Few singers start a capella vocal groups as an entree to international stardom.
That's why Straight No Chaser, which formed during 1996 at Indiana University-Bloomington, keeps "getting surprised every day" by its success, according to Seggie Isho.
"Every time we think that, 'It can't get any better than this,' it does," says Isho, 31, a Rochester Hills native who joined SNC in 2009. "I mean, we did the 'Under the Influence' album (in 2013) and we had all these great guest artists and figure, 'OK, this has to be the ceiling, right?' Then we find out, 'Paul McCartney wants to work with you guys and do 'Wonderful Christmastime.'
"It's just been like that. It's almost like some cool prank someone is playing on us, and one day it's all going to come crashing down. But until then we'll enjoy it as much as we can."
This year's surprise for SNC is another new holiday song, "Text Me Merry Christmas," on which the 10 singers are joined by "Veronica Mars" and "Frozen" star -- and Huntington Woods native -- Kristen Bell.
"We got the song together," Isho recalls, "and once again our manager says, 'Who's a list of people you guys can see doing this song with? So we sat and thought about it long and hard. It's a comedic song. It's playful, so it had to be a voice that could convey that, and Kristen was a shoe-in.
"And once we got her in the studio we realized how perfect that choice was. She nailed it in, like, a take and a half. she was a real pro."
SNC has already started work on its fifth studio album, which Isho says the group is hoping to release before its fall tour next year. Meanwhile he's looking forward to SNC's upcoming show at Detroit's Masonic Temple -- where he was married during August.
"Yeah, that'll be a cool little comeback there," he says. "The group did sing one song at the wedding, at my dad's request (Bob Dylan's 'To Make You Feel My Love'), so technically I guess this is our second performance there. But it'll be cool; growing I used to go there and see 'Phantom of the Opera,' and when I was in elementary school our boy's choir was a finalist to be the choir in 'Joseph.'
"It didn't work out but it was still an incredible experience as a child."
Straight No Chaser
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12
Masonic Temple 500 Temple Ave., Detroit.
Tickets are $28.50-$46.50.
Call 313-638-2724 or visit www.themasonic.com.
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