Did you know that Yeshiva University has more than one very talented A Capella group?
Cultivated on the YU's Wilf Campus, The Y-Studs are a group of singers (some friends/classmates of mine) who are growing in their popularity and fan base. Amidst all the hoopla surrounding The Maccabeats, people may have unfortunately not noticed these guys and their amazing vocal skills.
They've already performed at the YU Chanukah Concert, the Seforim Sale, Homecoming, and other YU events including YU's graduation.
Here they are performing some of their signature songs at the Seforim Sale:
"Bilvavi" "Milim Tafot" and "Lost"
Incidentally, they've also helped with a proposal in the Height's Lounge at YU.
Now they are working hard on producing their debut album "Take Me Home," which is set to be released on April 2nd. If they have a release date, you may ask, why did the tile of this post say that you, dear reader, can help the Y-Studs make their debut CD?
Simple, The Y-Studs are currently raising funds to cover the cost of the printing and distribution of physical CDs in a campaign called "Help Us Share Our Music With YOU!!!" Many of you might say, "who needs CDs in this digital age?" to which I'll reply that not everyone is as tech savvy as you, and some people - myself included - like to have a physical copy of the real thing, complete with jacket art and printed graphics on the CD. Call me old fashioned, call me an obsessive collector, but that's how I am.
So why shouldn't The Y-Studs not have the chance to see their album enjoyed by potential listeners out there who prefer CDs, for whatever reason? Although they do not have the star-studded millions of viewers on Youtube (yet), they deserve to have a physical album to sell at their concerts to fans (and grandparents of fans) to enjoy and be autographed by the group.
Even if you're not the type of person who buys CDs anymore, you can still donate $10 or more and receive a digital copy of the album in .mp3 format. So you'll get your fancy-pants digital album for your mp3-player of choice AND help The Y-Studs reach their $2000 fund-raising goal. Then, they can print their CDs, everyone can enjoy their music, and we all win!
As of the time of this posting, they have 49 backers, and have raised $990. Depending on the amount you donate, you will receive "rewards" from the group, potentially including a digital copy of the album, a physical CD, or several other fun and wacky (Jesse-time?) benefits.
The Y-Studs are utilizing the Kickstarter system, which means that if all $2000 are not raised by 8:33 PM on April 11th, all pledged funds will be returned to their owners. So if they don't get enough money to print the CDs you don't lose out either way.
I am a big fan of Jewish Music, as well as a fan of diversity in Jewish Music. As much as I like the Maccabeats, I don't think I could get through Sefira with just one A Cappella CD. I remember when Kol Zimra 2 and Lev Tahor 3 came out in the same Sefira-season - which allowed me to enjoy one album one day and the other the next, so that I had a greater amount of A Cappella to enjoy and didn't get sick of either CD by playing it over and over.
Plus, more Jewish Music groups in general is ALWAYS a good thing. Having more groups expands our public talent base and modern music culture.
Still need some convincing? Preview "Take Me Home" now on Mostlymusic.com and prepare your ears for some soulful, energetic vocals. You can also check out their Youtube channel for a number of videos from their performances.
While you're at it, why not visit The Y-Studs' Facebook page as well?
So in short, pledge your support for the Y-Studs! Enjoy their album, and may we all see a continued rise in popularity of Jewish A Capella and music in general, now and in days to come.
PS - for those readers who never attended Yeshiva College or Stern, "Y-Stud" is short for "Yeshiva College Students" - and is email address for general announcements sent to the entire student body. Stern, in turn, has "S-Studs." So the name of this A Capella group is meant to be a clever double entendre. And now you know - and knowledge is power, or half the battle... or something.
PPS - Little known fact: The Maccabeats also considered the name The Y-Studs before settling on their formal moniker.