O2 in London beckons for Fenland student set to appear at Vauxhall UK Beatbox Championships heat

MAKING vocal beats has always been a way of life for a Fenland student who has progressed from performing in his bedroom to the O2 Academy in London.

Oliver Griffen, 21, from March, qualified for tomorrow’s South-East heat of the 2011 Vauxhall UK Beatbox Championships after impressing judges with a two-minute demo.

Beatboxing is defined as vocal percussion involving the art of producing drum beats, rhythm and musical sounds using one’s mouth, lips, tongue and voice.

“When I first heard someone beatbox I thought wow that’s incredible,” said the College of West Anglia student who is studying a national diploma for IT practioners in King’s Lynn.

“About three years ago I decided to try and learn how to beatbox so I looked at a few tutorials and videos on YouTube to learn the basics. From there I just taught myself.

“At first my mum and brother used to tell me to stop making a racket. Then one day my brother asked me to turn my music down but it was actually me making the sounds with my mouth.”

The vocal artist - who performs under the name of Griff - is in with a chance of winning a new Vauxhall Corsa SXi as the UK’s best beatboxing talent compete for a place in June’s grand final. Heat winners will be decided by the crowd and a judging panel.

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Previous winners Beardyman, MC Zani and Reeps One have performed around the globe and developed a cult following since their successes during previous competitions.

“It’s an inner hobby really that’s developed,” said the 21-year-old, who said he has a few “hidden Fen surprises” planned to impress judges.

“Around Fenland the skill’s quite unique but I just really love the social side of beatboxing.”

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