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Music

The Voca People

Welcome to Earth

Thursday, February 7, 2013

When I first began to delve into the decidedly weird and potentially wonderful world of the Voca People, I didn’t quite know what to make of this eight-person vocal and performance ensemble.

Now, after having spent some time investigating and attempting to understand their unique approach to, well, just about everything, I’m not afraid to admit that I still don’t know what to make of the Voca People. And I kind of like the fact that they’re a mystery that doesn’t lend itself to an easy solution.

The first odd thing about this troupe—which claims to be comprised of aliens from a planet located “somewhere behind the sun”—is its appearance. Dressed all in white—head to toe, tip to tail—with ruby-red lips, the Voca People are sporting a look that can be a bit unnerving, though it certainly is compelling.

But if off-kilter costuming was all they had to recommend them, the Voca People would be just another bunch of musicians relying on a shtick to make themselves heard. However, this group has a whole lot more going on than just what meets the eye.

Although they say they’re space aliens for whom “life is music and music is life,” the Voca People actually hail from Israel. They’ve brought their show, which combines beat box, a cappella singing and various other vocal sounds and adds a plentiful dash of comedy to boot, to audiences the world over, from Europe to the United States and beyond. The music they embody in their own inimitable way consists of familiar songs by everyone from Mozart to Madonna—but while they may sound sort of like the songs you know, you’ll never see them performed quite like this.

And lest you think I use hyperbole in my touting the uniqueness of this ensemble, it’s probably worth knowing that they’ve enjoyed no small measure of fame on YouTube, where their performance videos have garnered them upwards of 20 million views.

Given that fact, you might think you can save yourself the cost of a ticket by enjoying the Voca People from behind the privacy of your computer screen and in the comfort of your own home. And I suppose you could, but you’d only see part of the show. Because seeing the Voca People is not a passive experience for showgoers. Instead, this painted-and-lipsticked crew of “space aliens” is known for drawing audiences in and getting them to participate in whatever playful hijinks they’ve got up their collective sleeve. In doing so, they cleverly help attendees take ownership of the creation of at least a portion of their own entertainment, and everyone walks away feeling like they’ve shown themselves, and everyone else, a good time.

To sum up, I still don’t know what to make of the Voca People. But if they are representative of what extraterrestrial life might be like, welcome to Earth, I say.

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