Though our daily life has a fair percussive element in it, with reverb from the farts, the burps and the spitting all streetscape wonders, beatboxing had nevertheless stayed alien to India. Well, not anymore.
Sony Music has tied up with the British Council, through its own hip hop initiative, Zomba, to bring together India’s first beatboxing troupe, to be named Voctronica.
Simon ‘Shlomo’ Kahn, beatboxing champion and Guinness World Record holder, will adjudicate on the vocal range, rhythmic affinity and pitch variations of participants at various workshops in India to glean ten of the best potential beatboxers from the mix.
Shlomo has little hesitation over the future of the project and the anointed troupe members’ ability to put on a beatbox show. “It is relevant in India because of Indian percussion which is mostly played on the tabla. We’re exploring similar sounds and beats with beatboxing”
He’s been to India before, in 2010, when he left those who went along gape mouthed. He’s known for his ability to orchestrate an entire rhythm section, songs, melody and harmony using only the microphone and his mouth.
Which also makes Shlomo the ideal man to train Voctronica, after they finally take shape by the end of the month. Once the drumbeat superstar returns to his native UK, the training will continue via Skype. MC Testament – beatboxer, DJ and co-conspirator at Shlomo’s Lip Factory – will also be brought on board while the new outfit trains.
“We cannot say the kind of music we plan to make. Once the group is formed, we’ll work on each other’s strengths and come up with something original and a twist of fusion”, declares Shlomo candidly, though we suppose a better answer will be sought during the eight-day workshop scheduled to be held for the chosen ten in Mumbai at the outset.
The ultimate aim is to get Voctronica on the road in India and the UK by the first half of 2012. Let’s all just hope they do.
And some more Shlomo for you..