Kevin Olusola ’11: Beats Outside of the Box
Kevin Olusola ’11 and his a cappella group, Pentatonix, are in the middle of a sold-out American tour, and when that wraps up, they are headed to Europe — for another sold-out tour. His group’s videos garner over 6 million views in less than a week, and their channel is the 16th most subscribed music channel on YouTube. His “celloboxing” videos, in which he combines classical cello playing with popular music and beatboxing, consistently go viral. But before any of this happened, Olusola was one of us — a Yalie. After coming to campus to give a TEDxYale talk before a packed Sudler Hall on Tuesday, Olusola sat down with WEEKEND to discuss his journey from pre-med student to star musician, his mission to make classical music relevant again, and what it’s like to be on Sesame Street.
The Sharper Image
Although Croom — speaking from Silicon Valley — acknowledged some deficiencies back in New Haven, he said he believes that the administration has shown interest in trying to support innovation. It has simply lacked a clear idea of how to do so.
“Yale has shown that it wants to get involved, but I think they underestimated how quickly tech culture can move forward,” he said.
And if Yale does want to catch up, it must take a closer look at both its policies and its approach.