There is a certain artistry involved in covering the song of another artist. The ability of a person or group to listen to a song, interpret its meaning, and then create something that is unique for their audience to hear without changing the original message is an incredible feat. Some artists manage to do a fair rendition of an original song, and then some artists can take an original song and make it all their own resulting in a sound that leaves their listeners awestruck. Such is the case with the accomplished group of tenors – Brad Robins, Casey Elliott, and Bradley Quinn Lever – collectively known as GENTRI.
This week’s Video Find of the Week features the virtuosos performing the cover of Bruno Mars’ romantic song “Just the Way You Are.” The melodic voices of the Gentlemen’s Trio produce an aura of a beautiful love song sung to someone special with the piano softly playing in the background. As viewers watch the video, especially the ladies, they get the sense that the song is being sung directly to them.
“Just the Way You Are” is the lead single from American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars’ debut studio album Doo-Wops & Hooligans. The song, written by The Smeezingtons, Khalil Walton, and Needlz and produced by The Smeezingtons, and Needlz, was originally dedicated to someone named Stephany. It was released in the United States to Contemporary hit radio on 10 August 2010 and the track was added to BBC Radio 1 A Playlist in the United Kingdom and was released in the United Kingdom on 19 September 2010 as “Just the Way You Are.”
Speaking about the song, Mars said, “It took me months to come up with ‘Just the Way You Are’… I wasn’t thinking of anything deep or poetic. I was telling a story. Get ready to fall in love!” He added, “I’m a big fan of songs like Joe Cocker’s ‘You Are So Beautiful’ and Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’ – songs that go straight to the point. You know, there’s no mind-boggling lyrics or twists in the story – they just come directly from the heart. And to me ‘Just The Way You Are’ is one of those songs. There’s nothing mind-blowing about it. I’m just telling a woman she looks beautiful the way she IS – and, let’s be honest, what woman doesn’t want to hear those lyrics?!”
One person who watched the video published on GENTRI’s YouTube channel on 7 May 2016, wrote, “When you guys got that first chorus I literally had chills throughout my body! Awesome cover…I’ve always really liked this song and you guys just made it even better!” Another viewer wrote, “I loved this cover. Before I wasn’t a huge fan of this song, but this is wonderful! Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you!”And still another said of the rendition, “Love it! Amazing IS the word!”
GENTRI has performed with such notable artists as Alfie Boe, an internationally known tenor and Tony Award-winning vocalist Idina Menzel. They were also the opening act for the famed rock band Journey at the nation’s largest Fourth of July firework celebration, Stadium of Fire. And they performed at the Governor of Utah’s annual gala and performed the National Anthem for the NBA’s Utah Jazz and MLB’s San Diego Padres.