The Real Group Brings Their Unique A Cappella Magic to Guangzhou

By Billy Jiang, July 5, 2024

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Imagine a performance where jazz, pop, and Nordic vocal styles seamlessly blend into a breathtaking A Cappella experience.

What sets The Real Group apart, and why has their music captivated audiences for nearly four decades?

Fans of innovative vocal performances were thrilled as The Real Group brought their unparalleled musical talents to Guangzhou on June 23 at the Guangzhou Opera House, delivering a night of exceptional harmony and creativity.

The Real Group's performance in Guangzhou was a dazzling showcase of their unique blend of genres, exceptional vocal skills, and captivating stage presence.

It was a rare opportunity to witness one of the world's most renowned A Cappella groups in action, showcasing their innovative approach to vocal music.

That's Guangzhou had the privilege of talking to the members of The Real Group after their performance to get an exclusive look into their creative process, the group's history, and what made their performance in Guangzhou so special.

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The Real Group has a unique blend of jazz, pop, and Nordic vocal styles. How do you maintain the balance between these diverse genres while creating a cohesive performance?

It's kind of become our motto throughout the years, that we're without genre.

The group has always had a wonderful mix of diversity musically between the members, which has always resulted in a wide repertoire with a lot of different influences from different styles, which is one of my personal favorite things about singing and being creative with the group.

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Your group has been performing for nearly 40 years and has seen various lineup changes. How do you ensure that the unique sound and spirit of The Real Group are preserved with new members?

You could argue that any music group with a long lifespan will inevitably go through various musical phases.

I can think of many groups and solo artists that have evolved over time, so I think this happens regardless of member swaps.

Either way – yes, it's true that the lineup has changed gradually throughout the years.

In all cases, it has brought something fresh to its development.

From the start, the five members have had various backgrounds, being somewhat different from each other and bringing in different colors to the picture.

This results in the unique The Real Group sound – and this is why handpicked new members isn't a problem.

It brings new ideas, curiosity, and a broad palette of colors to use.

The red thread continues to be the line-up setting, the explorative approach, the wisdom from previous members, the rehearsal methods, etc.

Just as before, this line-up offers the audience a mix of the group's older, beloved songs with newer material.

So far, that mix, and the addition of new material, has been very appreciated by our audience.

For the five new members, it’s an honor to have been chosen to continue this journey of a group we grew up listening to – both by ourselves and alongside previous members that, to some extent, continue to cooperate with us musically.

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A Cappella is often seen as a pure form of vocal expression. How do you keep your performances fresh and innovative while staying true to the traditional roots of a cappella music?

We constantly try to keep the a cappella traditions alive and draw a lot of inspiration from various styles and influences that certain groups and individuals have been developing within the community for so long.

The body as a tool of expression is so broad and multifaceted, and we always try to find new innovative ways to create different new sounds whether it be in the studio or on stage.

In fact, our next upcoming single, now in June, has a bit of a surprise element, having added a part where our Baritone Axel plays the trumpet!

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The Real Group Academy focuses on vocal education. Can you share some insights into the importance of vocal education and how it has impacted the global appreciation of A Cappella music?

The saying that "everyone can sing" is somewhat of a cliché, but also true!

Singing together with others goes way back in human history.

It makes us feel happier and connected.

Sometimes even euphoric.

In Sweden and many other neighboring countries, choir singing is well-rooted into the people's DNA, but a vocal group and popular music aren't as common.

The past few years it has really bloomed world-wide, perhaps much thanks to internet and the way we can get to inspire each other over the boarders.

The Real Group isn't only about singing on stage – we also want to share our love for vocal music with others and continue to do so through workshops and participation in vocal festivals around the world.

We have really come to love the network of A Cappella singers around the world. It is such a positive and generous community where sharing is caring.

If we can contribute to making choirs and vocal groups have more fun with their music and experience the joy of workshopping it – we have contributed to a happier vocal community.

Having performed over 2,800 concerts worldwide, what has been the most memorable or unique experience on tour, and how did it shape the group's approach to future performances?

The group has a lot shared memories, both from the previous members that have been passed on down to the newer generations.

The current formation in the group has soon been touring for three years together, and we’ve made so many great memories.

I think all of us can agree that the most memorable ones are usually at vocal festivals or similar settings where we get to make new friends and hang out with like-minded people who share the same passion for singing, music and a cappella!

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For your China tour, have you selected any specific songs or musical pieces that cater to the Chinese audience or reflect any particular themes or cultural elements? How did you make these choices?

It's an honor to meet the Chinese audience this summer.

Of course, we have deliberately thought out a program that we think will suit the audience we visit.

We want to keep one foot forward and one back into our history so that we both get to offer some songs that we know the Chinese fans love and some songs that will be new and exciting for them!

Our focus this time is very much on music rather than lyrics.

We want to overcome any language borders and touch the listener as we sing our hearts out.


[All images provided to That's via the Guangzhou Opera House]

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