UCF a cappella group Gemini Blvd. to debut 1st album
Video: Gemini Blvd will be releasing its first album by the end of the month. Video by Arnold Godoy, Central Florida Future Arnold Godoy
Gemini Boulevard is known as a street at UCF, but the a cappella group, which bears the same name, goes far beyond the mundane slabs of concrete, busting out in song.
At the end of October, the group's music can be heard anywhere, far beyond the loop of Gemini Boulevard, on its very first album.
"[Releasing an album] is the next step in the a cappella community," said Nick Brown, a long-standing member of Gemini Blvd. "When most get to the point where we are, placing in competitions, usually the next step is to make an album, so the people who hear you and know you can listen to you."
This past summer, Gemini Blvd. sat around and discussed its goals for the upcoming semester. Collectively, it came up with the idea of creating an album.
The first step was fundraising.
"We crunched numbers all summer. We knew we needed a little over $4,000," said Stephanie Trull, business director of Gemini Blvd.
The money the group raised on its Kickstarter page, a grand total of $4,285, covers everything: recording costs, minting costs, royalties and more.
The group had great support from parents and fellow a cappella groups.
The hardest part of the process was choosing which songs to feature.
It decided to use its two award-winning sets.
"We spent the most time on them. They meant the most to us. They were stories in our head. We had put a lot of time, tears and energy into learning them," Trull said.
The album's token song, "We Wanna Dance," is a mash-up between "We Found Love" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody."
Music Director Jeff Ting had a different struggle.
"Keeping people consistent was difficult," he said. "Remembering all the different notes and rhythm, just minor things like that.."
Jeff was also the brains behind the title: BYOV, or Bring Your Own Voice. It started out as a joke, but it kept coming back up.
Brown came up with the artwork. He wanted to stay with the college theme because Gemini Blvd. is a collegiate group.
Because it is also a young group, it was able to feature its founding member, Robert Draper.
"Our sound has improved since the beginning. We know who we are, and what direction we are going. This is the best introduction into who we are," Trull said.
While most tracks are classic a cappella, the album will feature a different type of musical artist as well. During the recording process, Ting performed a beat-box track. In the middle of his take, a dog began barking — in rhythm.
The album will be sold on iTunes and Rhapsody, and hard copies will be for sale on campus, as well.