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Beatboxing is originated in 1980s as Dough E. Fresh paved the way. Categorized as vocal percussion, this music style utilizes mouth, lips, tongue and voice as instruments to create delightful melody, drum beats and rhythm. Beatboxing is often linked to hip hop culture, which is popular among German youngster. Soulrock, the German prominent Beatboxer, gives an insight of Beatboxing and his career life.

Soulrock didn`t plan a career in music, after all it was a process of life. In the beginning, beat-boxing was fun, fascination and passionate, but step by step he realized that this art form has offered him many opportunities. In the beginning of the 90s a friend showed him beat-boxing on the basketball court, where they used to play as youngsters. From that point, he used to practice everywhere like other people used to whistle a melody. “Beat-box is an art form to express yourself and it is fun to make music with your mouth; you only need yourself”, Daniel (Soulrock`s original name) explained.

He defines music as it`s like the other world, an uncomplicated world. When he listens to music he gets influenced by the mood of the music styles: happy, energetic or melancholic feelings, but never in a negative way. When he performs he can reproduce this kind of music experience in his performance. He is passionate in every kind of music style and genre that feels good in his ears and soul, mainly black music between 60s and 90s like jazz (fusion jazz), old blues, funk, soul, old rock (psychedelic) electro funk (electro break-beats) with all its shades.

This art form is a kind of universal language and with the World Wide Web, it`s worldwide retrievable . That`s a reason for a big number of active people, mostly pupils, but at the same time it sounds similar or in equal techniques and their existence are not very much individual`s  style or artist.

Comparing German and Indonesian audience, he thinks with his art form, there is no difference if they like the groove, they like it. He has so many times having talks with fascinated children, youngsters, parents or older people over 60 or 70 years old. The only difference is when people see it live for the very first time, they can`t believe if it`s real, they ask him whether he cheats or where it comes from.

In regard to bilateral relationship between two countries, particularly Indonesia and Germany, he shared cultural exchange experience in Jerin festival. People liked him and the other artists (beatboxers, dancers, painters and musicians) from other countries meet each other. Superficial, for the first, they thought to see a foreign culture. If they talked each to the other, they realized that partially they had the same interest, wishes, dream and goals. They realized that we are all humans on the same planet. For example, Soulrock met an Indonesian beatbox activist for the first time one day before Jerin festival and they only had 4 hours to plan 30-minute showcase. It was just fun and exciting experience.

After three-day Jerin festival, they met again and recorded a short video together, changed contacts, gave some presents and couldn`t believe that those three days of good time were over. However, they are still in contact over Skype or Facebook; Soulrock`s Indonesian friends want  to come in October 2014 to the Beatboxing World Championships in Berlin. Soulrock then attempted to get connected with Indonesian embassy in Berlin to ask for support plus helping to bring them there.

This is the bridge that for example a culture exchange can build; hopefully he, his friends or other people use that chance to stay in contact. Exactly this can be the beginning of something new!

Anisa Kirana (writer) & Sri Rizki Kesuma (research) | 2014 | Published on SOROTAN magazine -column: focus report, bilateral friendship (edition I/2014)|Photo credit: Facebook,Soulrock Daniel FS

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