Twice a week, students walking past Murphey Hall can hear a sound unlike anything on campus — a sound that blends cultures, voices and layers.
The group is called Samaa, and it’s the only South Asian fusion a cappella group in the state. A co-ed group, Samaa was founded on UNC's campus in 2011.
After warmups, the group's practices begin with work on the week’s piece, with members building their voices together in symphonic performance.
The group creates mash-ups combining western and South Asian music, such as “Toxic” by Britney Spears with “Yeh Ishq Hai” by Shreya Ghoshal.
The group performs a variety of numbers, both upbeat and slow, each featuring vocal layering as well as bass and beatboxing.
“We’re trying to be as authentic as possible with the Indian music but also trying to modernize it a little bit with the western,” Adithi Reddy, a junior in Samaa, said.
Reddy joined the group during the pandemic and currently serves as social media chair. Coming into college, she wanted to find a group of people who loved both music and South Asian culture and community.
In Samaa, she found exactly that.
“Especially being based in a PWI, I think having community that you can go to every week and sing with, you just build camaraderie,” Reddy said.