics like Feeling Good by Nina Simone to contemporary ballads like Lay Me Down by Sam Smith to foot-tapping hits like Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars featuring Mark Ronson.
Ball-Zee blew everyone away by performing a skit where he used the space on stage to pretend he was setting up a drum kit guided by his voice.