November 29th, 2011 | Culture

Olusola ’11 wins “Sing-Off”

Before winning NBC's "The Sing-Off" last night, Kevin Olusola '11 gained YouTube fame for videos of him beatboxing while playing the cello.
Before winning NBC's "The Sing-Off" last night, Kevin Olusola '11 gained YouTube fame for videos of him beatboxing while playing the cello. Photo by Julia Zorthian.

A year after the Whiffenpoofs suffered a devastatingly early elimination on NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” Kevin Olusola ’11 and his group Pentatonix claimed a cappella glory, winning the competition’s season finale last night.

Pentatonix, which performed songs such as “E.T.,” “Love Lockdown” and “Video Killed the Radio Star” throughout the season, won $200,000 and a Sony Music recording contract for its victory. The group beat out the Dartmouth Aires, who took second place.

Olusola, of cello/beatboxing/YouTube fame (he was even picked up by the Huffington Post one time), told the News last week that he got involved with the show when NBC contacted him about a group of singers who saw his video and wanted him to beatbox with them in the competition.

Since then, Olusola has had an “incredible” time with Pentatonix, which he says has become a family. He said even making it to the finale came as a surprise to him.

“I thought it was a good chance to get on television, but I legitimately didn’t expect to get very far in the competition, or even get on [the show] at all,” Olusola said.

Olusola, who was pre-med and an East Asian Studies major, added that while he “did music at Yale,” he definitely didn’t plan on pursuing a career in the music business.

“I think we have a musical synergy that is really special. [The Sing-Off has] been an incredible experience, but it’s had its ups and downs. We really didn’t know ourselves well. Figuring out how we work, not only musically but also personality-wise, has been a challenge,” Olusola said.

Check out this video of Olusola performing, produced by the News in 2009: