"The first time I saw someone Beatboxing was when I was in High School. It was my friend Sunil. Then I saw him again two years later on stage and was amazed by how people went crazy for the kind of skill he possessed. Later on, I saw my college friends take part in college fests and thought it would be a great way to get attendance."
Afsar, a 25-year-old Beatboxer from Bangalore and co- founder of Beats Club and self certified Punny guy is a true artist and musician at heart.
But it was not always like that. What was a means to skive off classes, turned into a passion, a career and a movement!
The Beatbox bug bit Afsar in 2014 after he came runner up in his 1st ever battle at Mount Carmel College in 2014
From there on it was a swift upward climb, with over 200 nationwide Beatbox battle wins under his belt- including V Fest Goa and Hornbill Music Festival, Nagaland.
By 2016, beatboxing had started to build weightage in India. The culture was growing, and for Afsar and his friends it was no longer just a hobby. It had become a profession.
“So a couple of us - Sunil, Hilal, Dilip, Karun, Anirudh, and myself decided to form the Beats Club and give fellow upcoming beatboxers a stage to perform,” says Afsar. This was the start of building a community. And then came Colossal.
"Sunil was the mastermind behind Colossal, which is now India's biggest Hip-Hop and Beatboxing festival," Afsar.
What started off as a small festival in a sheesha cafe with borrowed equipment, two days of promotion, and 50 members, has now turned into a four-day masterplan with sponsors drawing hundreds of participants from across the country of all ages, through
“Beatboxing not only gave me fame and recognition, but it also brought in a certain discipline to my life. Beatboxing helped reinvent my identity. It gave me exposure to collaborate with different artists, musicians and producers.”
By 2018, he was listed as the quarterfinalist in India's Got Talent and was even featured by Redbull as India's TOP 6 BeatBoxers.
From here on, you know your boy is just on to bigger and better things.
Shoutout to Vineeth Vincent from Afsar for being his role model on this journey.
Interview and Writing Credit: Priya Rangan & Haya Hamza