Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion which produces the sound of drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one's mouth, lips, tongue, and voice. An evolving art form in India, beatboxing created a space for itself, particularly amongst youngsters, through online videos and live gigs. Indian Beatboxer Gokul (Gokulakrishnan) talks about his journey on the sidelines of his performance at the World Talent Festival 2017 organized by Universal Records Forum.
How did you get into beatboxing?
It all started with the inspiration of song "Suttum Vizhi Sudare" song composed by Mr.Harris Jayaraj sung by Mr.Sriram Parthasarathy and Bombay Jayshree Mam. The rhythm of the song inspired me to get into beatboxing passionately. Followed by that song started hearing one by one of Tamil cine song and tried implementing in my throat. Ever since I started making sounds in my vocal chords, I never knew the art name is beatbox. So after listening and inspiring tonal qualities of instruments played by musicians it actually created an enthusiasm in me to follow the path. Since then I am into beatboxing and currently learning new techniques.
When you perform, what experience are you trying to create for your audience?
I try to present an experience. I want to show that music is present everywhere, not only in the instrument. Music can be created through a human body.
Are there any sounds you’d love to be able to do?
I would love to explore different animal sounds through beatboxing.
What are some of your favorite performances/shows you’ve ever done as a beatboxer?
I consider every show to be special since I get to meet different kind of audiences and able to interact with them. My favorite and unforgettable experience was the opportunity given by Mr.Ramakrishnan-Mridangam Vidwan and followed by him Mr. T.H. Vikku Vinayakram - Ghatam Maestro gave me opportunity to play with him. I adapted my beatbox style in classical rhythms too. I am the first beatboxer to play with Grammy award winning musician.
In India, beatboxing created a space for itself, particularly amongst youngsters.What about beatboxing is attracting music lovers and musicians?
It all started from Western influence. The human being psychology is they like if something is created new. For instance when instrument sounds are made with mouth or body tap (body percussion) people tend to admire it. So when a set of rhythm is played through mouth absolutely, audience automatically gets energized with the newness feel. When it comes to musician and music lovers simply to say it’s a "New Trend and New Feel.”
In a world where technology is rapidly gaining on us, with musicians using it more and more in their art making process, how do you see the future of beatboxing?
The future of beatboxing is bright. You would have seen many musicians who are playing in a birthday party, or a reception or corporate events. It’s too expensive to spend for the entire orchestra. So ,in that case Beatboxing can be utilized with 3 to 4 singers and can be played in small function which also gives them "New Trend and New Feel.” It’s almost equal to acapella.