|บทความเกี่ยวกับ A Cappella 7 และพี่ๆวงเฉลียงจ้า (ทีหัว เข้ามาอ่านด่วน)
A group of young men quit their job in the north and hit the road from Chiang Mai to Bangkok to sing their songs. Were they nuts? No. They were just following their dream. โดยคุณ :
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Established in 1996, A Cappella 7, named after seven students who met at the Music Department of the Faculty of Humanities at Payap University in Chiang Mai, came together to use their voices to entertain others.
The group performed many concerts in schools and universities in Chiang Mai and neighbouring provinces, entertaining audiences with their covers of popular songs in an a cappella style, using only their voices to create songs. They were an instant hit with audiences but their true popularity only became apparent when they played a Valentine's Day concert in Chiang Mai last year.
"It was more successful than we had ever dreamt. More than 600 people welcomed us with open arms. They kept asking us to make an album. Our fans were our inspiration," Dear, a member of A Cappella 7, told NJ Magazine.
Despite this early success two of the original members turned their back on music to pursue different careers. The remaining five: Nakrop "Dear" Naewnarong, 27; Matee "Ton" Apinantham, 30; Sarun "Mac" Wongnoi, 23; Artit "Tim" Pibooltham, 23, and Opal "O" Tantayanusorn, dug in and set off on their journey.
In order to chase the dream most of them quit stable jobs. Ton was a teacher at Payap University and the rest made their living from playing music in restaurants. This independent streak and confidence in what they were doing ran through everything with the band writing, producing and singing the material and even investing in the first album from their own pockets.
"We had to choose between making the dream come true or watching it fly away with the wind. However we were lucky because all the people around us, our family and friends, understood and supported us," said Mac.
Ton's pick-up truck became a stage for the group and they hit the road aiming to play gigs in every province between Chiang Mai and Bangkok to promote their first album.
"When we played concerts on the road we got a warm welcome from fans. They kept asking for our autographs as if we were superstars. Even when it was raining the fans hung around to listen to us. It was a great experience," said Tim.
But after 170 concerts the group decided it was time to hit the big city and pointed the pick-up towards Bangkok.
"The travelling was exhausting and was affecting our ability to focus on the music," said Mac.
One night in June, while performing outside the Yes Indeed pub on Nawamintr Road in Bangkok, the group's fortunes changed forever when they were discovered by a talentscout from RS. While it was time to say goodbye to the pickup the group did not sell their soul by signing to the major record label. While RS is known as a breeding ground for boy bands and girl groups, A Cappella 7 were determined not to go down the same path.
"Leather pants and dance steps haunt us. We want to walk down the street like normal people. We made sure the company understood our wishes and when they agreed we signed," said Dear. Their single-mindedness had finally paid off and their album soared up the charts. Soon the boys were playing concerts the size they had only ever dreamt of.
"Unbelievably, they create cool songs without using any single instrument. Their lyrics are so funny and positive they always make me smile. But I don't think RS is the right label for them," said Phetamporn Jinati, a student of Thammasat University.
The band has heard similar comments but they disagree.
"Working with RS is a strong point. If we worked for another label like Bakery or Grammy we might still be nobodies," said Ton.
Having signed a five-year contract with RS, A Cappella 7 hope to do their best for themselves and for their audiences.
"We don't worry about success or failure. Doing what we love and what our fans enjoy, we need nothing else," said Ton.
Same same or different?
A Cappella 7 said that wherever they go they face the questions: "Do you know you look like Chaliang?" and "Do you want to be Chaliang II?"
"I have been asked a million times," said Dear.
The similarity between A Cappella 7 and Chaliang, a popular group of male singers from the 80s, has been a point of discussion.
Many thought the group reminded them of Chaliang. But not T-Hua, one of Chaliang fans who posted this in www.chaliang.com: "If Chaliang is a durian, A cappella 7 is a jack fruit smaller spikes."
Others say the two groups have many things in common such as the number of members, the humour and positive lyrics. The beginnings of the two groups are also almost the same. Chaliang came from Chulalongkorn University while A Cappella 7 are from Payap.
"Chaliang are legendary, especially their live performances. They are colourful and lively. I once watched them in concert twice in one day. No one can replace them," said Watcharee Rakhettakit, a fan of Chaliang. "I won't hold this against A Cappella 7. I would watch one of their concerts too," she said.
A Cappella 7 admits to being inspired by Chaliang. "They were my mentors. I want to make our live performances fun like they did. However I don't intend to copy their style. I'm confident in what we do," said O. "We do a cover of Chaliang's Khai Jiaw (omelette) but the rest of our songs are our own style."
Kiattisak "Kiang" Veteewootacharn, a member of Chaliang, said all of A Cappella 7's songs tend to be love songs while Chaliang songs are varied in topics and give audience a chance to think. Kiang said, however, that he was happy to hear that people think about his group when they listen to A Cappella 7.
"Because of A Cappella 7's popularity our name is being talked about by a new generation," he said. "I'm so glad to be an inspiration for young musicians like A Cappella 7. I hope they remain positive."
by Jessada Salathong
updated: November 10, 2002