Welcome to the beatbox stylings of Shamik: cultural nomad, globetrotter and human drumkit. No record label, no manager, nothing but drive – this acapella DJ is part percussionist, part vocalist and all powerful, pulsating sound. And this guy is smooth, deep-voiced and warm like good looking apple pie (for real). Here’s our ode to Mr. Shamik Dynamik.
Why We’re Hooked on His Sound
Shamik Bilgi is a 27 year old musical maestro who has performed in 15 countries alongside artists like Method Man & Redman, Thievery Corporation, Q-Bert, Bassnectar, and Delhi 2 Dublin. He’s done China, Australia, India, Czech Republic, the USA and Peru – but it’s Vancouver and his native Edmonton that he calls home.
We first met at a Diwali event in Vancouver’s posh Yaletown, as 3000 onlookers, many of whom had never seen anything like this, stood in head-bobbing wonderment as Shamik did his beatboxer thing. Kids responded by freaking out to it and adults raised an eyebrow, but the crowd was mesmerized and on their feet as he created deep bass lines and rhythms using just his mouth as an instrument.
The Man Behind the Beats
Shamik practices a modest 2 hours a day to perfect beats and get them to a place where the rhythms are “like breath” – effortless. What many people don’t know is that Shamik has classical South Indian musical roots, something passed on to him by his parents, who are from the state of Karnataka in India. Music and rhythm were stitched into the fabric of his youth, as Shamik sang and played tabla in the temple growing up, later making the transition to creating drum beats with his vocal chords.
The fascination with Shamik’s uncanny ability to mimic beats eventually lead to peer performances, open stages, raves, hall parties, benefits, club gigs, festivals… and the word spread. Through his own efforts, hustling and self promoting, Shamik has emerged onto the international touring circuit. And his talent is infectious. He bounces around the stage, feeding off the crowd with a flare that only comes with perfection.
He is the bass, the melody, the harmony, the beat and the only instrument.
How do you beatbox?
Okay, I’m going to attempt to teach you what he taught me… the basics of beat boxing through writing. Anything’s possible, right?
Lets start with the alphabet, P T and K. The P sound minus any actual use of the vocal chords, really use those lips, exaggerate the motion and force the air out (not spit) . Repeat this with the sounds from T and K. Congrats, you’ve graduated from Community Beatboxing 101, for those who ever wanted to know where to start a career only in a niche market reserved for the best. Good luck, it isn’t easy!
Watch Shamik teach a seal how to beatbox here (it’s hilarious!). You can also see his past performances, including beatboxing in front of national monuments like the Taj Mahal, Statue of Liberty, Petronas Towers, Great Wall of China, and the Sydney Opera House, on his Youtube Channel here.
Shamik’s new album, Nomadic Injections is available on iTunes.
Story By: Raakhi Sinha | Photographs: Shamik