When you listen to the four voices singing “Be Still My Soul” in perfect harmony, you can’t help but wonder how they became so well synchronized. But once you realize all four voices share the same voice, it begins to make sense.
Kaoma Chende is the man behind the music, taking on all four parts and forming his own barbershop quartet in a split-screen performance of the classic hymn. Kaoma, a native of Zambia who now lives in Michigan, had been in one quartet, but the group had trouble retaining members. So he decided to create his own.
Kaoma has never had formal lessons but was blessed with a fantastic ear and the ability to arrange and harmonize the music he hears. He even makes a flawless key change — in all four parts — halfway through “Be Still My Soul.”
Growing up, Kaoma said he was inspired by artists like the King’s Heralds, who also have covered “Be Still My Soul.” The melody for the hymn was taken from another beloved classic, Jean Sibelius’ “Finlandia.”