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Feeling the beat

International artist Hope Haami, aka Hope One, has been schooling kids around the country on the art of beatboxing.

She brought her show, School of Beatbox Hope Tour II, to Te Wharau School, Nuhaka School and Wairoa College last week.

Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion, involving the art of mimicking drum machines, using one’s mouth, lips, tongue, and voice.

It can also involve vocal imitation of turntablism, and other musical instruments.

Hope Tour II is an interactive show, where Hope uses beatboxing to help develop a person’s confidence and self-expression.

She provides a platform where youth can learn core values such as team building, leadership and creative development while having fun.

“I share my story of how I got into beatboxing to hopefully inspire young people,” she said.

Hope has toured the globe, placed third in the women’s division at the World Beatboxing Championships in Germany and performed alongside the likes of US hip-hop artists Naughty by Nature, Eve and T-Pain.

She is also part of the long-running hip-hop cabaret show, Hot Brown Honey.

Originally from Whanganui and Taranaki, Hope is now based in Brisbane.

A highlight of the Beatbox tour — travelling from Auckland to Blenheim — has been bringing the show to rural areas such as Gisborne and Wairoa for the first time.

“I love coming back to New Zealand and giving my knowledge back to my people. It grounds me. There’s no ego here, just sheer passion and a torch to shine light on the legacy.”

She loves sharing her passion with young people and getting her audience involved.

“I start off by sharing my story of how I got into beatboxing. Then I run the students through some vocals and give them the basics of beatboxing. We do an activity or game to help them with tempo, as well as show them how to use a microphone.

“Then we get into groups, and do a little group performance before I finish off with a performance to them.

“It’s great to come home and share my knowledge, and I hope to inspire them to do whatever it is that they desire.

“Another message I like to push is to not let gender define what you can be or do with your life. When I started out in beatboxing a lot of boys discouraged me from doing it because I was a girl.

“I push that message quite hard.”

Hope plans to return in December. Schools interested in a visit from the School of Beatbox can contact her through her website www.hopeonebeatbox.com

Te Wharau School student Ayden Manuel has a blast on the mic during the School of Beatbox Hope Tour II brought to Gisborne by international beatboxer Hope Haami aka Hope One. Picture by Liam Clayton