Cape Town – We recently had a chat with UK based all-rounder, Beardyman.
Darren Foreman, aka Beardyman, is heading to South Arica for the very first time this week to perform at Superbalist is Rocking the Daisies just outside Darling.
Who is Beardyman you might ask? He’s a multi-vocalist and musician who shot to fame when he became the UK’s Beatbox Champion two years in a row. Since then he has made a name for himself by only using his voice through loop pedals and effects tools to produce whole DJ sets via live production. He also invented and designed the Beardytron 5000 MkII – or just “Beardytron” - a machine that can let you record and mix music in real time – one that will enable musicians to get down the ideas in their head instantly, with no filter between the germs of a song and hearing it come alive straight away.
This is what Beardyman revealed to us during our chat:
On his first visit to SA:
I’m very very very excited! I’ve never been to South Africa in my life and I can’t wait. I plan on being mauled to death by lions. I mean, I imagine they roam the streets there in Cape Town, just freely?
To be honest I would love to take the time to go on Safari and properly explore and see the sights. Hopefully I will have enough time to do that, but my itinerary I think doesn’t give me enough time to really explore, but I will have to squeeze in whatever exploring I can. But yeah, I can’t wait! I mean the only part of Africa I’ve ever been to is Morocco, which is thousands of miles from South Africa.
On whether he still has a beard: Nope. Basically many years ago I got a text message from a friend who said, ‘what do you want to be called on this flyer?’ And it was my first ever gig. I sat for a couple of minutes and drafted some shitty names, and then after a while a got a text message from my friend that said, ‘Ahoy, beardyman!’ Because at that time I had a beard, and I was like, just put me down as beardyman, I’ll think of a better name later. And I didn’t think of a better one later, and now I have a shit name. So it’s quite memorable, but unfortunately I have to stick with in spite of the fact that beards are a bit creepy and I’m not really into them.
On his beatboxing skills:
I think beatboxing is a combination of nature and nurture. Beatboxing is just like anything where you can have a certain aptitude for something or not, and you can sort of nurture that sort of natural aptitude that you have or not. If you have a strong musical sense and you’re a music obsessive or you just have a rhythmical sense you know, to sort of do the stuff that I do, you have to have a pretty strong all round obsession with music. If you’re just more of straight up beatboxer then that is maybe not quite necessary.
I just fucking love music. When you do the thing that I do, then there’s a kind of a holistic musical absorption capability there. Anyone can learn if they really want to, if you really want to learn you can, but obviously some people will just be better at it. Like I’m not the best beatboxer in the world, and then there are people who’re just fucking amazing, that are just naturally better at it than me. I don’t really beatbox that much anymore. I do beatbox, but I use beatbox more as a component to what I do.
On what he thinks about while on stage:
I think every performer will be in a variety of trance states, as wanky as that sounds, like throughout the shows. The same as like right now you’re probably like recording what I’m saying or probably transcribing, and then also trying to think what the next question should be or some shit. I kind of have to be moment bound, as I have no setlist. I’ve kind of adopted what I do around my obsession with improvisation to the point where I go on stage now with no pre-planning which, never used to be the case. I used to have a plan a little bit. I used to have to plan a lot, that’s what I did. These days I literally just wing it. I improvise on whatever I’m receiving, whatever I’m thinking, whatever I think the crowd looks like and what they need.
It’s a bit like sex I think, but you can’t plan sex, that makes it weird. For me it’s like you’re kinda having sex with the whole crowd’s brain, so you have to be watching them. If they’re having a good time then that’s cool and when they’re not having a good time, well then you stop. But hopefully it never gets to the point where they’re not having a good time. You know, that’s the only way I can describe it. I fuck crowds.
On what SA fans can expect from his show:
Uhm… expect wonder, delight, expect the unexpected, expect change. Uhm, yeah, expect rejuvenation, expect rebirth, and expect spiritual fortification, expect to be taken apart piece by piece and be put back together again in an order that will make you a better, more rounded and productive person.
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