Beat-ing the odds: amid conflict Kashmiris carving for a new kick

Beat-ing the odds: amid conflict Kashmiris carving for a new kick

In the early 80’s, beatboxers backed up rappers when drum machines were unaffordable. It is a  vocal form of hip-hop music that blew up as one of the original elements of hip-hop in that era. Some people today dismiss it as a gimmick. Hence, today, the art form remains largely underground and misunderstood.

“I’m more influenced by electronic music and dubstep that follow a rap or hip-hop”, says Burhan, a 20-year-old beatboxer from Buchpora, an area in Srinagar. “I also love freestyle rapping, and one of my beatboxing colleagues ‘SufiyanRouf’, is also an inspirational beatboxer and a rapper”, he added.

SufiyanRouf, a famous kashmiri beatboxer, knows how to work a crowd. From starting by posting videos on his Youtube channel to being featured in different news networks to now being a famous artist all around valley. For a look at his talent, check out the videos online.

Kashmir, a heavenly place where there are different types of emerging talents, beatboxing is yet somewhere unleashed. Yet, you can find many groups on Facebook or Instagram where Kashmiri youth share and contribute by posting videos of themselves beatboxing, upload videos on YouTube, while others just share it on their Facebook wall; however, it worth listening to them all. Beatboxing became well known in Kashmir during the late 2018, and parties included music with beatboxers adding sounds to it. By then, many talented beatboxing artists are seen  in concerts or smaller private shows, promoting themselves and introducing their art form to new (and old) audiences.

Burhan’s advice for everyone who wants to pursue a career in beatboxing is to ‘learn, explore and try.’ “Keep learning from new musicians, new songs and new ideas, to explore new genres and other aspects of your music, and of course, try new methods, new instruments and things you’ve never tried before” he says. “As long as you keep learning, you will keep improving yourself and reinvent yourself all the time”, he added.

The popularity of beatboxing is growing faster than ever among all other music cultures. Artists add their vocal sounds to the sounds of instruments played, adding a unique touch. Right now, Burhan’s next big step is to create a song only made with his vocals. “I’m currently working with Rouf and team, brilliant artists, in order to produce a song only made with beats and vocals from a human voice”, says Burhan.



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