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A Cappella Group No Southern Accent Released its Album “Permanent Address”

The University of Florida’s premier co-ed a cappella group released its third album, “Permanent Address,” on all streaming services Nov. 1. 

Maddie Crowley, 21, is a third-year linguistics major and president of UF’s a cappella group titled No Southern Accent. The group was the first a cappella group at UF and was founded in 2001. They are a competitive all-gender group that performs at UF and all across the country in various competitions. They perform songs in genres such as pop, rhythm and blues and soul music, she said.

The founders of No Southern Accent chose the name because at the time a cappella was generally dominated in the Northeast. The joke was even though the students at the University of Florida were from the South, they don’t have Southern accents and they can still be as good as the Northeastern groups, she said. 

She said she got involved with the group in her first year of college at UF. She was drawn to the group because she’s been involved with music for her entire life. She said creating the group’s latest album, “Permanent Address,” was really exciting and a lot of hard work. 

“Despite all the hard work and hours and hours of rehearsal and energy that’s gone into it, it’s definitely paid off,” she said.

The name of the album was decided on last year by all the members of the group at that time. It was chosen because they all view No Southern Accent as a family. The album signifies the home No Southern Accent was for all of its members during their time at UF. It’s also where all their hard work has been immortalized, she said.

Last fall, they began a Kickstarter campaign and raised $12,000 in around 30 days to record the album. They raised all the money purely through donations. The 11-song album officially released Nov. 1. Her favorite songs off the album are “Home” and “Roaring 20s” because she said they are anthems for her.

She said the hardest part of being in the group is finding a balance between maintaining a successful group and her life as a student. The best parts for her have been seeing all their hard work pay off. They went to three separate festivals and competitions last season in addition to recording their album.

“Watching all of the hard work of some of your closest friends coming to fruition and seeing the joy it brings other people, too, is very special,” she said.

She said this year they will be competing in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella Finals in the spring, which is the same competition in the movie “Pitch Perfect.” 

Leah Goldenberg, 19, a second-year industrial and systems engineering major, is the performance director for the club. She puts together the choreography and staging for the sets and manages the group’s outfits. She got involved with the group during her first year at UF because she wanted to keep music in her life. She was involved with chorus all throughout middle school and high school, she said.

She said the best part of the group is that their dynamic goes beyond music and competing. She has become such great friends with people in the group and knows they are people she will talk to for the rest of college and beyond. She said most of the stereotypes about the group, and a cappella in general, come from movies such as “Pitch Perfect.” A lot of people assume the music they perform as “cheesy,” but she said a lot of the music a cappella groups perform now has evolved to become more meaningful to the groups themselves.

In addition to competing, the group also sings to people tailgating on game days and sing songs like “Joy to the World,” a rendition of “Longest Time,” “Carry On” and other old songs older generations of people would enjoy. She said she worked on the album as a first-year student and was able to be on six of the 10 songs. Her favorite song is also “Home.” 

“‘Home’ will always have a special place in my heart not just because we performed it a lot, but because it always had a deeper meaning for all of us,” she said. “It really captures the essence of the album.”

She wants people to know about all of the hard work and dedication that went into creating the album. It’s about three generations of people in the group coming together, she said. 

“The ‘Permanent Address’ aspect is that we might move on from college or No Southern Accent, but it’s a family that we’ll always have with each other,” she said. 

Jazmyn Oberes, 19, is a second-year finance major and the music director for the group. She leads rehearsals, picks out the music and teaches the songs. She has been taking piano and voice lessons since she was five years old and she was in chorus at her high school, she said.

She said her favorite song from the album is also “Home” because it’s so fun to perform. Working on the album last year was her first time doing anything like that. She said it was very a long process that started years ago with earlier music created by a music director in the group a while back. The album is a compilation of all the songs they’ve learned and performed over the years, she said.

“It’s insane that we were able to do it,” she said. “We were able to record everything in that one week that we had right after school ended last spring.”

They flew in their producer to Gainesville and 14 group members recorded the album in the apartment of one of the members, she said. Even if people aren’t familiar with a cappella, she said there is a lot of relatability in the messages of the songs — a lot of the songs have to do with home and family. She wants people to feel comfort and security in who they are and where they are in life, she said.

Oberes said she one of her favorite memories was going to Boston with the group for a competition and to spend time with her friends.

“That’s really what music is about, about bringing people together,” she said.

Julia Mitchem is a University of Florida junior majoring in journalism and minoring in Spanish. She is currently Co-CC for Her Campus UFL. She believes in empathy and inclusivity. She works to empower women in everything she does.
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