Pentatonix Are Kick-Starting the Season with Holidays Around the World : 'We're Really Proud'

Pentatonix is back with new music and is kicking off the holiday season right!

On Friday, the five-member a capella group released their latest studio album Holidays Around the World and spoke to PEOPLE about the record's inspiration, their expanding families, touring and more.

The group, which consists of members Kirstin Maldonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kevin Olusola and Matt Sallee, agrees that celebrating the different cultural experiences during the holiday season was the best part.

"It was really cool because we also got to experience all the cultural differences in music there. So the album's really fun and really eclectic in that way — but it was really awesome just because we never get to have that big of a span in the type of music that we do," Maldonado, 30, says. "We also have three originals on there, which I feel like we all love so much. We're all really proud of them and feel like they're our best Christmas originals yet."

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The three originals include "Kid on Christmas," a collaboration with Meghan Trainor, "Star on Top" and "Prayers for the World."

The latter was written by Diane Warren, and Olusola, 34, says that the song is relevant to our current state of the world.

"This is an anchor for the album, because there's so much going on in our world today and it's almost like a collective prayer with all these different artists from the international community that all want hope, love, and light and peace for our world today."

The album features collaborations with musicians including Lang Lang, Hiba Tawaji, Grace Lokwa, La Santa Cecilia, Shreys Ghoshal, Hikakin & Seiken, The King's Singers and Lea Salonga — whom the band raved about.

"She is just so iconic. One, she's so talented. She's a perfect singer. In the studio, she did one take," Hoying, 31, says of the singer, who voiced Disney princesses Mulan and Jasmine and recorded "Christmas in Our Hearts" with the group.

Grassi, 30, adds, "Her voice makes me nostalgic."

A VERY PENTATONIX CHRISTMAS SPECIAL -- Pictured:(l-r) Kevin Olusola, Kirstin Maldonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Matt Sallee
A VERY PENTATONIX CHRISTMAS SPECIAL -- Pictured:(l-r) Kevin Olusola, Kirstin Maldonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Matt Sallee

Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Pentatonix

The band is also set to kick off their North American tour Pentatonix: A Christmas Spectacular on Nov. 17 with The Voice season 21 winners A Girl Named Tom.

"It's fun to be able to perform night after night. And we've just done it for so long that it's so dialed in now," says Grassi. "Honestly, the most stressful part is getting the show in our bodies. But after that, it's just smooth sailing. It's just a beautiful routine and we get to travel and sleep as long as we want."

Olusola adds, "What we've found is that people make our Christmas show a family tradition. They come every year with their families. I'm like, 'That's awesome.' "

This time around, the band will also be traveling with a family bus as Maldonado is a new mom to 4-month-old daughter Elliana Violet, while Olusola is dad to 18-month-old daughter Kaia Noelle.

"It is such a balance," Maldonado says. "I'm very thankful that the band has been so supportive of touring and taking her with me. That means a lot to me, of course. And I think we're all just kind of figuring it out as we go. I feel like I'm always a yes girl. I want to be like, 'Yeah, we can do everything.' And I'm learning maybe I need to be a little bit more realistic with everything going on."

"I have to plan more and I can't drag her through. But I just feel like it's going to be so special sharing all these moments with her. And it's just getting through them and making sure that everything is taken care of and the moment, which can be stressful but it's doable."

She concludes, "It's just really awesome to have those worlds combined too, because there was a while where, in the very beginning, I was like, 'I'm so in mom mode that, coming back, I had a little bit of anxiety.' [But] we just played a show at the Hollywood Bowl and I felt reborn as a performer."

In light of the holiday season approaching, the group also reflected on their favorite memories.

"In the past, I always had a tradition of making a 'Happy Birthday, Jesus' cake, even though it's not technically his birthday," Maldonado says. "It was just something that we would all do in the kitchen together and bake together. And I want to continue that with my daughter."

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Hoying adds, "My family has all gotten together and made TikToks and cried laughing and played games. And I feel like I'm old enough to really take it in how special that is."

Sallee, 28, recalled Christmas in 2020 when he couldn't fly home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "I stayed here with my wife's family and they invited me into their Christmas traditions and everything. It was just really sweet because I always dreamed about having an extra family, especially in marriage. And so I had that feeling of like, 'Oh, I get to do this for the rest of my life.' They were so sweet to me and catered to me. They had an elf onesie for me, little things that they really wanted to incorporate and make me feel welcomed. And I'll never forget that."

For Grassi, it was about the fun traditions with his sister, "We used to do a Christmas show for my parents. We would do choreography or lightly maybe sing to the pop songs of the era. It was always *NSYNC or Britney [Spears]."

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Olusola adds, "There was a shelter in my town of Owensboro, Kentucky, called the Daniel Pitino Shelter. And so we would go there, bake cookies, and serve because my parents always made sure to remind us that this really isn't about what you get. It's about who you're giving to and serving."

"I think that's why what we do as a band during Christmas time, it really is about service to so many families who want joy and inspiration," he concludes.

"Holidays Around the World" is out now.