The International Wave: An In-Depth Conversation with Artist of Asian Descent JASON TOM HAWAII'S HUMAN BEATBOX
Jason Tom Art After Dark Photo Credit: Joe Marquez
The International Wave: A Collection of In-Depth Conversations With Artists of Asian Descent
JASON TOM: HAWAII'S HUMAN BEATBOX
by Woojin Lim, Harvard University
“I felt compelled to play and replicate each of these instruments — Eastern, Western, Hawaiian — with only my voice.”
Jason Tom is an American beatboxer and slam poet who has represented Hawaii at the sixth International Human Beatbox Convention and the first and fifth American Beatbox Championship in Brooklyn. He received the Hawaii Scene Choice Award for Best Solo Human Beatbox Music Performer, TEDx Presenter Award for his “Vocal Groove” presentation, among other accolades. He co-founded the Human Beatbox Academy, where he leads outreach performances, speaking engagements, and workshops for students of all ages.
In his interview with The International Wave, Jason talks about his childhood inspirations, references exhilarating onomatopoeic beatbox sounds, and kowtows to his Asian cultural heritage as a fifth-generation American of Hawaii Chinese descent. The chat also delves into his most challenging elements of his personal life, including an SUV collision which rendered him unconscious, and on what strung him together to revitalize his strength as an inspirational speaker. …
Read more in The International Wave
Photos by: Joe Marquez, Kamehameha Schools, Eugene Hopkins, Matt Marquez
HMSA's Island Scene Magazine
Finding the Flow: A Beatboxer's Victory Over Asthma
“Imagine standing on a stage in front of hundreds or thousands of fans. Cameras of every type are focused on you as bright stage lights blind you. Now imagine that you are also wheezing and coughing and short of breath. Such is the case with today's entertainers living with asthma, including Honolulu's Jason Tom.
Tom is a nationally known beatboxer and fashion designer who has asthma. His musical profession presents unique difficulties for someone with airflow issues. Like many vocalists, his only instrument is his mouth. A beatboxer is solely responsible for vocally producing all of the musical sounds (beat, melody, etc.) in a song, so they typically perform solo. They do not have the luxury of taking mid-song breaks to catch their breath. This literally puts Tom's life on the line at every performance.”
— Fernando Pacheco, HMSA's Island Magazine Feature
Photo Credit: Eugene Hopkins