If you’re not sure why taking out specialist music insurance is important – or are in two minds over whether you need it – look no further than Vox Fortura. The four-piece vocal group, which reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent under their previous name Vox Fortis in 2016, recently took out cover with Insure4Music.
Elias Hendricks, one of Vox Fortura’s members, sat down with us to talk about Britain’s Got Talent, their UK tour and why they purchased specialist music insurance.
Firstly, congratulations on your breakout success with Britain’s Got Talent. What was your highlight of performing on the show?
I would have to say the reaction of the judges after the song we sang in the semi-final. It was amazing – when you take part in something like Britain’s Got Talent, you don’t expect to get that far, never mind get that sort of reaction once you actually get there. Nothing can ever prepare you for that.
All the way through, we just did our best and the reaction of our fans was just wonderful. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
During the show, you will have received some invaluable advice which helped you get as far as you did. Was there any advice you would pass on to other live musicians?
One of the main things the judges told us all along was ‘just be yourself’ – don’t try to become something you’re not. Find the best parts of yourself and let them come true. In terms of personality, there were things which made us different from other acts, so we played to those strengths.
We were the first black classical crossover group in the world, which obviously makes us unique. Our sound also makes us stand out – our members can sing everything from soul to opera. We use this versatility to fuse elements of both genres within our sounds.
You’ve called your style ‘classical crossover’. What do you think is key to getting more young people interested in this genre?
Our main focus is getting young people on board with our style of music, which isn’t strictly classical by any means. We incorporate all kinds of artists into our music, from John Legend and Stevie Wonder to Ed Sheeran.
We’re trying to take modern songs and put our own spin on them. That way, kids can identify with what we’re performing, while at the same time discovering these classical elements. This will hopefully open the door for them to listen to Mozart’s Requiem, for example, and understand what this genre represents.
You never know what a child will fall in love with. I never thought I would be an opera lover when I was 10 or 11 years old! It was only because someone opened the door for me that I got the opportunity to explore classical music, otherwise who knows what I’d be doing now?
You touched on your musical background from an early age. Who were your biggest musical inspirations when you were growing up?
It’s two-fold for me – my favourite classical singers include Luciano Pavarotti and Franco Corelli. As far as soul music goes, I had several idols. My mother would always play soul music around the house! It was usually Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Luther Vandross. They were big influences on my musical career. Later in my life, John Legend became a really big influence on me. I absolutely adore his songs.
You’ve just finished your first UK tour. What did you enjoy the most about it and how did it compare to performing on Britain’s Got Talent?
I particularly liked performing at the Repertory Theatre in Stoke – it was the opening date of our tour and we did a charity gig for the Douglas Macmillan Hospice. It wasn’t the biggest venue, but it was packed full of people, the audience was gracious and it was a fantastic show. One of our bandmates is from Stoke and his family was there too, so that was a nice bonus for us.
The tour and Britain’s Got Talent were intense for different reasons. Britain’s Got Talent was so intense because of the grandiose nature of it all and we used up a lot of nervous energy thinking that we were performing to over a million people. On tour, it felt like there was a lot of meticulous planning involved, so our energy went into planning and organising our shows instead.
You’ve done some work in the USA before. How does performing in the USA compare to the UK?
It’s a bit of a cliché, but the UK just feels so small! I can drive three hours from London and I’ll be in another country. Where I’m from, if I drive three hours in Alabama, I’ll still be in Alabama! I enjoy that aspect of touring in the UK; discovering new places all the time.
I also like the fact that there’s a larger concentration of theatres per capita here, compared to the USA. I think that creates a culture which is much more conducive to creativity and the arts.
Have you or anyone you know ever experienced an accident while performing or on tour?
I’ve never experienced it on tour before, but I’ve experienced it second-hand when I’ve done musicals. I’ve seen how quickly you can go from being happy and healthy to being on the way to the hospital!
Live performances don’t just depend on you – there’s other people on stage, there’s a crew handling lights and sound. You can’t trust that everything is going to be 100% ok all the time, hence why you need insurance.
You currently have specialist cover with Insure4Music. How important would you say this is for groups which are just starting out?
It’s invaluable, because anything can happen on tour. You don’t know what to expect and it’s much easier to have an insurance provider on your side to keep you from having a six-figure bill when you’re trying to make a couple of hundred pounds on tour!
Insurance isn’t something you can really put a price tag on – it’s ultimately the difference between getting an injury and bankrupting your group before it even starts, or going on to have a successful career. From our point of view, we can get up on stage and do our best, knowing that we have a safety net should anything happen.
If reading Elias’ interview has convinced you to take out specialist music insurance ahead of an upcoming performance, find out about Insure4Music’s tailor-made policies and only pay for the cover you want. Get an instant online quote today!