For this week’s A Cappella: Unplugged, Street interviewed the dapper gentlemen of Penn Masala, most notable for their fusion of traditional Hindi music with modern pop music and obviously, their appearance in Pitch Perfect 2. I sat down with Hari Ravi, Praveen Rajaguru, Brendan McManus and Pranay Sharma to chat about their dismay towards Pluto's irrelevance, hook–up playlists and dating. That’s right kids, these eligible bachelors will swoon you with their charm and will also apparently serenade you, so definitely keep this in mind (Maybe last week's Ego?).
Street: Does what you sing reflect what you listen to?
Hari Ravi: That’s difficult. I think that if you refer to the group as one body, that’s probably what it is. A lot of the Hindi music we sing is definitely stuff we listen to like from Bollywood movies and a lot of English music we mix with that are definitely things that group members are addicted to.
Street: How do you pick the songs that you sing?
Praveen Rajaguru: It’s funny. They are pretty much songs that we like and we just want to sing them. Other than that, we look for songs that are doing well in Bollywood or even in America because they are things that our fans enjoy more. Our favorite songs that we do are the ones that not many other people may know about.
Street: So you guys went on tour, or are you going on tour?
Brendan McManus: Yeah so we generally tour every year around 3-6 times a semester and do one on campus show.
Street: So do you guys have like groupies?
Pranay Sharma: Wait who’s the one from India? We have ones from India that get obsessed with the boys.
BM: We have this one who sends us Facebook messages –
PS: Yeah she wrote us a song once. It was very heartwarming.
HR: She also wrote us a script for a documentary about Penn Masala or something like that. It was funny.
PR: It’s cool to have fans that are listening to us all the time.
Street: Who from the group is the most difficult to room with on tour?
PR: Oh god, that’s a tough question.
BM: I mean I lived with Pranay this summer which was pretty difficult because he’s messy.
PS: And picky.
BM: Maybe it’s not so much that he’s messy, but I like being really clean. He always likes to have the blinds up regardless of what time of day it is.
PS: I like light. Natural light really gets me.
Street: What is the weirdest or craziest thing that has happened on tour?
PR: Oh that’s a tough one.
PS: This has to be appropriate for a newspaper.
Street: No it doesn’t.
PS: Atlanta was sick.
BM: I mean it was fun right. What happened was we had a show in Atlanta, it was a pretty late show and we had to book flights for the next morning at like 5 a.m. Most of us don’t wake up until 10 a.m. It was the weekend so it’s already hard enough. Long story short we woke up, but then went back to sleep and missed our flights.
HR: We missed our flight, woke up and then went back to sleep.
PR: We tried to stay up all night to catch this flight, but then we were like oh this is fine we can nap for an hour. But then that hour turned into 2 hours and our freshmen couldn’t even wake us up.
PS: All for the better though.
Street: Is anyone planning on doing this professionally?
HR: Yeah –actually as a recent decision I made over winter break. I thought a lot about it. I sang a lot before Masala as well and after being in the group, I’ve been exposed to a lot of different musical styles as well. After a lot of consideration, I’ve decided to pursue this as a career after graduation.
PS: Can we send you a link to his Facebook page as a shameless plug? We are trying to aggregate likes. (Here it is folks.)
Street: So who do you mix with?
PS: We’re pretty tight with Arts House.
BM: Yeah, we also mix with all of the Indian Dance Groups.
Street: So, do any of you have hook up playlists and what’s on it?
HR: I don’t know. I’m not a good person. I’m in a long distance relationship.
PS: A lot of indie.
PS: Yes real talk.
BM: The Weeknd.
PS: That’s not indie.
BM: I know, but that’s my preference.
Street: Have you ever serenaded someone you were dating?
Street: Is it awkward?
PR: No, I mean you like singing and you like the person so.
Street: Who do you think would be the best date in the group?
PS: That’s a good question.
BM: These are things we should think about more.
PR: I mean everyone has their pros and their cons. There are so many reasons to date all of you guys!
PS: Anil definitely.
BM: I mean parents love him more than they do you.
HR: Generally when we go to other people’s houses the parents love him. He’ll like clean up after everyone.
PS: Fantastic small talk. I mean the best you’ve ever heard.
BM: Glowing reviews.
Street: What’s your favorite planet and why?
PR: I’d say Saturn ‘cause it has like lots of rings.
HR: Mars for the bars.
BM: Earth is pretty chill.
Street: Are you salty about Pluto getting kicked out?
PR: I was actually pretty upset about it.
PS: I have no qualms.
HR: Yeah, because like everyone learns the song and you go to pluto but now you can’t and that’s sad.
PS: I guess that’s a heartbreaker.
Street: What is your Disney movie guilty pleasure?
HR: Tangled. Well actually it’s not really a guilty pleasure I think we just all love it.
BM: Actually mine is different. Hercules.
PR: Well that’s like an American classic.
PS: Mulan. You know why I like Mulan? Because of the horse.
Street: That’s why you like Mulan?
PS: It was like a bad-ass horse.
BM: It was like a steed.
PS: Maybe you shouldn’t try to get to know us.
Street: When you are brushing your teeth do you wet the toothbrush before you put toothpaste on or after you put toothpaste on?
PS: Wait I have to think about this.
PS: I do both but with a light sprinkle before I put the toothpaste on.
BM: A light sprinkle? That’s pretty precise.
Street: What is the last song you listened to?
HR: "Hymn For The Weekend" by Coldplay.
PR: "Stay" by Kygo.
BM: "Without You" by The Weeknd.
PS: "Same Old Love" by Selena Gomez.
Check out some of Penn Masala’s best songs on their playlist below. Seriously, do it.