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Jason Tom Music, Hip Hop And Faith Life Blog - Official Site

Jason Tom Biography

“Jason Tom is a walking, talking instrument; an energetic combination of drums, snare, vocals and synthesizer, all replicated using his voice,” as shared by blogger Tracy Chan.

Honolulu native Jason Tom, 35, Hawaiʻi's Human Beatbox, is an American award-winning master beatboxer, TEDx presenter, speaker, voice actor, host, mathematician, moonwalker, and author of the Jason Tom Music, Hip Hop And Faith Life Blog that boasts 2.1 million views by 1.9 million unique visitors. Our community voted him as the local musician deserving of a wider audience in the best of Honolulu weekly. Tom began beatboxing and scat singing at the tender age of 4 to the chorus of Michael Jackson's "Bad" on audio cassette tape.

Chaminade Silversword's Jolica Domdom wrote, "after being struck by a van at the age of 21, Jason Tom was hit with the realization of what he was doing with his life. Having a near-life death experience was a wakeup call and a reality check for Tom to pursue a career he is passionate about, which is beatboxing."

Since 2004 he has been rocking the mic to young and old alike while spreading an urban a cappella vocal tradition known as vocal percussion. His unique style mixes old- and new- school beatboxing with hip-hop, house and dubstep with his own personal touch and personality. "I said, 'why not, put it out there, get out there and perform. Perpetuate the art form of beatboxing.' I love beatboxing, because that's my instrument," as Jason Tom shared on Art And Flea's Do What You Love Series.

Jennifer Takahashi blogged, "I don't think I can think of a better example of stretching the limits of potential than what Jason Tom can do with his voice.  The sounds that he creates from his body are seriously incredible.  Beyond that, what he has done with his talent is truly inspiring. His performance at TEDx Talks was one of the ones that inspired me to start this blog." Jason Tom overcame trauma, anxiety and stage fright to reach 10,000 to 20,000 middle and high school students annually on the American Lung Association's Music With A Message tour and a student dubbed him as the Human Skrillex.

Tom finished 3rd place with 6,291 votes in the McDonald's of Hawaiʻi NextNext Music Competition and Charity Event with proceeds raised for the Ronald McDonald House Hawaii Charity. Tom is a three-time top 12 performance poet of Hawaiʻi Slam's First Thursdays Grand Slam Final and he was nominated as one of the world's top 150 professional beatboxers for the Beatbox Battle World Championship. The Jason Tom Amphitheater proposed by Kapiʻo News made it on the Christmas Dream List for KCC to be built on the campus of the University of Hawaiʻi at Kapiʻolani Community College in honor of him as one of their famed alumnus. Since then Kapiʻo News featured him in an alumnus write up.

Note: Thank you Nina Wu of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for biography assistance.

Art And Flea Do What You Love Series: Jason Tom Human Beatbox - 3,008 Views

Jason Tom on Social Media

Facebook Profile: 4,069 Friends
​Facebook Page: 8,671 Followers and 9,005 Likers
​Instagram: 5,373 Followers
​LinkedIn: 595 Connections
​ReverbNation FanReach: 11,554 Total Fans (+4,235)
Twitter Followers: 2,095 Followers
​Yelp: 872 Friends
​YouTube: 368 Subscribers

Quotes

"When 18-year-old KCC undergraduate Jason Tom had to complete his final project for a career-related elective course during the Spring 2002 semester, he applied his artistic skills into creating a comic book that would illustrate where he would be in 10 years. Whether it was the dream of becoming a mathematics professor to pursuing beatboxing, playing professional soccer or even doing professional judo, the now 34-year-old is content with what he’s become and shares his passion for beatboxing with members of the community and beyond.

Growing up, Tom was illiterate in school having spoken Chinese at home, resulting in failure in the first grade while attending Liholiho Elementary School. Since then, and until he graduated from President William McKinley High School in 2001, Tom was academically challenged and found it difficult to keep his grades. However, this did not let this stop him from attending college." -Lexus Yamashiro, Kapiʻo News

"Even just hearing Jason Tom speak, it’s no wonder how he has become a widely known beatboxer. His speech is peppered with vocal percussion — in mid-conversation, he’ll suddenly drop a beat.He’s been performing since 2004, and over the years, he has managed to amass quite a following. Chances are you’ve seen him perform or at least heard his name — he does, after all, have a hand in a lot of different things." -Christina O'Connor, Metro HNL Newspaper Cover Feature, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

"Jason Tom Amphitheater: Since the Great Lawn on Kapiʻolani Community College’s campus is really just an obstacle you face on the way to class or the library (seldom do I see students cut across the grass), KCC should recreate this space and construct an amphitheater. The sloping lawn is perfectly suited for this construction. The stage could be at the base of the ʻŌhiʻa Cafeteria with rows of seats or benches extending up to the Kokio building. Once it’s complete, the Jason Tom Amphitheater (named after famed musician and KCC alumnus Jason Tom) would attract music groups wide and far. KCC would suddenly rival the Waikīkī Shell and Blaisdell Center for musical performances. Tickets for students would always be free unless a bidding war were to erupt when Bruno Mars schedules his next concert at KCC." -Chris Takahashi, Kapiʻo News

"After being struck by a van at the age of 21, Jason Tom was hit with the realization of what he was doing with his life. Having a near-life death experience was a wakeup call and a reality check for Tom to pursue a career he is passionate about, which is beatboxing." -Jolica Domdom, Chaminade Silversword

"Jason Tom recorded a beatbox version of Michael Jackson’s 'Bad' when he was 4. Today he is ranked as one of the top 150 male professional beatboxers in the world." -Nina Wu, Honolulu Star-Advertiser's Today Cover Feature

