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Talking with Ben Folds and Committed of 'The Sing-Off'
TELEVISION Special to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn

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NBC's The Sing-Off just finished its second season and the winning group Committed sat down with judge Ben Folds to discuss the music biz with Windy City Times.

Windy City Times: Hello, everyone! Congrats Committed on beating the competition. Did you guys have a favorite performance during the show?

Committed: We liked "Hold Your Hand." It was very moving and positive. It reached us because we related it to God and leading us through the competition. It became very personal to us.

WCT: Why do you think America chose Committed, Ben?

Ben Folds: First of all they are amazing. They are great singers. Even when they are somber they are uplifting and inspiring people. They have many of the conventions that you hear in modern mainstream R&B. All of that combined is very powerful. They are total stars.

WCT: What kind of album should they make?

Ben Folds: They should make the album that they really want to make. The music business is not a certain place. There are no models or clich├ęs that are really standing up at the moment. It is all up for grabs. There are no rules going on here. If they follow their hearts then they are going to kill it.

WCT: For Committed, what kind of album do you see yourselves making?

Committed: We see ourselves making an inspirational album not necessarily gospel, but more on the positive side. We believe that is what the world needs now.

WCT: Ben, would you be involved in their making an album?

Ben Folds: I would always be there for an extra ear. I think they are right about the positive part. It doesn't have to be literal. We have heard quite a lot of the other side and I think we are all burnt out. It is time for someone like Committed.

WCT: Do you have a release date for the album?

Committed: Spring 2011!

WCT: Was it hard to be a judge?

Ben Folds: I took the word judge out of it for me in order to provide feedback for these guys. I have been there a million times. My style of songwriting is fairly vulnerable at times so I feel a lot of empathy for the person that is on stage. I had to find a place to do it where we were all on the same level.

WCT: So more of a mentor?

Ben Folds: I don't know if its about being mentor. I would be happy to have Committed sit down on the floor, I play them a song and ask them what they think. I am sure they would be like me and say, "This is what moved me and this is what didn't." If you can maintain some trust like that between musicians, I mean you can't do it all by yourself.

WCT: Right. Would you make another a capella album?

Ben Folds: Yes. From the time that I did the first one I have wanted to do a few more so we will see. The Sing-Off has really expanded a capella beyond the university realm. I just have to figure out what the format would be. Last time it was university groups that were already performing my music so maybe that's what I will do again.

WCT: What have you been doing recently, Ben?

Ben Folds: I just finished writing an album with Nick Hornby, who is a British lyricist. Recently, it has been all about this show and then some more touring coming up.

WCT: When are you coming back to Chicago, Ben? You were so good at Ravinia!

Ben Folds: Oh, man, I was a house band at The Vic almost for a while. [Laughs] I would come back three times a year there. I will come back to Chicago as much as the promoters will have me there. I should be back for the summer!

WCT: Well, bring Committed, too.

Committed: Thank you. We are open to touring. Right now all of us are in school but it would be great to get out there, have fun and build our fan base.

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