Walking around campus, at an intimidating 5 feet 1 inches tall, it’s easy for me to feel engulfed in the crowds of people, washed away by the many faces and personalities that surround me. Yet, I know that there’s one thing that sets me apart quite a bit — especially since I’m a girl and I usually wear a bow in my hair. Absolutely no one expects it — I can beatbox.
What in the world is beatboxing, you may ask? It’s pretty simple — I make percussion music, but I do not use any instruments. I make all of the sounds using only my mouth.
Beatboxing was a result of unexpected turns of events in my life; I never thought I had any innate ability for it. It all started one day in my freshman year of high school, when I came across a Youtube video that taught me the three basic beats for any beatboxer: b, t, and k sounds. I began practicing those three sounds, over and over, day and night.
After months of making sounds far from anything human every day, my efforts began to pay off. Once I nailed the basics, I began watching more videos and started making my own beats. And as the old saying goes, the rest is history!
My first big break was a talent show my junior year of high school in which I won third place. The next year, I came in first.
Once I arrived at NSU, I never thought I would have the chance to show off my beatboxing skills. Yet, life had a funny surprise coming my way. I performed in NSU’s Got Talent, was featured on SharkTV, performed at Sharkapalooza, and now, I’m the official beatboxer of our amazing a capella group, The Riff Tides.
In many ways, beatboxing has shaped the person I am. I have had so many memorable experiences, met so many wonderful people, and broken out of my shell tremendously, thanks to this little talent I picked up on one day from a video.
I remember that when I first started, my family thought I sounded silly and told me I should stop while I was ahead. Fortunately, I put their chastising aside and stuck by my love for the art of beatboxing.
For all the aspiring beatboxers who think that there is no way they could sound anywhere past novice, I promise that with practice, practice, and more practice, they absolutely can. Don’t be afraid to sound like an utter fool when learning new sounds; learning the proper technique will pay off. For example, I once spent two days repeating the word “chewy” for a particular scratching sound. Beatboxing requires no certain type of lips, no particular gender and no discrimination; it is something anyone can do and just have fun.