We often think of percussionists as musicians who create rhythm by hitting drums with their hands or sticks. But for over a decade now, beatboxers have been proving that you don’t need a drum to rock a solid beat. No one knows more about the art of beatboxing than 2008 and 2009 Beatboxing Champions Under Kontrol, a quartet group of beatboxers, including percussionist Mr. Lips, part-drummer Fayabraz, vocal scratcher and rapper Mic Flow, and trumpeter, singer, and melody producer Tiko.
When the quartet first started out in the early 2000s, beatboxing wasn’t popular or even well known. It took Under Kontrol 10 years to prove beatboxing was an art and that, as beatboxers, they were artists, musicians, and percussionists, as Mr. Lips told Chinelo Chikelu in an interview for Leadership Newspaper. Fayabraz added that those 10 years were also spent creating a world in which beatboxing is an art form and a profession for other beatboxers.
Despite the sacrifices and struggles Under Kontrol has made and experienced while building a career out of a lucrative profession like beatboxing, the band books paying gigs without any instruments. Even when Under Kontrol collaborates with other artists, including rappers and rock bands, they try to keep their sound 100% beatboxing. In remaining true to the art form, Under Kontrol revolutionized beatboxing by creating music using nothing but the mouth. As simple and basic as that sounds, beatboxing in a time when software programs and machines are increasingly used to create music and beats is revolutionary, as the band told Chikelu.
Head over to Leadership.ng to read more from Under Kontrol’s interview with Chikelu. You can also check out the video below to hear Under Kontrol in action and talk about beatboxing and the beatboxing community.