Out of the Blue Christmas cover: a playful wonder

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Out of the Blue, Oxford’s all-male a cappella group, have stunned audiences this week with their Christmas cover of the infamous ‘Santa Baby’. As well as showing off their usual dulcet tones as a tight-knit barbershop group, the members, made up of students from both Oxford and Oxford Brookes universities, star in a fabulously light-hearted video as they roam the streets, colleges and libraries of Oxford. 

Released on Monday (14th December), the video managed to amass 100,000 Youtube views within the first 48 hours. It has also impressively been shared by the Huffington Post, the Daily Mail, Metro and ABC News. 

This comes as no surprise for the hit music group, as previous accolades have included a tweet from Shakira herself after they covered her hit single ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ which, in turn, accumulated 6 million Youtube hits, as well as raising £10,000 for charity. The group’s 2014 Christmas single was also exceedingly popular, as their cover of ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ showed the singers gallivanting around the Bodleian’s Old Schools’ Quad and Divinity Schools.

But these fantastic harmonies and cheesy jazz-hand shots are not all fun and games: last year the Christmas single raised an astonishing £15,000 for Helen and Douglas House, a children’s hospice in Oxford that cares for children and young adults with life limiting illnesses. This year Out of the Blue are hoping to raise a similarly fantastic sum for the hospice, and are selling the single with all proceeds going to the worthy cause. They are also encouraging any donations to Helen and Douglas House.

I spoke to Out of the Blue President, Deon Fang, who told me that the adventurous video was shot over the course of one day during their UK tour, with filming starting at 7:30am.

When asked how the group managed to settle on ‘Santa Baby’ as their cover song of choice, Fang said: “’Santa Baby’ was a natural choice for us. It’s right up our alley because it’s playful but also a serious Christmas hit, with covers by everyone from Ariana to RuPaul. It was an opportunity to nail our colours to the mast and make a declaration of style as individual vocalists – all twelve of us have a solo – and as a group. I also enjoyed how the video’s message of togetherness and finding joy in each other allowed us to satirise the over-the-top materialistic text of the song.”

One of the most impressive things about the video is the unadulterated quality of vocal performance professionally mixed in with the humour of the choreography. Fang told me that the video, choreographed by Laura Day, was “a chance for us to showcase the abilities of the group as performers, beyond musicianship and vocal ability. That’s something we take seriously and put consistent effort into building, so that viewers can hopefully feel included in the fun we’re having, whether on-stage or through a screen.”

Fang finished with: “It’s been thrilling and humbling to receive such a positive reaction from the media. We’re hoping the attention will translate to more revenue for Helen & Douglas House, who depend on these donations, and whose incredible work we are honoured to support.”  

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syOoUZH9rVk

Download the single here: https://ootboxford.bandcamp.com/track/santa-baby-charity-single

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