Eh440, an award-winning, Toronto-based a cappella group that bills itself as “5 voices, 0 instruments, and 1 new amazing sound” will take the stage at the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Auditorium at Wieden Hall on Wednesday, April 8, at 7 p.m. This night of musical harmony is free and open to the public.
With its unforgettable combination of “crazy beatboxing, sassy rapping, killer harmonies, and fresh, urban, RnB-influenced compositions,” Eh440 has captivated audiences across the U.S. and Canada. The group is composed of five members: Luke Stapleton (a.k.a The Human Record) who provides the beatboxing, Joe Oliva who provides the bass vocals, and Mike Celia, Stacey Kay, and Janet Turner, who all provide lead and backing vocals.
Eh440 has been together since 2012, but their journey started long before that. As kids, Turner and Kay used to compete against each other in singing contests. Throughout the years, both took their turns winning various contests and eventually became lifelong friends.
Stapleton started beatboxing as a child. Coming from a “show biz” family, Stapleton would listen to his father play the drums, then using only his mouth, he would recreate the sounds. Celia and Oliva, on the other hand, started their music careers later than the other three. While both in their teens, Celia taught himself how to play the guitar and sing, while Oliva joined his high school choir just for fun in his final year.
After coming together through the Toronto Independent Music Awards and mutual musician-friends, Eh440 was created. Their debut was performing the U.S. and Canadian national anthems for the Valentine’s Day 2012 NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the New York Knicks in an arena before 20,000 people. Since then, the group has performed in spots from the east to west coast, appearing in festivals like the Burlington Sound of Music, the SING! Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, and the SoJam A Cappella Festival in Raleigh, N.C. Their debut album Turn Me Up was released in 2014.
For more information on the group, please visit www.eh440.com. For more information about the performance at UMPI, call 768-9585.