With the feeling of butterflies in his stomach, Eliot Min ’19 stood anxiously offstage as his middle school talent show began around him. As a novice beatboxer, Min was pushed by his friends to participate in the show. Due to his nervousness, however, he organized a video of his beatboxing to be presented at the show instead. He hid under the bleachers as the video played, unsure of how the audience would react. According to Min, the crowd went wild.
“That really brought my confidence up a lot. If I didn’t do that [at the show], I might not have gotten as into beatboxing as I have today because before, it was mostly just experimentation, but now, it’s evolved into something. It’s basically my whole life,” said Min.
Min began beatboxing in seventh grade after becoming inspired by a video of a famous Japanese beatboxer, Daichi. According to Arjun Venigalla ’19, Min’s friend and roommate, Min is extremely dedicated to beatboxing and regularly practices to improve his skills.
“He’s clearly very talented and hardworking because he’s been working on this for a long time now especially since he’s self-taught. He told me that he’s been learning from YouTube videos ever since middle school and up. Although it’s getting a little annoying, he’s my roommate and he does beatbox a lot, sometimes subconsciously… I think it’s really cool,” said Venigalla.
“For me, beatboxing is a really unique art form that I can do any place at any time. Most of the time I beatbox to get a break from homework, something to fill my head with to take a break while studying. It’s really an escape to be able to bust out, drop a beat whenever I feel like it,” said Min.
At Andover, Min became involved in Keynotes as a Junior and Yorkies as a Lower. Min believes his participation in these a cappella groups improved his rhythm and timing in beatboxing.
“[Before I joined Keynotes and Yorkies], I’d be rushing, slowing down; I’d lose track of where I was in my arrangement, but working with Keynotes and now, starting this year, Yorkies, has really allowed me to do much more rhythmic beatboxing,” said Min. “It’s a really great feeling knowing that I have this talent that groups of people can put to use.”
As he’s progressed in his beatboxing, Min has ventured into performing more complicated sounds, including a sound that he invented himself.
“It sounds like a cricket. I don’t know any other beatboxers that can do that, so I feel really proud of that, and it sounds really cool on a microphone. There’s this really cool sound called the click roll where you press half of your tongue against the roof of your mouth and then suck air in to produce a clicking sound. That’s a really cool effect especially if you want to build up friction in your beats,” said Min.
Recently, Min applied to his first competitive beatboxing tournament. Although Min was not chosen as a finalist, he still values this experience as a moment of personal growth.
“At Andover, where there aren’t many other beatboxers, none who are trying to go competitive, I was feeling pretty full of myself, but not being accepted into the tournament was really a humbling experience. It reminded me that even though I have come a long way, I need to work harder, keep improving my skills,” said Min.