You’re in Paris. You join the metro at the uninspiring but shop-laden La Défense on your way to the Louvre six stops later. You’re in the mood to slowly descend the stairs underneath that famous glass pyramid and make your way through the museum to admire the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. You’re also hoping to stop at Charles de Gualle Étoile, the second stop on the journey, to visit the Arc de Triomphe and soak in the upmarket atmosphere of the Champs- Élysées.
You reach Port Maillot, the first stop on the line, quite quickly and a lot of people join the train. You shuffle around a bit for some space and make your way to the door ready to leave at the next stop. Just then you hear someone behind you break into song. You listen for a minute and realise that he’s singing Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’ and it actually sounds pretty good. You turn around, and just as you do so, six more people turn this solo into an amazingly harmonious rendition complete with some beatboxed percussion.
Charles de Gualle Étoile comes and goes – you’ll come back later. This is Naturally 7. This is amazing, and it’s all being filmed.
I’m not a huge beatboxing fan. Yeah, it’s impressive and it can, occasionally, sound pretty good, but this video is amazing. A few years ago I saw Rahzel perform in Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff – a club more commonly referred to as ‘The Welsh Club’ – and was blown away. I wasn’t sure what to expect, going to see a beatboxer perform live at a club. Sounded pretty lame for £10 ($20) if I’m being honest. How wrong was I. Rahzel is amazing and was the first beatboxer to combine vocal percussion (beats) with singing simultaneously! I was blow away.
Naturally 7′s ‘In the Air Tonight’ on the Paris metro is the best I’ve seen so far and is actually better than the studio version. Then there was the beatbox contestant on a French TV talent show who wooed the judges when he performed a mix of songs including Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans-Europe Express’.
Want more? Well here’s a favourite a house-mate pointed me towards… BeardyMan (the UK beatboxing champon) showing us how to cook-up a beatboxing storm in the kitchen and also telling us about climate change (or not). And one final one, courtesy of Ben… a flute and beatbox rendition of the Inspector Gadget theme. Bravo.
And yes, this post was just an excuse for me to point you towards some YouTube videos.