Why you need to know homegrown acapella group, MICappella

Sheila Chiang
Lifestyle contributor
From left to right: Bass Goh Mingwei, tenor Peter Huang, alto Calin Wong, soprano Tay Kexin, baritone Eugene Yip and tenor Juni Goh. (PHOTO: Universal Music Singapore)

SINGAPORE – 2018’s National Day Parade, Singapore Grand Prix 2019 and Busan’s Asia Song Festival 2017 – these are some of the major stages MICappella has performed on. However, they are still quite under-the-radar in the local music scene but this will soon become history.

Born and bred in Singapore, the sextet comprises of four guys and two ladies, namely Calin Wong, Juni Goh, Peter Huang, Eugene Yip, Goh Mingwei and Tay Kexin.

As their group name suggests, they belt out their songs purely using their vocals, with no instrumental accompaniment.

Ever since their formation in 2009 after winning second place in the Chinese edition of televised singing competition The Sing-Off, the bilingual group has been making waves in Singapore as well as overseas, with their high-energy and head-bopping covers of popular songs on their YouTube channel.

However, their big break came when they were signed on by Universal Music Singapore in 2016. After all, we should never sleep on talent, right?

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MICapella during their Q&A session. (PHOTO: Universal Music Singapore)

Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle SEA at their media conference for their new EP, Love, MICappella, the group shared about the concept and process of creating the EP and also performed their new songs live.

Love, MICappella, is a collection of six reimagined classics including popular love song “I Want Your Love”, “Through Your Eyes” and “Long Live Friendship”. 

“It is a love letter from us, which is why the title is Love, MICappella, like how you would sign off a letter. Love being an all-encompassing topic and taking so many different forms, we wanted to showcase the different types and perspectives,” said Peter, tenor, vocal percussion and leader. 

“And there’s the concept of nostalgia so you can see it in its physical form; a mixtape. In terms of songs, we have sampled different classics like the Chinese “I Want Your Love” and “You Are My Sunshine”. It is a form of love to our fans in the form of a mixtape,” added Kexin, the soprano of the group and younger sister of singer Tay Kewei.

Sporting brightly-coloured hair and coordinated outfits, they said that they have been mistaken as a K-Pop group before. 

Well, they have experienced performing on Korean soil. They have shared the stage with popular boy group EXO and Taeyeon of girl group Girls’ Generation when they performed at the Asia Song Festival 2017 in Busan. 

“Mingwei was standing beside Taeyeon and he didn’t even know who she is,” said Kexin, in exasperation.

“EXO was the closing act and we were waiting for them to perform. At the end of their performance, they all ran back (to the back of the stage) and collapsed in exhaustion on the floor and each of them had one person wiping their sweat and giving them water,” said tenor Juni, incredulously.

MICappella performing their new songs at Unplugged on 27 Nov. (PHOTO: Universal Music Singapore)

The six members each had different views about which was the most memorable stage they have performed on.

“F1 felt like a dream. Lewis Hamilton was right in front of us and it felt surreal,” said Kexin. MICappella sang the national anthem at the Singapore GP this year. 

“Actually, it’s National Day lah,” said Peter, since they are Singaporeans.

If you remember, they performed a medley of National Day songs during the National Day Parade in 2018. They initially recorded it as a video on YouTube and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong even shared the medley of 23 songs on social media, describing their work as "ambitious". The group credited the success of their video that landed them onto the National Day Parade organising committee's radar, and subsequently being invited to perform at the National Day Parade.

On their plans in the upcoming year, Kexin said, “We have a lot of tours coming up. We are going to Taiwan and probably China as well. We want to go out and come back and have stories to tell.”

Peter added, “We will have a second EP, which is part two of Love, MICappella.”

We are very excited to see them flying high as they say that their resolution for 2020 is to “move out of the comfort zone” and “push our boundaries”.

If you would like to catch MICappella sing live soon, they will be performing on 3 Jan 2020 at OCBC Square, Singapore Sports Hub for TGIF Music Station.

Love, MICappella is available on iTunes and Spotify.