Kirstin is the single-word moniker Pentatonix singer Kirstin Maldonado adopted for her solo career. She released her debut single, "Break a Little," in May 2017, just when Pentatonix were at the apex of their popularity, but Kirstin's solo music couldn't have been more different than that of her group. Where Pentatonix put a millennial spin on an old-fashioned harmony group, Kirstin's solo music embraced the modern sounds of EDM-inspired pop.
It was a sound that suited a singer who came of age in the 2000s. Maldonado was born on May 16, 1992 in Fort Worth, Texas. She began singing at a young age, taking voice lessons when she was just eight years old. She soon moved into musical theater, which is where she met Mitch Grassi, who would also become part of Pentatonix. That group didn't form until Maldonado was attending college at the University of Oklahoma. Scott Hoying, a teenage friend of hers, was assembling a group to audition for NBC's The Sing-Off, and she dropped out of school to participate. Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola joined up with Maldonado, Hoying, and Grassi, and they quickly became a sensation on the third season of The Sing-Off in 2011. Pentatonix launched their recording career in 2014 and, over the next three years, they were a commercial powerhouse, regularly topping the Billboard album charts.
Maldonado began pursuing extracurricular projects in 2016, popping up in a video from Voctave and showing up with Grassi and Hoying in an episode of Bones. Her solo career began in earnest in the summer of 2017 with the release of "Break a Little," the first single from her debut EP. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine