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Kevin Olusola, cello

Hometown: Owensboro, KY

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Kevin “K. O.” Olusola is best known as the beat boxer of the pop phenomenon Pentatonix, is a current member of the From the Top Board of Directors.

He stars in From the Top’s newest video series Where Music Lives with Kevin Olusola (releasing April 11, 2019), featuring: 16-year-old cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing from Chicago, Illinois, 17-year-old bassoonist Taylor Akin from Washington, Oklahoma, 17-year-old pianist & violinist Ray Ushikubo from Los Angeles, California, and 14-year-old actor and vocalist Anthony Gonzalez from Los Angeles, California. Check it out here.

Meet Kevin

Kevin’s history with From the Top

Kevin Olusola appeared on NPR’s From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley, Show 144, recorded in May 2006, at age 17.

He’s also been featured in two From the Top videos, including Beatboxing Bach with pianist Kadar Qian, and a cover of “Sugar” with violinist Kate Arndt.

Kevin “K.O.” Olusola  grew up in the small town of Owensboro, Kentucky, the son of a Nigerian psychiatrist and a Grenadian nurse.  At an early age, Kevin began learning piano, cello and saxophone.  He performed at Carnegie Hall twice as soloist on the cello and saxophone and has appeared on NPR’s “From The Top.”  After finishing high school at Phillips Academy Andover, Kevin enrolled in Yale University where he was pre-med and majored in East Asian Studies.  He spent 18 months in Beijing becoming fluent in Chinese as a part of his Yale fellowship.  While in college, Kevin began developing his “celloboxing” skills and in 2009, he won second place in the “Celebrate and Collaborate with Yo-Yo Ma” international competition.  Ma would call Kevin’s celloboxing version of “Dona Nobis Pacem” both “inventive and unexpected.”  In 2011, Kevin’s “Julie-O” celloboxing YouTube video was featured by CBS, AOL, Huffington Post and Washington Post, among others.  He joined a capella band Pentatonix in 2011, which as won three Grammy® Awards and released multi-Platinum-selling albums. Kevin was also named one of 100 “History Makers in the Making” by NBC’s TheGrio and was hand-chosen by Quincy Jones to represent him in concert at the 2012 Montreux Jazz Festival alongside Bobby McFerrin and Chick Corea. In  2015, Kevin released his first solo album, The Renegade EP. courtesy of RCA Records. The album debuted #1 on Billboard Traditional Classical and Classical Crossover charts, in addition to staying #1 on iTunes classical albums for weeks as it featured classically reimagined versions of popular songs like “All of Me,” “Stay With Me,” and “Heart Attack,” as well as Kevin’s original composition “Renegade.”

He currently serves on From the Top’s Board of Directors.

Visit his website.

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