TikTok A Cappella Sensations The Trills on Their Formation and Holiday EP, Like It's Christmas

A cappella group The Trills have been making quite the name for themselves on TikTok, and you only have to listen to one of their gorgeous renditions of iconic songs to see why.

The group of six talented singers all got their start at Towson University in Maryland, and today have more than 3.4 million fans on their TikTok channel—with country legend Tim McGraw being one of their most avid supporters. They also recently released a festive EP, Like It's Christmas, featuring covers of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," "Something in the Air" and more, all destined to put you right in the holiday spirit.

We love the group, and just had to learn more, so we were thrilled when we got the chance to ask them all about their origins, the EP and more. Keep reading to find out what they told us.

SH: How did The Trills form as a group? What do you think are the commonalities you have that really allow you to thrive as a team?

The Trills: The Trills formed in the fall of 2015 when Aaron, Kathryn and Leroy began college at Towson University. The six founding group members met each other through a series of random occurrences over the first few days of school. By the second week of their freshman year, the "Towson Trills" had their first rehearsal. These encounters were nothing short of ordinary, but they tipped off something extraordinary. Over the next four years, our group's roster changed, adding Will, Nick and Missy. When most of the group graduated in 2019, we left the university, dropped the "Towson" from our name, and decided to pursue a cappella professionally.

Although our dynamic is more strongly created by our differences, there are commonalities that help us thrive as a team. We all have a strong desire to make music, fueled by our diverse backgrounds in the arts. At its creation, the group wanted to express our individual art in ways we wouldn't have been able to before. The group has a uniform drive and work ethic, and we are all quite competitive. We credit much of our improvement and early notoriety while in college to several years of competing in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.


SH: What is each member's role within the group?

The Trills: Kathryn is our soprano vocalist, one of the social media managers and the primary choreographer for the group. With a background in education and theater, Kathryn helps plan TikTok content strategy and makes sure we all move well while on stage.

Missy is our alto vocalist and a full-time student at Towson University.

Will is our baritone vocalist, one of the social media managers and a secondary vocal arranger for the group. With a background in photography, Will directs our photo and video content and strategic planning.

Nick is our tenor vocalist, secondary choreographer and stylist. With a background in theater, Nick makes sure we are always ready for the stage.

Leroy is our bass vocalist, primary vocal arranger and music director. With a background in music education, Leroy runs our regular rehearsals and makes sure all our music feels and sounds like "The Trills."

Aaron is our beatboxer, finance and business manager. With a background in economics, music business and finance, Aaron manages the group's daily business operations.


SH: Why do you think TikTok has been such a powerful platform for growing the group? What is it about TikTok that's different from the other social media platforms out there?

The Trills: TikTok has been a huge contributing factor to our group's growth. Prior to the pandemic, we were a local group with a following consisting of community members, friends and family. After our first viral TikTok video, we saw our audience exponentially increase including our first hints of global exposure. We honestly couldn't believe the number of views it had since nothing we posted before even came close to it. Since our rise on TikTok, we have seen much more traction on our music on Spotify and YouTube, collaborated with several large acts like Drew Scott and Quinn XCII, and began working under the management of Underscore Talent.

Prior to TikTok, any of these things seemed like such a faraway goal.
The most unique part about TikTok is that your follower count doesn't always correlate with view count or the chance your video has of becoming viral. This helps smaller creators receive larger numbers of hits if their videos are placed on the TikTok For You Page. Our TikTok followers also enjoy the videos we post that aren't music. As a group, we love to do challenges, and TikTok promotes an organic environment where we don't have to solely post music in order to reach our audience. This helps us connect to our fans on a deeper level and lets them see more of who we are as a group and as individuals.


SH: What has it been like to get recognized by huge stars, including Tim McGraw?

The Trills: These situations are always a much welcomed and very unexpected surprise. Since the group was founded in a dorm room, it is amazing to consider that our name is even in the same conversation as some of the people we've encountered. Early on, we believed that if we kept working hard someone would eventually notice the music we are creating. The Tim McGraw duet was a very surreal moment, since it was one of the first times an artist of that notoriety had directly reacted to and expressed interest in The Trills and our music. A cappella only has a handful of groups that are recognized on that scale, so it is humbling to know that what we have been working towards is beginning to unfold.


SH: Is Christmas the group's favorite time of the year?

The Trills: It might just well be. We love Christmas! The Trills house has been fully decorated since around October. Some of our favorite performances each year happen around the holidays, and we really enjoy singing various holiday songs for TikTok. For the last few years, we have even done a group Secret Santa before traveling to our shows. Christmas makes us feel blessed that we can continue to be in each other's lives and impact the lives of others through our music.


SH: When it came to picking the songs for this EP, how did you go about choosing the classic tracks that would best represent the group and the season?

The Trills: The goal behind our EP is to make listeners feel like they've been completely engulfed in their version of the holiday spirit. We wanted to have a balance of more traditional holiday songs like "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and other festive songs you may not have expected like "Something in the Air." We also wanted to select tracks that each vocalist could have a solo on, so all our members are featured at different points throughout the EP. We love adding unique harmonies, technical drum patterns and more to our arrangements to create specific moments listeners are sure to remember. The goal driving our creative decisions was to create a record that completely encapsulated the traditional holiday spirit interpreted through our modern Trills lens.


SH: Is there anything else we should know about The Trills?

The Trills: The new year brings brand new projects for The Trills. Make sure to check out our social media to stay up to date with our newest releases!


Can't get enough of holiday a cappella? Click HERE to read our interview with EARCANDY on their own Christmas album.