Doing it their way

Pentatonix comprise (from far left) Avi Kaplan, Kirstin Maldonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi and Kevin Olusola.
Pentatonix comprise (from left) Avi Kaplan, Kirstin Maldonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi and Kevin Olusola.PHOTOS: SONY MUSIC, THE LITTLE GIANT, SOULMANNA LIVE, LIVE! EMPIRE, ALVIN HO/LAMC PRODUCTIONS
Manzano brothers – (from far left) Fabian Rafael, Alejandro Luis and Daniel Enrique – make up Boyce Avenue.
Manzano brothers - (from left) Fabian Rafael, Alejandro Luis and Daniel Enrique - make up Boyce Avenue.PHOTOS: SONY MUSIC, THE LITTLE GIANT, SOULMANNA LIVE, LIVE! EMPIRE, ALVIN HO/LAMC PRODUCTIONS
Kina Grannis
Kina GrannisPHOTOS: SONY MUSIC, THE LITTLE GIANT, SOULMANNA LIVE, LIVE! EMPIRE, ALVIN HO/LAMC PRODUCTIONS
Postmodern Jukebox performing at the Kallang Theatre on Sunday.
Postmodern Jukebox performing at the Kallang Theatre on Sunday.PHOTOS: SONY MUSIC, THE LITTLE GIANT, SOULMANNA LIVE, LIVE! EMPIRE, ALVIN HO/LAMC PRODUCTIONS

PENTATONIX

From:Texas, United States

Formed in: 2011

No. of YouTube subscribers: 8.8 million

Unique selling point: Slick and upbeat a cappella versions of pop hits with multi-part harmonies and beatboxing.

Top covers: A medley of electronic music duo Daft Punk songs that has 154 million viewson YouTube and a version of Lorde’s Royals that has 56 million views.

Original music: Yes –their albums contain amix of covers and originals and they are expected to release their third album next month.


WALK OFF THE EARTH

From:Ontario, Canada

Formed in: 2006

No. of  YouTube subscribers: 2.1 million

Unique selling point: Off beat and quirky videos featuring gimmicks such as five members on one acoustic guitar or weird instruments such as a Harpejji, an electric stringed instrument, or a giant, oversized guitar. Their cover of Pharrell Williams' Happy had them and a guest band squeezing into a camper van to play the song live.

Top covers: Their breakout cover Gotye's Somebody That I UsedTo Know has more than 167 million views while their a cappella version of Taylor Swift's I Knew You Were Trouble has 25 million views.

Original music: Yes -their six albums, including Sing It All Away, released in June, have originals and one of their singles, Red Hands, peaked at No. 9 on the Canadian charts in 2012.


BOYCE AVENUE

From: Florida, United States

Formed in: 2004

No. of YouTube subscribers: 7.4 million

Unique selling point: Acoustic, mellow and stripped-down versions of chart-topping hits by three brothers– Alejandro Luis, Fabian Rafael and Daniel Enrique Manzano.

Top covers: Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors done with girl group Fifth Harmony, with 82million views, and Miley Cyrus’ We Can’t Stop, which features singer Bea Miller.

Original music: Yes –the band’s two albums, All You’re Meant To Be (2009)and All We Have Left (2010), comprise only originals.


KINA GRANNIS

From: California, United States

Started in: 2001

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No. of YouTube subscribers: One million

Unique selling point: Acoustic, raw covers of pop hits featuring just Grannis and an acoustic guitar, as well as her using daily, household items as percussion instruments.

Top covers: Her acoustic version of Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car done with Boyce Avenue and her version of Adele’s Rolling InThe Deep have more than four million views each.

Original music: Yes, and her most popular videos onYouTube are her original songs Valentine, which has 18 million views, and In Your Arms, which has 11 million views. The first video she uploaded on the video-sharing site in 2007 is an original song, Message From Your Heart, which has an impressive one million views.


POSTMODERN JUKEBOX

From:New York, The US

Formed in: 2013

No. of YouTubesubscribers: 1.4 million

Unique selling point: Contemporary pop songs from the 1980s to recent hits donein traditional and vintage pop styles such as ragtime, jazz, swing and doo-wop.

Top covers: Their doo-wop version of Miley Cyrus’ We Can’t Stop has 14 million views, while their jazz take on Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass has 13.8 million views.

Original music: None.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2015, with the headline 'Doing it their way'. Print Edition | Subscribe