Entertainment comes in all forms and the music industry has a vast array of amazing talents. Some artists ply their trade behind the decks or in the studio, producing or playing music to make you dance. Other artists form the components in a band and rock their faces off, while you stomp your feet and shake your booty. Then you get guys like Morgan Beatbox, who have a musical symphony in their head and somehow manage to reproduce this only with their voice box. The art of beatboxing is not something that comes easy to everyone, as Morgan puts it..
“Beatboxing is something that your are born with, its not something that can be taught. You can teach a beatboxer to perfect what they know, but the basics comes from within”
Morgan Beatbox is regarded as one of the best beatboxers in the country, having an amazing 2013. He sat down with me recently to chat about his career and his year as a whole, hope you enjoy…
Always good thank you
MA: Can you please give us a background on you and how you got into beatboxing?
Well, I started in Grade 11. Funnily enough I started off as a rapper, we would always have a guy with us who would keep us in time by beatboxing, and when I say ‘beatboxing’ I mean ‘Shweatboxing’ haha. After a while I realized the rapping was just not working for me and I took on the roll of beatboxing for my group of friends. Obviously in the beginning I really sucked but before I knew it Morgan Beatbox emerged.
MA: What were some of your influences in getting started in beatboxing?
Eminem is my biggest influence especially when I was struggling to make it in the industry and not giving up no matter what odds were thrown at me. As a beatboxer I was highly influenced by American beatboxer – Rhazel.
MA: What would you say have been some of the biggest challenges in becoming seen as a “Professional” beatboxer?
My biggest challenge was trying to be taken seriously. When I started beatboxing it had not been seen yet as an art or a profession. Beatboxers have always been the guy in the backround and now here I was trying to be a one-man show, you can just imagine how difficult it was to prove myself in the beginning.
MA: I need to come out and apologize to you, with an article i wrote a few years back!I said that seeing you a few times in short succession made your show very similar and boring. Then i got to see you earlier this year and you blew me away!! Is this one of the hardest things to deal with in this industry….trying to always have new and better content?
Look I always try and add new content or at least switch things around at every show. Unlike a DJ who can easily just go and buy new tracks to play, I can’t just go and buy new beatbox’s haha. A new feature I have added to my show is giving the crowd the option to choose what ever genre of music they would like to hear and then I attempt to freestyle it, so far this has been a huge hit.
MA: Have you put on extra emphasis on the comedy side of your show? Coz you were super funny when i last saw you…
I guess I’ve always been a funny guy, it comes with the nature of being a stage performer. You need to be able to deal with a crowd, why be serious about it? And that’s when I started cracking one-liners, although I find some of the funniest things I’ve said have been made up on the spot. Like for instance a guy walked in late during one of my shows, made his way to the front, walked across and sat down, I said “Now my show looks like a pirated dvd” the crowd packed up laughing.
MA: Do you think SA needs more proper beatboxers? Why would you say the industry has so few good beatboxers?
South Africa does indeed! There are so many beatboxers in SA, what I really think they need to do is push it to the next level. So instead of just being a beatboxer, become an entertainer. Maybe some are cut out to and others not, all I know is we need more beatboxers on a professional level, that’s the only way we will be able to grow this art in SA.
MA: What has you most excited about our local music scene?
The amount of record releases every month. Our local artists are doing so well for themselves and it inspires me when others around me are succeeding.
MA: I hear that you played at Joburg Day, in front of about 30 000 people, how was that experience for you?
The biggest gig of my entire career. I am still speechless about it. Never did I ever think I’d be put in front of 30 000 people, all by myself, with a mic in my hand and my extra terrestrial vocal abilities haha
MA: Any other highlight in your career?
I once got booked to perform at an elderly man’s birthday at a restaurant. I got told before my show that he is 80 years old, not letting that put me off I did my normal routine and after my show he came to me, shook my hand, and said “ That was the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life”. Small gig but a huge moment for me.
MA: What other project are you guys working on?
I’m looking at releasing a live dvd, something special and powerful. I am also looping too, very fun and very different to what you will normally see at a Morgan Beatbox show.
MA: Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
Possibly on the other side of the gun, managing and booking artists. I do know for sure that I will always be in the music industry.
MA: Tell the awesome people that tune in to Mixed Apples where they can follow you and what you get up to?
MA: Lastly, is there any festival in the world you would love to play at one day?
There is a festival, if you could call it a festival, called ‘Burning Man’ which is completely wacky and out there, perfect for me 😉
MA: Oh sorry, one more thing… when can we see you adding loop and effects pedals into your routine?
Effective immediate. I am already doing shows with my looping station. I just need to perfect it and find a way to make it as powerful as my solo shows.
Morgan Beatbox has just released his own merchandise, with the BOOM’TS logo placed all over the front of the tee’s and the caps. If anyone know beatbox you will automatically get that this design is for a beatboxer. He has a mens tee, ladies tee and mens vest available in white, as well as a few colour palettes in a trucker cap. To order yourself a limited addition shirt or cap, contact Morgan NOW!! Direct Message him on Facebook.