As a young kid growing up on Long Island, Jonatan Lopez loved making music with software on his computer. Then a high school talent show piqued his curiosity for beatboxing. He did research on a then-new site called YouTube and from there began his self-taught journey to becoming a musician and master beatboxer.
“When I won the American Beatboxing Championship in 2011, a lot of people in the beatboxing community knew me,” Jflo said, and it was through beatboxing websites and forums that Man Wei was able to track him down.
Man Wei, a Julliard-trained classical musician had already mastered the largest bowed string instrument in the modern symphony, the double bass. But he had a real interest in beatboxing and sought Jflo out for his expertise. When they met Man Wei mentioned he played the double bass and the seed was planted for collaboration.
“We improvised a lot to come up with the piece we performed at TEDxBeaconStreet,” says Jflo. “For me I always think of collaborating as a musician. Creating something new is always good. Trying it, showing it, and then inspiring others to try it or do something new.” And for Jflo, it’s especially important for beatboxing. “People think beatboxing is just making sounds. But really it’s all about learning rhythm and structure. I wanted to show the underlying musicality of the form.”
When asked what he hopes to convey to people with his TEDxBeaconStreet performance, Jflo says “As an independent artist my only wish is to inspire people and wherever it takes me is all good. I want beatboxing to grow in America.”
Jflo wants to express the musicality of beatboxing. Man Wei is passionate about innovative ways to play the double bass. Together they put their Ideas in Action…and they brought the house down at TEDxBeaconStreet.
Here’s a drawing our friends from Ideas Take Shape made on the spot while they were listening to the jam!