Wikinews interview with America's Got Talent finalists At Last
Saturday, September 2, 2006
Singing group At Last was recently a finalist in America's Got Talent, covering songs like "Let's Stay Together" and "Ain't No Sunshine". Talent was a NBC television series search for America's next big talent, featuring singers, dancers, magicians, comedians and other talents of all ages. The series was hosted by Regis Philbin, and judged by former tabloid editor Piers Morgan, singer Brandy, and actor/singer David Hasselhoff.
They talked to Wikinews about their group's performances and the America's Got Talent experience.
- A: Hip-hopapella was born out of a rehearsal when we were just messing around between songs. We were singing "Killing Me Softly" and harmonizing when Mike decided to throw in a beatbox, and it was like WOW... it was just magical and we knew right away we had discovered a new sound for us. Our producer came up with the name. Since then it's really evolved into fat layers of harmonies over a hip hop style bassline and beatbox. We like taking old school songs and flipping it hip-hopapella style to create something recognizable yet fresh.
Q: The band has sung at concerts with many noted names, and on quite a few television series. Where in America have audiences been most enthusiastic?
- A: We think we get the most enthusiastic responses in areas where there aren't a lot of Asian people. For example, in the midwest or the south. At first, they have their typical stereotypes of what we are. All they see is William Hung. But then they hear these four Asian guys sing R&B, and they're shocked. After the shock wears off, they realize they just like what they hear, regardless of the faces.
Q: How did At Last first form?
- A: We all met at an audition, held by actress Ming-Na, and have been together for five years. Together with her, we have the goal of showing America and the world that Asian Americans love music too.
Q: Of your competitors, who was your personal favorite? (Any point in the competition, not just among the finalists.)
- A: We loved Bobby Badfingers. He just had an incredible energy and has flat out the best showman in the competition. Backstage, he was so personable too. Actually everyone on the show was very friendly and open... we made a lot of new friends on that show.
Q: Who was your favourite judge?
- A: It's hard not to answer Brandy, because she had so much love for us, especially early on. But we have to go with Piers because of his honesty. Ultimately, his comments are the ones America respects the most.
Q: Overall, are you satisfied with the experience "America's Got Talent" provided?
- A: We're very happy with our experience on the show. We got more exposure than we ever have before and we've made some great new friends and contacts. We got to show America who we are and what we can do, and even though we didn't win, we've gained so much.
Q: What's next for At Last?
- A: We finished an album just before we started doing AGT, so we're going to get back to promoting that and start touring.