Over Memorial Day Weekend, BYU Vocal Point released an incredible new album! Have you listened to it yet? It’s been on repeat over here (which may or may not be because of a certain One Direction medley). In fact, I loved it so much that I finagled my way into an interview with the group themselves! Keep reading for all the juicy details.
To begin the interview, I asked each of the guys which song was their favorite. The majority vote was for the Tarzan medley. It’s catchy, nostalgic, and a total crowd-pleaser. If you haven’t heard it yet, stop reading and turn it on!
Change is another favorite throughout the group. The arrangement is so complex and smooth. If you like vocal jazz, this one is for you. One of the members of Vocal Point called the chords “crunchy.” Trust me, that’s a good thing.
Picking the Setlist
Have you wondered how artists decide on what songs go on an album? So have I. When I asked the group, they described to me something called the chopping block. At the beginning of the year, they all have access to a Google Doc where they can list their ideas.
After all their ideas have been put on the page, they work together to decide which songs should make the final cut for performances and albums. All of the members noted that it’s amazing to be so included in the process. It allows them to have more unity and responsibility as a group.
The BYU Vocal Point Mission
Because they sing a lot of pop songs, I knew it had to be difficult to find appropriate songs to cover. When I asked about this, they told me the BYU Vocal Point Misson Statement. Jason Bromley, a tenor in the group, recited it for me:
Our mission is to enlighten the hearts and minds of those within the sound of our voice up unto the filling of their souls with joy.
“We want to be able to put out music that people want to listen to,” said baritone Carson Trautman. “But we still want to avoid things that are against our values.” The mission statement is important because the goal is to provide music for people everywhere, not just members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has been a big obstacle in the way of accomplishing their mission this year. They had a tour planned in North America and Cuba, but it was canceled due to the virus. In fact, they haven’t even been able to practice together for quite a while.
While it has been difficult to manage socially distant photoshoots and doing press for an album release, the group is in high spirits. They really cannot wait to get back on stage to perform these new songs for fans. I personally think this new album came at the best possible time!
A Real Commitment
Even when COVID-19 wasn’t a thing, I knew that being in this group isn’t a breeze. When I asked about the level of commitment, Carson told me that “strenuous” is definitely the right word to describe it. However, he also said that connecting with individuals through their work makes it all worth it. He said,
Anytime I think about the people that are impacted by the music that we’re making, it makes it so much easier to make those sacrifices.
Every single member talked to me about how special the experience is of being a part of Vocal Point. The people that they meet and the lives that they touch are what inspire them to stay diligent. Jason said,
The little experiences we have while performing are the biggest motivating factors in terms of working hard and staying happy throughout the year.
Their music has touched the lives of so many, but how has Vocal Point strengthened their own testimonies? Many mentioned that they’ve learned how Heavenly Father cares about their individual lives. He knows what you’re doing and wants you to be happy. He cares about what you care about.
Johnny Meyers, another baritone, said that he’s learned how God works in many different ways to touch the hearts of His children. “It’s been almost surprising how much of an influence we have on people just by interacting with them,” he said. He loves noticing the impact they can have on people who aren’t members of the Church and knows it’s all thanks to God’s help.
For Jason, the testimony comes through the lyrics of the songs they sing. BYU Vocal Point sings a lot of hymns and he says that learning those words has helped him tremendously. “I think that if anyone wants to strengthen their testimony, I would suggest learning some sort of spiritual song,” he said. “Music has a way of bringing out emotions and connecting us to God.”
Lastly, Carson spoke about comparison. He noted how easy it is to compare ourselves to others and think we’re not doing as good of a job. “I think to God, our contribution is not nearly as important as the fact that we’re contributing in the first place,” he said. Heavenly Father loves all of His children and is glad whenever we are simply trying our best.
God’s Hand in the Work
The director of BYU Vocal Point, Mckay Crockett, told me a story about how God’s hand was in this album specifically. A couple of years ago the group signed a record deal with Universal Music Group, the largest music distributor in the world. However, it wasn’t working out as well as they had hoped.
Just a few months ago, the group decided to end their relationship with UMG. McKay said it was extremely frustrating. “The opportunity was so promising,” he said. “Why would this have gone so south when our mission is to bless people?” McKay continued,
The fact that we got the album out on such a short time frame is a testament to the fact that Heavenly Father is concerned about us for the unique reason that He wants to bless His children.
Lift Your Spirits
This group worked incredibly hard to bring you uplifting music that aligns with your values. I just know you’re going to love this self-titled album. You can find it on most streaming services! They also have a YouTube channel with great music videos.
In fact, before you go, check out their latest music video for a song that’s on the album. It features the amazing Peter Hollens!
What are you waiting for? Go listen to the album! Comment below and let us know which song is your favorite.