Priority Male, ASU’s all-male a cappella group, is expanding and growing from a fledgling start-up club to an iTunes-established singing troupe.
Since the ICCA West quarterfinals last spring, where Priority Male was honored with a first place award at the Tempe Center for the Arts, as well as two “championship” awards, they have made many changes. With new members, a whole host of new material and now an album, Priority Male is using change to its advantage.
Priority Male released its debut album, “First Class,” Sept. 21 on iTunes. The group covers popular tracks and puts its own a cappella spin on it. Songs featured on the album include “Hallelujah,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Roxanne” and “Animal,” all of which have a unique sound and shows the creativity of the group.
The group aspires to release albums every other year.
Drew Hensley, a biological science sophomore and the new music director of Priority Male, shared his thoughts on the album release and the idea of more releases in the future.
“We would love to release another album,” Hensley said. “This album recording and release were definitely both stressful; however, the reward of having something tangible to remember our singing makes up for any stress.”
Priority Male is looking to re-vamp its sound this year as well. Hensley, being a new director, spoke of the changes that are likely to be seen in the group’s sound.
“I think there is going to be a noticeable change in our music this year. … I will teach very differently,” Hensley said. “We are creating a style that is unique to us, which is a big change from the music that the group produced two years ago.”
Steven Hobaica, psychology junior and vice president of Priority Male, has great pride in the all-male singing group as well as ambitious aspirations.
“We couldn’t be happier with the outcome of our album and are so happy with last year’s success,” Hobaica said.
He is basing the goals of the group for this year on the accomplishments of Priority Male last year.
When it comes to this year’s goals, Hobaica said he plans for Priority Male to place once again in the ICCA quarterfinals and eventually move on to the semifinals.
“Now that we know how it all works, we are better prepared to bring it this year,” Hobaica said.
Other than that, Hobaica said he wants the group to continue to travel and perform at gigs across the Valley, hopefully raising some money off of these opportunities and album sales.
Priority Male plans on performing at local concert venues and bars to practice before its fall concert in December. After that, the group will begin diligently practicing for its ICCA set in February.
With an impressive amount of achievements within the last year, the group aspires to reach even higher goals with their new members. New member Mitchell Weeks, a business communications freshman at ASU, said the group has been extremely fun so far.
“The guys that are in the group were all very welcoming of us new members, and I can already feel that joining this group will be one of the best things I’ll ever do in college,” Weeks said.
In a post-“Pitch Perfect,” pop-culture society, there is a growing love and appreciation for a cappella music, and more and more people are interested in seeing performances firsthand.
Priority Male has numerous events through the year. The group will perform new material with its new members at an upcoming event on Oct. 18 at The Red Owl in Tempe.
The group’s new album, “First Class,” can be downloaded on iTunes.
Reach the reporter at Alexa.Dangelo@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @alexa_dangelo