Former Belmont student Ruby Amanfu and Curb College alumnus Kaleb Jones are contestants on this season’s “The Sing Off,” scheduled to conclude just after Thanksgiving. Jones and Amanfu are members of The Collective, a group of nine independent singer-songwriters from Nashville, Tenn. competing against 15 other groups for the title of winner and a $100,000 prize.
“This rare group of singer-songwriters left their egos at the door to demonstrate that there is strength in numbers,” NBC describes The Collective.
With a group of nine solo artists, Jones said it wasn’t easy to combine into a group. Becoming what he called, “a really warm, Southern, soulful sound” required the members to “learn on the fly.”
A baseball player in high school, Jones wasn’t interested in music until he tore his rotator cuff during his junior year and discovered he was passionate about guitar. That passion led him to Belmont in 2004 where he pursued a degree from the Curb College.
“I have had a blast, and I’m proud of everything we’re doing. But you never know how they’re going to put in on TV,” Jones said. “I’m excited to share it with the world.”
Ruby Amanfu, a West Africa native, attended Belmont in 1998 and performed in the first alumni showcase in 2008. She co-wrote the song “Heaven’s My Home” with Katie Herzig that was performed by the Duhks and was nominated for a 2007 Grammy award for Best Country Performance. The song, performed by duo Sam & Ruby, also appeared in the 2008 film “The Secret Life of Bees.”