MUSIC VICE interview with beat box extraordinaire, Beardyman, at Strawberry Fields Festival 2011, Cattows Farm, England.
Darren Foreman (born 14 May 1982) also known as Beardyman is a musician from London renowned for his beatboxing skills and use of live looping technology, and according to the BBC “King of Sound and Ruler of Beats”. Music Vice caught up with him for an exclusive interview at this years Strawberry Fields Festival in the UK where he was performing alongside a number of unsigned independent bands from the area.
Beardyman is coming to the US and Canada for seven dates this September, including gigs in Vancouver on 13 September and Austin City Limits festival in Texas on 16 September.
The full interview transcript is below, but for the full effect – and mad sound FX’s – listen to the iPhone recording of Beardyman’s interview:
Ngawara: Hi. I’m at the strawberry fields festival in Leicester.. with one of the most talked about beat boxers in the whole of the UK right now. His name, as he is well known as; is Beardyman. So I’m here with Beardyman right now.. Did you want to say hello to Canada right now?
Beardyman: <makes a barking noise like a dog and then meows. Very convincingly>
Ngawara: [taken aback and laughing] So that is, ah , actually a human being making those amazing noises!
He did a fantastic set tonight. As I walked around the festival this evening talking to festival goers… everyone was talking about this guy. It seems there is no noise that this man cannot make! Its quite phenomenal and I have yet to hear anyone close to his skill!
Just a couple of very quick questions before Beardyman has to leave to drive off to Reading..
What are your plans for the next, say two to three weeks? Whats next after this particular festival?
I’m doing some shows in America, at American Music festivals… I’m going to be in LA doing meetings, doing interesting things and… and other things that I cant remember! Probably lots of festivals and the like..
Ngawara: So you’re a hundred percent going to North America though? Have you been moving over to that part of the world for a while now or have you mainly been focused on the UK?
Beardyman: Ahem.. im just trying to see if I can break America by, you know playing.. I did Conan [O’Brian show].. that was good. Ive done lots of nice big stages in some American music festivals and theyve all gone really well but I dont expect the American market to get me instantly. BUT.. they have warmed to me very very quickly, and theres more bookings coming in than I want to accept! Its cos I could go out to America and play loads and loads of gigs but I actually want to do it more tactically. Thing is, to actually break America you have to move over there; and theres a lot of commitments that I’ve got in Europe as well.
Ngawara: Well in the UK you’ve got a lot of people that are very attached to you..especially in areas of London, Brighton, and music communities Ive been hanging out with recently. You do come up a lot in conversation I have noticed.. You have always been upon peoples conversations. I suppose its a common issue with artists who have a strong home following.
Would you agree that, as a British artist, if you move to another country then you want to make sure you keep the people that supported you from the very beginning?
And also in that same vein, where is your home ground? Where would you say your loyalty lays?
Beardyman: I’m a world child. I have no particular [base]… I mean I dont like England!
Ngawara: You’re English? How can you not like England!
Beardyman: Because I think that patriotism is for idiots and I dont see why anyone should feel culturally attached to any one place when we’re all the same person really… I mean Englands better than the Congo! But I mean, you know, theres good people and bad people and interesting people and boring people all over the world.. and you know, theres places with lower taxes and theres places where theres a much smaller wealth gap.
Ngawara: Yes, for sure.
Beardyman: I mean, you know.. Englands nicely racially integrated which is a good thing. But its still quite kinda segragated in some ways. Not kinda actively, but just in terms of the way people are kind of placed around. Its really just the wealth gap thing that gets to me
Ngawara: Different to say Canada? Its quite different…
Beardyman: Yes. But I actually love Canada and Id like to live there. Yeah..
Beardyman: But I mean, I dont know.. I say I dont like England but..
Ngawara: would you be interested in coming and doing some shows in Canada at some point?
Beardyman: Yeah Im actually playing in Vancouver. I played in Toronto last year.
Ngawara: When is the Vancouver date do you remember?
Beardyman: Oh god..cant remember.
Ngawara: Can I look it up? Ill look it up and attach it to this at the end then cool?*
Ngawara: So there you have it. Hes fantastically talented. Thankyou very much Beardyman for speaking tonight and best of luck for the rest of this seasons festivals.
Beardyman: Thankyou very mu-uuuuuuch! Cheers .
*Beardyman will be performing on the 13th of September in VANCOUVER. Fortune Sound Club: 13 September at 21:30 – 14 September at 00:30. Details are on his website and Facebook or alternatively you can call Fortune Sound Club on 604-569-1758 www.fortunesoundclub.com/
So there you have it! It is an exciting time for British Music right now! Seems like there is a bit of a British Invasion going on. UK acts both on major labels, and independent artists are really making their presence felt over the other side of the pond and that seems to be nothing but a good thing!
For those interested in seeing the man in action at this years Montreal Comedy Festival head over to his Youtube or www.beardyman.co.uk.
© Ngawara Highet, Music Vice