The beat-boxing culture is one of the recent in SA but has progressively become a flourishing and attractive industry. One of the driving forces behind its growth is Fimo The Beatboxer. His first breakthrough was when he made it to the quarter finals SA’s Got Talent in 2012; but it was his victory at Back to The City’s beat-box competition two years in a row that cemented his status as one of the best emerging beat-boxers in the country. We caught up with the young champ.
Fimo The Beatboxer – who’s he and where’s he from?
Fimo is this young, vibrant, and explosively loud, yet humble person. I’m a go-getter, jet-setter, who does everything to the best of his ability and beyond. In my community, I am a campaigner and a voice for the misguided youth. Fimo is from a small place in the East Rand known as Palm Ridge. Not many people knew about this area, until Fimo “arrived”.
Only 19 years of age – when did you realise you had this talent?
I realised I could beat-box at the age of 10. At first it sounded weird because I was a kid creating sounds with my mouth, until I watched a TV series known as Police Academy. In that series, there was a character named Jones aka Michael Winslow, who created sound effects with his mouth on a whole new level, thus giving me a meaning behind the sound effects known as beat-boxing.
What inspired you to pursue beat-boxing?
Michael Winslow, Doug-E-Fresh and our very own George Avakian.
Take us through the process of coming up with a beat.
I draw inspiration from every sound around me so that I can formulate the crazy beats that come out of my mouth – sounds such as switching on your TV, tuning your radio, listening to a helicopter circulating above, and even from a drummer performing at a live gig.
Who are your most favourite local and international rappers and producers?
Currently, my favourite local rapper is AKA. Internationally, it’s Jay-Z, as he has achieved great success. My favourite international producer is Timbaland, who began his career from beat-boxing. Locally, my favourite producer is George Avakian, who made the transition from beat-boxing to music successfully.
What has been the most memorable experience of your career to date?
It was being crowned Back to The City beat-box champion in 2012 and 2013. It was electrifying and spectacular performing in front of an audience of more than 20 thousand people.
You’ve shared the stage with the likes of L-Tido, PRO, Maggz and George Avakian. Take us through the experience.
Sharing the stage with such well-known artists was humbling, breathtaking and exciting. These are the people I grew up watching on TV, and through GOD’s grace, there I am sharing the stage with them. These artists have been kind enough to teach me the ropes.
Beat-boxing is relatively new to South African audiences, but people are gradually appreciating and getting used to it. Say, in 10 years’ time – what do you think the beat-boxing scene will be like?
Back then, beat-boxing was in its crawling stages. 10 years later, beat-boxing is in its walking stages, where a vast majority understands the concept behind it. 10 years from now, through GOD’s grace, beat-boxing will be doing a young Caster Semenya, where everybody will know what it is and we’ll have a lot of young beat-boxers.
In whatever business or craft one is involved in, it all boils down to the issue of money. So, as a beat-boxer, is it easy to get booked?
It’s not easy, at first, in any business or craft to make money, but as a beat-boxer I’m able to live off the talent and I’m able to showcase it to many. Once you have established your name in this industry, bookings are easily available