Backtrack Vocals wows WSC students

Whitney Winter, Staff Writer

Backtrack Vocals is a New York City based acapella group with exceedingly arranged medleys, mashups, and original songs.

They performed as part of Wayne State College Black & Gold Performing Arts series in the Ramsey Theatre on Oct. 22.

Backtrack Vocals consists of five talented performers. Johnny Sansone is the beatboxer, Jojo Otseidu; bass singer; Mike Hinkle, tenor singer; Melissa Jordano; alto singer, and Mallory Moser; soprano singer.

The diversely talented group performs nation-wide with top-notch vocals and beatboxing abilities at corporate events, music festivals, schools and more.

“I really love to travel,” Sansone said. “We get to see a lot of places through performing and that’s a really cool thing.”

This was the first performance the group has done in Nebraska. “When we get to go to a cool place, one where none of us have been to before, it’s really fun because we can tack that onto our performances,” Moser said.

The five-person group imbue humor and heart into their performances; they asked the audience to sing along with several songs and dance moves for “Ain’t No Mountain High enough.”

The group’s arrangements for the evening ranged from Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry,” “The Flower” by Michael Franti to “Driftwood,” an original by Melissa Jordano, and as a grand finale a spirited version of Meghan Trainor’s “No.”

“I loved how each of them played their part very well, especially the low-guy Jojo,” said Kyle William, a junior at WSC. “He made it [the performance] really great.”

The audience evidently enjoyed the songs as they cheered loudly throughout the performance.

“I always enjoy live performances.” Bridget Tranmer, a sophomore at WSC, said.

Backtrack Vocals broke through on YouTube where the group has over 11 million views and 111,000 subscribers.

The group was awarded 2019 New York’s Got Talent season six winners. Backtrack earned 2017 International Championship of A Cappella OPEN first place and best arrangement in the northeast semi-finals and best beatbox in the finals.

The acapella group has received other awards and accolades among the ones listed above.

Jordano began singing at a young age and said she was inspired by her mom.

“While I grew up, she would always sing,” Jordano said. “Literally my wake-up routine would be she would come in and sing songs together. I grew up with music like that, then started doing it seriously.”

The group loves to be the change someone needs in life, whether it be the inspiration to follow your dreams or to make new dreams.

“Never give up and have faith in yourself,” Otseidu said.

“I think if you practice something, a lot, and you keep trying and keep at it, you’ll eventually see progress. That progress will lead to success eventually and keep trying for all your dreams, do what you love and stay true to yourself.”

At the end of the performance, Backtrack Vocals got a standing ovation from the cheering audience. “I would recommend them, to download their playlists, get their albums, and follow them,” William said.

Tranmer said she is very likely to come to another acapella performance if the school hosted another group.