Interview with... SHLOMO who is appearing at Glastonbury & Latitude Festivals

Shlomo: Photo by Jessica Hitchen

Hi Shlomo, thanks for taking the time to chat with us...
You are a classically trained drummer and percussionist... How did you find out you could make the same sounds with your voice?
I've been making sounds with my voice since I was a kid, I didn't know it was called beatboxing, it was just a way to practice my drums. I wanted to drum on Top Of The Pops which was always on at 7pm, but I wasn't allowed to practise my drums after 6pm because the neighbours would complain, so I had to find other ways!

How much practice did it take to master the sounds?
A lot!

Which is your favourite sound to make? (a bit difficult to describe in text)
I like making whole songs - that's the biggest challenge, to create something musical and moving.

You are the world Loopstation champion... For those who don’t know, what is a Loopstation?
It's a pedal that enables you to loop up audio and keep on adding layers of sound.

Shlomo & Vocal Orchestra: Photo by Jessica Hitchen
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into beatboxing?
Listen to as much music as possible, and learn from it.

Who are your musical influences?
My heroes are people like Stevie Wonder, Keith Jarrett, The Prodigy, Elvin Jones and Paul Simon

You recently played at the Udderbelly in London with The Vocal Orchestra... How did all that come about?
I've been working with the guys who run the Udderbelly for a couple of years now. We first played there in 2009 when it first came to London.

You have collaborated with many big names in your career, who has been your favourite to work with so far?
Working with Bjork back in 2004 was a real eye opener. Before that I’d only really seen my beatboxing as a way of showing off, but she really wanted me to make original music with her. Since then I’ve been a bit obsessed with collaboration and smashing up people’s preconceptions of beatbox and what can be done with the human voice.

Photo by Jessica Hitchen
And who would you like to work with in the future?

What has been your favourite gig to play so far?
I love gigging with the Vocal Orchestra - they are like the ultimate toy for me.

Where do you dream of playing?
I'd love to play at Sydney Opera House.

You are appearing at Glastonbury again this year, how does it feel to play one of the biggest festivals of the music calendar?
It's an amazing feeling. Taking my little baby this year so let's hope it's not a mudbath.

For more info, gig dates, videos, pics etc visit Shlomo's website:

Shlomo is appearing at Glastonbury Festival on 24th & 25th June 2011
Also Latitude Festival on 15th July

All photos by Jessica Hitchen