My sister and I have great memories of singing our hearts to the ’80s station on family road trips and mouthing the words to every song from the early 2000s that we could hear on the radio in the next hairbrush or remote control. But our pitch was never accurate. . . on key. Sisters Christina, Katherine, Amy, Lisa and Lauren Cimorelli, on the other hand, are so in sync that their a cappella harmonies have earned them over 2.3 million TikTok followers and over 5.5 million YouTube subscribers.
The sisters – known as Cimorelli – grew up in El Dorado Hills, California with five brothers and their youngest sister Dani. The sisters grew up with musicians on both sides of the family, played the piano and learned to sing barbershop music, which is based on vocal harmony through the use of musical instruments. They formed their band in 2007 with Christina, the eldest sister, at the helm. “I was really inspired by the Jonas Brothers to start a band,” Christina told POPSUGAR. “And then we did it a capella – it was a coincidence because at the moment it was easiest to make a video.”
But like anyone who’s seen this Pitch perfect Movies know it’s not always easy to get in the mood. “Singing acapella is especially difficult because if you have any pitch problems, which means you’re singing slightly out of key or way out of key, then it just doesn’t work,” Lisa added. “It’s just like one of the strings on a guitar is really out of tune, it’s just not going to work. You have to stop and retune it.”
“We are very inspired by what we go through – falling in love, falling in love, experiencing new things, having deep emotional pain and experiences.”
With three albums and eight EPs, the sisters have mastered the art of harmonizing. Before starting her professional music career, Cimorelli found her claim to fame in her music covers, which they still post weekly on YouTube and TikTok. Her first hit was an a cappella cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” in 2009, and the video now has over 8.8 million views on YouTube. Today they cover artists from Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes to Demi Lovato and Harry Styles and rehearse each song for about three weeks. While their voices are in perfect harmony, their musical tastes are different; Each sister has a different dream musician they’d love to work with: Ed Sheeran (Katherine), Taylor Swift (Lauren), Sam Hunt (Christina), the Jonas Brothers (Amy and Christina), and JoJo (Lisa).
In addition to recording a cappella music, the sisters incorporate elements from guitar, drums and bass into their original songs and covers. Similar to her TikTok account, Cimorelli’s original songs give an insight into her personal life. “We are very inspired by what we go through – falling in love, falling in love, experiencing new things, having deep emotional pain and experiences,” said Christina. For the band and especially for Amy, TikTok was a great inspiration with its many duets and song challenges. “I love it when people make big songs small,” said Amy. “TikTok and the musical side of TikTok have such an interesting energy because they are so free flowing, so creative … incredibly inspiring and so fun, so fresh and so wild.”
Image source: Acacia Evans
Being at home during the pandemic only added to their songwriting creativity, resulting in a home studio where they wrote and produced new music. “Lately, our great messages have just shown people that … they can have amazing lives just the way they are from where they are,” Katherine said. “It doesn’t have to be that Instagram-worthy, wacky celebrity thing for your life to be amazing and meaningful … no matter how dark things get in life, there is always something to hope for.”
“To me it means being part of something that really affects the world and being able to do that with people I love.”
As the band evolves, Cimorelli plans to hit the studio again soon to create “a lot of original music” and work on an exciting new secret project. “Here’s a really bad clue that we’ve never done anything like this before, except on a random TikTok … There’s actually a really big clue,” said Christina. The sisters are also hosts The Cimorelli Podcast, which is entering its sixth season, where they reflect on past mistakes, share important life lessons, and fun moments from their everyday lives. “According to other members of the CimFam, it’s a life changing podcast and it’s great fun too,” added Christina.
At the center of Cimorelli’s music is the idea that sisterhood is not defined by blood, but by the support system that you have around you. “What [being in the band] means to me being part of a sisterhood, “said Katherine.” But it is not just my daily sisterhood of sisters, but also part of a sisterhood that extends across the world where people from different backgrounds are not sisters of blood, but sisters of mere community. “Lauren added,” For me, it means being part of something that really makes an impact in the world and being able to do that with people I love. “Some of their best song covers – and some of their original songs – here.