In the rhythm of the beats

In the rhythm of the beats

Nineteen-year old Hilal Aal, a second-year BBM student, started beat-boxing three years ago. It all happened when he came across a beat-boxing video on a social networking site that left him amazed. “I went ‘wow’ when I saw the performance and wanted to try my hand at it. I kept practising to improve myself. And now, I simply love beat-boxing,” says Hilal, adding, “I’ve learnt by trial and error.” Within three months, Hilal found himself battling it out at competitions. Recalling the first competition that he took part in at RV College of Engineering, Hilal says, “I came second and it was a confidence booster.” Hilal, who has no stage fear, goes on to add, “I’ve always been a social person and was a speaker and debator in school. So I’m at ease on stage.” 

Pointing out that beat-boxing was relatively new a couple of years ago, Hilal says that the performing art is picking up quickly. Explaining how he comes up with new beats each time, the artiste says, “I listen to a couple of songs and then merge them together. And what comes out is something totally new.” Hilal, who beat boxes at any time of the day or night, says, “I beat-box when I’m happy, sad or angry. Sometimes, I even beat-box in my sleep.” 

Hilal, who started with dubstep beat-boxing and moved on to techno, house, progressive house and then hip-hop, says, “Music is my life. And I beat-box just for myself.” So who are his inspirations? “The art itself inspires me. But when I look at those proficient in the field, I get inspired all the more.”   Hilal has entered several competitions including the latest season of ‘India’s Got Talent’. “The best complement I received was from Malaika Arora Khan, who said that she hadn’t seen anyone as talented,” he says, adding, “I enter every competition for the experience. Many times I win and sometimes, I don’t. But it’s a great platform to learn.” He adds, “If I find someone better than me, I learn from him or her and if I find someone who I think can do better, I give them suggestions to improve.” 

Explaining the challenges of beat-boxing, the youngster says, “Coming up with something new every time to keep the audience engaged is the biggest challenge. It’s always good to keep the audience guessing as to what the next beats will be.” He adds, “I have goofed up on stage sometimes but I’ve learnt to rectify them in time.” Hilal says that performing at events keeps him busy and at the same time allows him to be independent. “From the money I make, I’m able to pay my bills and buy what I want,” he informs. Although his parents were slightly apprehensive when he took to beat-boxing, he says that now, they are encouraging. “Even then, I haven’t made up my mind whether I want to take it up full-time,” he signs off. 

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