The young beat boxer talks about how he got started, performing live, beat boxing notation, forthcoming projects and more!
First up, please tell our readers who you are, whatcha do and where you're from?
My name's Fozzy. I'm a beatboxer. In case you didn't know, that means I make the crazy sound effects with my mouth. If you didn't, then I don't know what you've been doing with your life. Haha! Anyway, I am based in Cardiff.
How did you hook up to become a part of the Associated Minds crew and label?
I was beatboxing all around Cardiff, and I was doing the open mic at Higher Learning at the old Toucan Club (RIP) and this fucked up looking geezer, about 7 foot tall comes up to me and says "How long you been doing beatboxing? And how old are you? I laughed and said "I'm to young too even be here! but this weird guy just goes "Killa Kela was on about you to our crew. I'm thinking, 'who the fuck is this?' and 'I should check out what he's going on about coz the dude looks shifty'. He was safe though. He told me his name was Ralph Rip Shit. Next day, I'm telling my mate about him and it turns out he knew all about Ralph and AssociatedMinds. I get a call a few days later and now we kill every show we get together.
Do you find people treating you any differently because you're a fairly young guy?
To tell the truth, I've just turned 18 now but a year ago I felt like I was being treated like an adult then anyway. Nothing's really changed. I guess people are shocked that someone so young and so small can make such an impact. That's to my advantage.
You've already played with tons of big names. How have you managed to share a stage with them all so early on in your career?
We work hard at getting gigs and then delivering when people book us. Based on that, we've been booked for more and more. The better we are the better the gigs are that end up being offered to us.
Is there anyone you dream of doing a live show with one day?
On this one, I wanna think open mindedly that anything is possible, so I think it's possible that one day I'll do a live show with Busta Rhymes. Spit Kingdom. Slick Rick and Ludacris. All together on the same stage. It would be some craaaazzzyyy shit! Watch this space. Haha!
Have you got any particular shows or events which stand out as the most enjoyable you've done?
I dunno, they're all wicked laughs. I liked Wakestock. There were such nice people. London! That's the one actually. I'll put it this way. People can rhyme for a long time. Even when you want them to stop. The funny thing was, these guys we met had been taking a lot of speed and had crazy energy. So you couldn't blame them for not shutting up. But it was a funny night. It was my favourite system so far for any show as well. The bass and the hi hats were crisp. Got to thank the sound engineer at 93 Feet East for that one.
So how did it all begin? How did you pick up the trade of beatboxing?
To keep it short, I come from a family of beatboxers. The three uncles I know all beatbox and via a few family Christmas parties I was brought up through the ranks by my Uncles Eric, Steve Robinson (yes the boxer) and Uncle Adrian. I've actually been thinking that I have other uncles who I kinda know but I don't see or know enough. I want to get to know em to see. Plus my bampy. If he did as well it would be mad.
Have you ever used your skill as a party trick to pull a bird?
Yes! I'm at my mate C.T.'s birthday bash. All dapper for the ladies and that. And I spot my now lady, Kirsty P aka Slicky in this group of girls looking over at us. The party was getting dry so C.T. gets this idea for me to go on stage and entertain the ladies. I'm on stage doing my shit and I'm looking over at this girl and I just start doing this new sex moaning beatbox. She was loving it and laughing about it. To keep it short – she went back to my house and did the real version! Haha. That beat is one of the ones now that when I do it live everyone seems to love. That's good. I like that.
What would a sheet of lyrics for a piece of beat boxing look like?
I've actually done that. I just use b's and p's and wavy patterns for the bass. I though it makes difficult beats easier to remember. I just found out today that people's just started doing this now officially. It's called SBN (Standard Beatbox Notation). It's not identical but it's real similair. So for all you beatboxers out there – make it simpler for yourself and do SBN.
What record would you recommend to someone that wants to hear beatboxing done at its best?
Don't know what to say really. I would say an old classic that everyone knows. Even kids of this generation – something like The Show by the legendary Doug E Fresh but really for perfect use of beatbox on record it has to be 100% Dundee of The Roots 'Things Fall Apart' LP. The beat is just heavy and it combines perfectly with the keys and the emcee. That's why it's so good to me.
Some people feel beatboxing is only a live thing and is never done well on record. What you think?
Go listen to 100% Dundee. The Show. Bjork with Rahzel. Southern Girl off Rahzels Album. Drop It Like It's Hot. Standing In The Rain off Killa Kela's new album and then tell me if those people are right! They are all heavy.
In recent years the likes of Killa Kella have been gradually changing this way of thinking. Has he been an inspiration, being from UK too?
Yes definitely. He's inspired me to work harder at what I do. Coz he's from the UK as it makes me think 'thank god someone from the UK who's a beatboxer has done it'. He's actually gone to America and proved himself. If he's got a chance, I've got one. He gives me belief that I can do it too.
Schlomo did some work on Bjorks 'Medulla' album. Would you like to integrate your skill into less hiphop orientated music one day?
I'm open to anything. People, come with the offers!
What projects and shows do you have lined up that we can look forward to?
I got three shows coming up mid November. We're doing Blaktrix's new EP Launch party on the 19th. Then I think a new student night in Cardiff on the 22nd and then Leamington Spa on the 24th. We played there before and killed it so they're booking us again so I guess they liked it. We had a wild one last time.
I'm on Mudmowth's forthcoming album "Breaking Blocks In Legoland‿ as well, doing some vocal scratching. He was supposed to be putting out another album first called "Carve Your Face With A Garden Rake‿ but he's been in arguments with the label and they won't let him put that shit out. I've heard it as well and believe me, the shit's ridiculous. It's a real shame it'll probably never get heard.
Any grand plans for a full album of beatbox orientated music?
Yes. So watch out carefully in case you miss the opportunity to catch Beatbox Fozzy at my best.
Do you wanna drop any shout outs or plugs to end this on?
Spitkingdome clique, my girl kirsty for putting up with the noise, C.T. , obviously all my AssociatedMinds fam and everyone in the UK supporting us. Safe. Fozzy. Prrrclickaweeerkchi-kchi-kchi! Peace.