Testament is an acclaimed rapper, world record breaking human beatboxer and music producer. His lyricism brings together strands of rap, song and spoken word. Testament’s innovative work includes the celebrated Hip-Hop album Homecut: No Freedom Without Sacrifice, features on MOBO nominated albums, several performances for BBC Radio (1xtra, Radio 4 and 6Music) and numerous television appearances. His acclaimed Hip-Hop theatre show Blake Remixed – a personal response to the work of William Blake toured the UK in 2015 and featured twice world scratch champion DJ Woody.
He is also a workshop facilitator in the UK and beyond, and has led workshops in venues that have ranged from schools and stadiums, to prisons and park benches. Testament is a currently a Roland sponsored musician and a supported artist of The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester
Here Testament shares his top tips for aspiring beatboxers…
1) Practice. Most beatboxers don’t practice. By having regular practice sessions you’ve already given yourself an advantage.
2) Looper. Rather than waste money on an expensive looper you may not even use, buy a looper app for your phone or iPad and work out if looping is something that’ll be part of your work.
3) Innovate. Play around with the different sounds your mouth can make. The GREAT beatboxers always have their own signature sound and even invent new forms for the beatbox vocabulary.
4) Tempo. Playing with a live band, MC or singer is very different from doing solo shows. Practice with a metronome just like a drummer does. A beatboxer who’s wobbly on the tempo’s isn’t fun to play with.
5) Body language and stage craft. What are you gonna do on stage to connect with the crowd? Having dope sounds but looking at the ground doesn’t make a great show. Practice in front of the mirror, study others and make decisions about what you’re going to do on stage to stand out.