Backtrack Vocals is a 5-person a cappella group based in New York City. Their exciting arrangements transform familiar tunes and showcase the top-notch vocal and beatboxing abilities of all of the members. The group takes the stage around the nation at performing arts centers, corporate events, music festivals, schools and more. They infuse heart and humor into every performance and their versatile repertoire including Top 40, Motown, classical, show tunes, original music, and more, ensures that there is something for everyone.
Backtrack's outreach programs for young aspiring artists are an extremely important part of their mission. Backtrack has conducted educational programs at over hundreds of schools nationwide (elementary to college). They offer school assemblies, workshops with choirs, and clinics on topics including beatboxing, group vocal improvisation and DIY music video production.
Backtrack got its start on YouTube in 2013, where the group has now amassed over 100k subscribers with a staggering 10 million views across their channel. Since then, they have taken their music worldwide with national and international performances. Backtrack has appeared on NBC, FOX, PBS, Steve Harvey's daytime show STEVE!, and Broadway's Kinky Boots. They also won New York's Got Talent Season 6 in 2019 and made their movie debut in “A Ring for Christmas” in December 2020. They were recently featured in an episode of HBO's "PAUSE with Sam Jay" in July 2022.
Awards & Accolades:
2019 New York's Got Talent Season 6 Winners
2018 Voices Only (vol. 2) Featured Track
2017 Steve Harvey's Sing Off; Winner
2017 International Championship of A Cappella OPEN (Final); Best Beatbox
2017 International Championship of A Cappella OPEN (Northeast Semi-final); First Place; Best Arrangement
2017 Aca-Challenge; First Place; Audience Favorite
2016 YouTube Next Up competition; Winner
Melissa is a singer, songwriter, and managing member of Backtrack. She joined the group in 2015 when it was transitioning from a purely online-entity to a full-time touring group. Melissa's interest in a cappella began in the choral program at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Her passion grew stronger at Johns Hopkins University where she sang with the school's coed competitive a cappella group, Octopodes. Melissa's interest for songwriting began her senior year when she wrote two songs for the group’s all-original album. One of which, "Kill the Lights," was runner-up for the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Association awards (CARA) for Best Original by a Scholastic Group and was featured on the compilation, "Sing 11: One Louder," produced by the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA). Outside of a cappella, Melissa has continued writing originals, and in 2021 she released her debut EP, "Lullabye," - check it out on all streaming platforms. When Melissa is not traveling with Backtrack, she enjoys spending time with family including her husband Sean, and two cats, Arnold and Molly.
Mike first became intrigued with the entertainment world at the age of 11 performing in community theatre. This led him to Cab Calloway School of the Arts High School where he devoted his studies to musical theatre, drama and vocal performance. There he joined The Jazz Chords, a Festival Disney: Jazz Celebration recognized choir and his love for a cappella music was born. Mike holds a BFA from New York University in Drama, having studied at the Stella Adler Studio and the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. During his collegiate years, he was a member of NYU’s original co-ed a cappella group, APC Rhythm, and competed in the Northeast ICCA Semifinals. Since college, Mike has performed in multiple NYC theatre festivals and original musicals, most recently being the Off Broadway run of The Extraordinary Fall of the Four Legged Woman, an a cappella Fringe Encore musical. In his spare time, Mike pretends to be a Prosecco sommelier and watches way too much television.
Chrissy is a New Jersey native who got her start singing in church choir at the age of 9. Immediately hooked into the world of musical theatre, she has been belting out and awakening neighbors everywhere with her rendition of "Defying Gravity". Chrissy went on to receive her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Delaware where she studied classical music and sang with award-winning a cappella group, Vocal Point. As Assistant Music Director and featured soloist of the group, Vocal Point placed 3rd in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella Finals and was featured on numerous compilation albums such as BOCA and Voices Only. Post graduation, Chrissy went on to work professionally in the musical theatre and a cappella world. She has had residencies in Europa Park, Germany as well as Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA throughout the Halloween and Christmas seasons. When not performing with Backtrack, you can find her teaching voice, dance, musical theatre and a cappella classes at Gateway to the Arts in Denville, NJ.
Craig is Backtrack's music director and beatboxer. He is an active member of the beatbox community as well as a voice teacher at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Craig is also a part of Forest Fire, a Tag Team beatbox duo which has won international recognition. As a contemporary musician, Craig wears many hats. He is a vocal specialist, an arranger, and a producer. He specializes in educating young a cappella performers, and uses his expertise in vocal pedagogy and beatboxing to conduct workshops in NYC and the greater Boston area. Craig’s other interests include playing and cuddling with his kitten Misty, as well as bouldering at his local climbing gym.
With a degree in Classical Music Performance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Xander has spent the past 9 years performing with groups such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic as well as numerous other chamber ensembles. He made his Boston Symphony solo debut in La Boheme at Tanglewood in 2019. He has had the honor of singing the National Anthem at sporting events including; Red Sox Opening Day 2019, as well as the 2021 American League Championship at Fenway Park. Xander was a founding member of the a cappella group The Hexachords alongside beatboxer Craig Simonetti. The Hexachords were featured on Pop TV's series Sing it On as they competed in the International Championship for Collegiate A Cappella. Outside of singing, Xander has been a clinician and judge at various a cappella events from conferences to competitions like BOSS and ICCA. When not with Backtrack, he will most likely be found lost (on purpose!) in the woods with his dog, Hopper.