Q&A: Meet the Tarpeggios, UNC's youngest a cappella group
The Daily Tar Heel's Laney Currin spoke with Kai Turik, a senior at UNC and the president of the Tarpeggios, a mixed-voice a cappella group, about the group’s history and their unique sound as part of a series featuring each a cappella group on campus.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
The Daily Tar Heel: Could you tell me a little bit about the history of the Tarpeggios?
Kai Turik: Out of all of the groups on campus, we are the youngest group — we were founded in 2010 by a group of students who wanted to create a different experience in a cappella.
There's literally so many groups that came from different founding experiences, so we are the youngest but we are definitely still very mighty, and we have grown so much in the almost 15 years since our founding.
That makes me very proud to be a Tarp — we are the youngest, but looking at it compared to the other groups, you wouldn't expect that because we're right on the same level.
DTH: What made you initially want to join this group?
KT: Coming into college, I wasn't dead set on doing any specific thing, extracurricular-wise. In high school, I was very into musical theater and I had always been into performance of some kind.
So, in my sophomore year after we came back from a year of online class, I started getting more involved in theater and stuff.
I met the president at the time when I was doing an audition for a show and I ended up hearing about Tarps, and I heard that they were having auditions, and so I just decided to do it.
I was like, 'Why not? Let's try this. This is different. It's kind of outside of my comfort zone.'
And then I ended up getting in and I just absolutely loved it. And it's been like, my main priority ever since I got in the second semester of my sophomore year.
DTH: Your group has a very unique music style. I was wondering if you could describe that to me?
KT: The cool thing about our music style is that it's kind of always evolving, is what I say.
It's very dependent on who's in the group at the time and the songs that we feel like artistically represent us in this moment.
There is no one song or one genre that makes the Tarp sound, but something that we definitely pride ourselves on is our arrangements, our arrangement ability.
We have so many talented people in our group that have worked for years to hone this craft of how to take any kind of songs that it may be — we've done pop, country, R&B, soul type of songs — we've done all of that, and then taking that and putting it into an a cappella arrangement.
And that was something that makes me so proud, when I'm handed a piece of music, and it's something that you know, my best friends have spent their time arranging and really poured their love into.
It's always just really cool and we have so many talented people in that regard.
DTH: What are some things that y'all are looking forward to this year?
KT: As far as going into next semester, I'm really excited because we are planning to compete in ICCA's again, which is a competition that we've competed in multiple times in the past, it's the International [Championship] of Collegiate A Cappella. It's where you arrange a 10-minute set with choreo and perform it.
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We always had just so much fun doing that, and I am so excited because we did not do it last year.
This will be our first time doing it since 2022, which was when I first joined the group, and being a senior, it's going to be so special to have that one last super fulfilling experience with the group.
And also we're releasing a full-length album in the spring, which I am super excited about, because we also haven't released one of those in my time in the group. We've released a couple EPs here and there, which is super fun, it's so cool and such an honor to be able to go into the studio and record all these fun things and release it for people to listen to. But the album specifically I'm so excited for people to hear.