Straight No Chaser's Isho looking forward to playing The Smith Center


Nearly three years after landing a spot in the a cappella group Straight No Chaser, local Seggie Isho still pinches himself.

No, it's not a dream. He's really a professional singer.

"We all had regular jobs and then we were kind of thrown into this," Isho says of his nine fellow group members. "It's kind of surreal. We're able to never take any moment for granted, we know this can be over now or 10 years from now."

Isho and the group will be back in Las Vegas on Sunday to perform at The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Ave. The group tours about 10 months a year so Isho doesn't spend much time in his valley home. But, as a local, he's excited to be among the first groups to appear at the new performing arts center. He has seen the outside while driving by and can't wait to get a look at the interior.

"I've been online scoping out their website. It really is world-class," Isho says. "This will be a nice change of pace. The last time we (performed) in a casino. This will be a different vibe."

The a cappella group started at Indiana University in 1996 and captured the world's attention with a viral YouTube video in 2006. They perform everything from popular '50s music to Lady Gaga. They made their first appearance in Las Vegas about two years ago, playing at Paris Las Vegas.

Their videos have drawn more than 20 million views on YouTube. The group has released three albums with Atlantic Records; the latest, 2010's "With A Twist," debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 29. They released a box set with two Christmas CDs and a DVD, as well as a six-track EP, in 2010. Isho says the group hopes to get in the studio this summer to record a full-length album.

Isho moved to Las Vegas about six years ago, responding to a call for help from his brother. His sister-in-law was about to give birth to twins and Isho's brother needed help running his wireless company.

Isho joined the group in April 2009 after an original member decided to retire from touring. As an Indiana University student from 2001 to 2005, Isho performed with the group, which consists only of alumni. After Straight No Chaser found success, it continued a university presence with current students.

It wasn't until Isho had been away from the university for a year that the group hit it big after someone uploaded a video of a performance. Isho says he never imagined he would perform with them again but when the opportunity came, he couldn't refuse it and his brother could handle the business alone.

"I really don't consider this a job or work," Isho says. "It's such a blessing to do what you love on a daily basis and get rewarded for it. There's no better feeling than stepping out onstage and giving people a break for two hours, letting them smile, laugh, have a great time."

Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564. Follow @StripSonya on Twitter.

 

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