You may remember The Filharmonic from the NBC hit show "The Sing-Off," which followed a cappella groups around the country as they competed with in each other in a rigorous musical battle. And while "The Sing Off" catapulted the group into fame, the 6-piece -- composed of VJ Rosales, Joe Caigory, Trace Gaynor, Barry Fortgana, Jules Cruz and Niko Del Rey -- isn't fading out of the limelight. With national tours with Linkin Park, Black Eyed Peas and Pentatonix and cameos in "Pitch Perfect 2" and "The Late Late Show with James Corden," the group is stronger than ever.
What started out as friendly encounters at singing competitions soon turned into the formation of the talented group, who share not only a passion for creating innovative sounds, but also share a rich, cultural-filled connection. Since their inception, their trademark 90s spin on pop classics and their infectious chemistry as a group has helped The Filharmoic to rack up millions of views on YouTube (7.2 million to be exact) and played packed gigs around the United States on their latest Get Up & Go tour.
And one watch of their signature covers on YouTube and you can see why so many people have fallen for their music. Everyone from Justin Bieber to Ariana Grande gets The Filharmonic treatment. Their latest cover or Rihanna's "Work" will completely blow you away. It's proof that their sound is only getting better and better.
With more new music -- both covers and originals -- on the way, The Filharmonic is music group to watch. We recently spoke with Jules Cruz and Niko Del Rey of The Filharmonic to talk about their creative process, what life was like on "The Sing Off" and more! Ahead, find out where their love of singing first began, their experiences on set, and their biggest takeaway from being on a network show.
And for even more Filharmonic news, head over to AOL.com at 6 p.m. ET for more exclusive features, including what their experience was on set of "Pitch Perfect 2."
When do you remember growing up and really falling in love with music?
Niko Del Rey: For me it was church. And back then I thought that there was something so beautiful about the guitar and vocals. Then I thought, I want to start singing like that since it seemed so peaceful.
Jules Cruz: I didn't like music growing up. And my family wasn't super musical. I got put into choir by accident and I wasn't into it for a while. But the more I kept singing, the more I realized how amazing and spiritual it was. And there was a moment in sixth grade where I thought that I wanted to do this for as long as possible.
What was "The Sing Off" like for you?
Niko Del Rey: We would perform on a Tuesday and right after our performance on Tuesday night ,we would rehearse a brand new song . We would then start working on it for Wednesday morning to show the producers. Then we had choreo and after that we would have final rehearsals on Sundays and Mondays. Along with our own personal song, we had an opening number that we'd have to rehearse as well.
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What was going through your mind as you were doing that really rigorous work load?
Jules Cruz: It was insane because we had just formed a month or two before the actual show started filming. Once we were there, there were all these other amazing groups competing against us who had been together for ten to fifteen years. We were just thrown into the fire so quickly. And it was really nerve-wracking having to perform in front of all these people. I think it forced us to learn a lot really quickly.
What was your biggest takeaway from being on "The Sing Off"
Niko Cruz: I think Jules touched on this a little, but it's that we were competing against other groups that were around for ten to fifteen years, so being thrown into that really let us absorb a lot from them. We could take a notes from them about how to become a professional a cappella group. That's a whole different beast than collegiate level, since people are looking at you and you don't have the crutch of "Oh he's a college kid." So being around all of these groups really helped us.
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