Closer Look

Closer Look Summer Indie Artist Spotlight 2019: Something Good Barbershop Quartet

Left to Right, Sarai Velasquez, Tenor; Meg Westover, Bass; Ellen Messer, Lead; and Ellie Alexander, Baritone, are members of the Something Good Quartet.
Left to Right, Sarai Velasquez, Tenor; Meg Westover, Bass; Ellen Messer, Lead; and Ellie Alexander, Baritone, are members of the Something Good Quartet.
Credit Grace Walker / WABE

What makes a barbershop quartet? The answer lies not only in the genre of music but also the style, according to Elie Alexander who is one of the four members of the Atlanta based barbershop quartet Something Good.

“Barbershop is a subset of a capella,” said Alexander. “Barbershop is a little particular in that we don’t have any vocal percussionists and the other big thing is that our lead is our melody and their kind of in the middle of the chord — we have higher parts above and lower parts below.”

The Something Good Quartet is made up of Elie Alexander, Ellen Messer, Sarai Velasquez and Meg Westover. They all originally performed together in the Atlanta Harmony Celebration chorus together before forming their own quartet –Alexander’s mom is their coach.

They first sang the song “Something Good” together in a parking lot.

“I just like that with the quartet, we sing our own parts yet we come together and make really good music,” said the quartet’s youngest member Sarai Velasquez who recently graduated from high school.

For their in-studio performance, the quartet sang two songs “Almost There” from the Disney film “Princess and the Frog” and their rendition of “Get Happy”. The song “Almost there” has personal significance says the quartet’s lead singer Ellen Messer.

“I really love the story behind it because in [the film] she’s singing this song about this dream that she has and how she’s going to work hard to make it happen even though it seems like it’s far away,” said Messer. “I think that’s something we’ve all personally dealt with,” said the quartet’s lead singer Ellen Messer whose currently  pursuing a law degree.

The barbershop quartet is currently preparing for an international competition later this year. You can learn more about Something Good here and listen to their interview above.