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Watch 188 strangers sing ‘Fast Car’ together in perfect harmony

Watch 188 strangers sing ‘Fast Car’ together in perfect harmony
Posted at 7:30 AM, Feb 04, 2024

There are a lot of reasons to think we’re living in the Most Divisive Age Ever, but it helps to remember that it really doesn’t take that much to bring people together. Take a good song, for instance.

The Gaia Music Collective did exactly that in December, bringing 188 strangers into a warehouse space in New York City to sing Tracy Chapman’s hit “Fast Car” in heart-rending harmony. (Chapman wrote the song more than 30 years ago, but it’s been enjoying a renaissance since country artist Luke Combs began covering it — and especially since Chapman won a Country Music Award for her songwriting for Combs’ hit in November.)

The chorus’ harmonizing feat was captured on their Instagram and TikTok accounts (both @gaiamusiccollective) and the results went viral for obvious reasons.

@gaiamusiccollective stick around for the build ~ the layers and harmonies POPPED OFF 🙌 “Fast Car” One-Day Choir original by Tracy Chapman led & arranged by @Matt Goldstein at @Gymnopedie #singing #harmony #choir #choral #vocals #acapella #community #nyc ♬ original sound – Gaia Music Collective

Follow the advice above and “stick around for the build.” GMC founder Matt Goldstein did the arrangement for this version of Chapman’s ballad, and the harmonies do indeed get heavenly as the song progresses. It’s especially notable because this is very much an impromptu choir made up of mostly amateurs. Their experience level ranges “from shower singers to pros,” according to a comment from Gaia. The Collective takes all comers, and the members of their “one-day choirs” gather together for three hours, doing warm-ups and practicing their sections before belting out the final version.

GMC has covered songs like Oasis’ “Wonderwall” and Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer” with similar one-day choirs. Here’s their rendition of Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?”:

@gaiamusiccollective We’re definitely feeling Kenough after this Billie Eilish/Barbie-inspired choir and we can’t wait to do it again! Come join us August 30 – ticket link in bio! “What Was I Made For?” Arranged and facilitated by @Kenter 🎥: Michael Gulcicek #billieeilish #barbie #choir #harmony #singing #nyc ♬ original sound – Gaia Music Collective

Goldstein says in an interview with Ladderworks that he hopes his ad hoc singing sessions create “communities where every voice is heard and differing perspectives come together in harmony.”

Tracy Chapman famously doesn’t participate in social media, but it’s hard to think that she wouldn’t be flattered. As for the original artist herself, her CMA win marked the first time a Black woman has ever won a the award, and Chapman fans will have even more to celebrate at the Grammys tonight. The singer-songwriter will join Combs to perform a duet of the song at the awards show, which airs today, Sunday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. If it all goes as planned, it will be Chapman’s first public performance in decades.

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