King of Beatboxing | Sunday Observer

King of Beatboxing

Using the mouth, lips, tongue and voice to generate sounds that one might never expect to come from the human body is the specialty of the artists known as beatboxers. They performed their craft to reveal the secrets of this mysterious art.

“Beatboxing transformed my life. It broke my pattern of thinking and gave me the chance to understand what I want to become. My singing and my life got really better and had substance to it. People started appreciating my work and a lot of them started beatboxing after seeing my work on YouTube. It made me want to improve myself, my music and be a better performer,” says Julius Mitchell, who is a singer, multi instrumentalist and also choral and acapella music arranger. He is also known as the “King of Beatboxing”. This week the Young Voice caught up with Julius who continues to inspire hundreds of young people through his art.

Q : Tell us about how you got interested in beatboxing?

I was so fascinated whenever I saw the school choir performing. I was just nine years and my only target was to join the school choir. From the day I joined the choir I started to understand more about myself and what I want to do in life.

That was the root for me to start beatboxing. Like in a choir, beatboxing too deals with sounds, synchronizing, making, creating and moulding sounds. Whenever I listened to the choir, I felt so inspired and uplifted. Gradually I started to explore more about beatboxing and learnt different techniques to improve my talent.

Q : How popular is beatboxing in the country?

I would say it is hidden but it is getting popular day by day. A lot of people are interested in beatboxing and they really want to learn it. The beat boxing community is expanding little by little and it is very promising.

The kids usually come for my classes and say, I want to learn how to beatbox, teach me how to sing, I want to sing and beat box or they ask whether they can learn how to play an instrument too. They are so impatient and ready to explore beatboxing spending their time and energy. That is a very positive thing for the growth of this industry.

Q : The young generation is often blamed for being glued to social media. As a teacher how do you see this issue?

A lot of teachers, disciplinarians come up with this kind of complaints all the time. They need to understand that times have changed. They grew up with no Facebook and Instagram. Learning methods were completely different. I think it is not practical to bring up children the way they were brought up. It is irrelevant to kids now. Kids learn from different channels, especially from YouTube. Something that I have noticed in my students is that they are observant learners. They pick up really fast. Some learn so fast it blows my mind. Beatboxing took me about four years to get right and they just get it in three lessons. That is crazy.

I do not think we should tell them they are getting addicted but encourage them to show the positive side of it too. That is how I teach my students. If they know how much they can learn out of it then they will be intentional when scrolling through Facebook or Instagram or any other social media platform. Make sure that they use them properly. YouTube helped me to be where I am today.

Q : You teach beatboxing. How would you describe that experience?

Kids are more updated and I learn a lot from them. They are very enthusiastic. They are really eager to explore and learn things. At first it will just be a beat box lesson but ultimately they open their heart to me. I want to make them intelligent in music. My advice to them would be to practice, watch your food and exercise. I will only tell these to people who are actually serious about beat boxing. My task is to create a good community and not just good artistes. Because I believe that there is no point making a person skilful with techniques if they are emotionally down. I know that it is quite a task that I have to patiently foster. But I will achieve my goal one day.

Q : What does beatboxing mean to you and how has it changed your life?

I always had the desire to explore the whole element of behavioural gestures like sound, singing, speaking and dancing all combined together. So I chose beat boxing. It involves frequency, sound and makes people feel and resonate to sound. Also it is a universal thing. With sound you communicate with people. That is one advantage I have. When I took up beatboxing I knew I had to practise and get really good at it simply because it felt right and still continuing to do so through my music. Beatboxing helps a lot of people to break through depressive thoughts. They seek freedom from it too.

Q : Any advice you would like to give someone who is serious about making beatboxing a profession?

First of all you need to have the talent and the passion. Do not expect to do well in your profession if you are not giving your 100 percent to it, especially when it comes to finances. One thing I realised when I faced such issues was that such insecurities creped in when I did not believe in the craft I have invested my time in. If you do it right then you will not have to worry about it at all. So be good at your craft. Develop your skills, work hard for it. Stay driven and stay hopeful. Look for people with similar vision and drive. And most importantly, stay inspired. 

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