EVERYONE has that annoying friend who just can’t seem to keep quiet for very long. They’re either singing, humming or tapping on something and, for the most part, we just want them to can it. Australian-born and now world famous beatboxer, Tom Thum, was that friend when he was younger.
The multi-talented Thum, who was inspired by the Brisbane hip-hop scene, shot to fame after a recent performance at a TedX Talk in Sydney. The video of this performance became the most watched TedX Talk ever on YouTube after just four days, and has now received several million views on the video sharing site.
“I was initially pencilled on as a break between the speakers,” Thum explains.
He soon realised that he had to produce something to rival the other speakers who were all discussing “crazy life changing concepts.”
“I didn’t have a life changing concept,” Thum says.
“[Beat boxing] changed my life but I didn’t think it would change anyone else’s.”
Nonetheless he adapted his usual performance to one better suited to the audience and they were rightly amazed by his bizarre vocal abilities.
Thum stresses that this single video doesn’t demonstrate the amount of hours he has spent practicing his art. He says that even though he is eternally grateful for the opportunity to perform at TedX and for the video receiving such a positive response, “having a viral video almost cheapens the fact that [he] has been doing it for so long, because people don’t get the history or the background with the one video.”
Thum believes that it’s just “how much you want it” and “how driven you are to learn” that will determine the time frame it will take for a person to become a world-class beatboxer. It took him several years to develop the talent that is leaving audiences in awe today.
“I just started off very base level like everyone else, just making terrible noises. Eventually people stopped telling me to shut up and started paying me,” Thum explains.
Thum will be performing with singer songwriter Jamie MacDowell at the London Wonderground as part of the Festival of Neighbourhood on 6 and 8 of September.
Thum describes the show as “unessentially comedic, comedy through chaos.”
Tom Thum and Jamie MacDowell are at London Wonderground on 6 and 8 September. Tickets are available through Londonwonderground.co.uk.
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