"Jason Tom is known as Hawaii’s Human Beatbox. He is a two-time performance poet grand finalist and five-time, 1st place winner of Hawaiʻi Slam’s First Thursdays poetry slam." ​-Julia Hulme, Millennial Magazine

​"Jason Tom is a nationally known beatboxer and fashion designer who has asthma. His musical profession presents unique difficulties for someone with airflow issues. Like many vocalists, his only instrument is his mouth." -Fernando Pacheco, Island Scene Magazine (Hawaii's premier health and wellness magazine)

"Jason Tom is a beatboxer whose unique sounds landed him in the world of slam poetry. He has been involved with slam poetry for six years now. Tom's intersection of beatboxing and slam poetry makes him a special breed in Chinatown. He said that the beauty of the two art forms is that both utilize the human voice." -Chinatown Now Newspaper

"Girl Fest loves its conscious brothers in the community working to equalize gender disparities between men and women as well as boys and girls. That's why we jumped at the chance to interview local Hip-Hop artist Jason Tom aka the 'Human Beatbox.' You may have seen him on stage busting out sounds that normally come out of machines, but you may not know that he also teaches his art to girls and boys-- not to mention he's our kind of man against violence!" -Girl Fest E-Zine

"​Wanting to gain more performing experience, local beatboxer Jason Tom was introduced to slam poetry in 2004. Finding inspiration from music, he was inspired by his peers to take on a new venture as an artist. 'It’s exciting to go on stage and they appreciate it because it’s the human voice. They care about what we have to say,' Tom said. Nervous for Thursday’s big event, he said all he wants to do is show the crowd that he is having fun. 'It’s intimate on stage and seeing people get up there is a wonderful thing.'"
-Jermel-Lynn Quillopo, Honolulu Pulse, Honolulu Star-Advertiser


“Jason Tom has become an artist to watch. His unusual talent won a perfect score from all the judges during last month's Hawaii's Got Talent competition; Tom's rendition of Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' is a spectacle of showmanship.”
-Tracy Chan, Metromix Honolulu

"What sets Jason Tom apart is the incorporation of dance into beatboxing, especially during his trademark Michael Jackson routine."
-Ryan Senaga, Honolulu Weekly

“Jason Tom is a walking, talking instrument; an energetic combination of drums, snare, vocals and synthesizer, all replicated using his voice.”
-Tracy Chan, Honolulu Advertiser TGIF Metromix

“Best local musician deserving of a wider audience: You’ll have to catch Jason Tom at surprise appearances here and there. Until he gains a wider audience or splits for the mainland, check Tom out. Pretty sick.”
-Ragnar Carlson, Honolulu Weekly Best of Honolulu

“Jason is Hawaii 's premier human beatbox whose unique talent has made him a recognizable icon in the local music and art scene.”
-Ellice Island, the 808 Scene Zine

"Jason Tom sounds like a real beat machine, and he demonstrates excellent use of vocals, beat variations, and sound effects. I believe he will be known for his talent."
-Jess Navarrete (break/salsa dancer)

“He has fresh sounds, you can see the energy popping off of him, and he is fierce. His name is Jason Tom, a beat boxer from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.”
-Maimounah Masudi, Ningin: Asian Media Community

“Jason Tom is an incredible talent. If you can make one of his gigs, please do so. He will blow you away.”
-Traci Toguchi, Good Stuff

“I think Jason Tom has the potential to be a famous whatever he wants to be because he has the qualities such as dedication, passion, and motivation that will take him wherever he chooses to go in life. And if his goal is to become famous beat boxer, then he shall be."
-BB Kim LIVE

Jason Tom Name Break Down

Yes, Jason Tom is his real name and thus JasonTom.com, a website that rhymes came to fruition. Great way to recall his first name, is the first letter from the seventh month through the eleventh month spells J-A-S-O-N. July, August, September, October, November. Jason is Greek and Hebrew in origin, for "healer; the Lord is salvation." A variant to "Joshua." No "y" in his first name unless you thought of booking him yesterday.. however, his surname Tom can be an abbrevaition for tomorrow so you can book him tomorrow and through all the months of the calendar year including the JASON months.

Jason Tom's Chinese Name

Jason Tom's Chinese name is written as 譚志豪 in traditional character form and 谭志豪 in simplified character form. In traditional character form, the three characters of his name have a total of 19 + 7 + 14 = 40 character stokes. In simplified character form, his name has 14 + 7 + 14 = 35 character strokes.

Pronounced as Taam4 Zi3 Hou4 in Cantonese and Tán Zhìháo in Mandarin. His Chinese family name 譚 (谭) is the origin of his surname Tom. 志 is translated as "will; aspiration" and 豪 is translated as "a person of outstanding talent" as defined by the Oxford Chinese to English Dictionary.

In 2008, Tom was introduced as 譚志豪 (谭志豪) at the historic Chinatown Cultural Plaza's Moongate Stage for the Hawaiʻi Chinese New Year Festival, where he demonstrated a live beatbox remix to "有隻雀仔跌落水 (有只雀仔跌落水)," a Cantonese lullaby about a sparrow with a "London Bridges Falling Down" melody.

Background And Education

Jason Tom is a class of 2001 graduate of McKinley High School (Honolulu High School or also informally known as Tokyo High). In 2006, as a foreign language, he enrolled in Intensive Chinese through the Freeman Foundation China Scholarship with a focus on Mandarin Chinese at the University of Hawaiʻi at Kapiʻolani, Hawaiʻi Tokai International College and abroad at Beijing Foreign Studies University (北京外国语大学). On November 4, 2006 he was inducted to the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. In 2007, Tom was on the University of Hawaiʻi at Kapiʻolani's Dean's List and graduated with his Liberal Arts in Associate of Arts. On December 27, 2006 he received a letter by the United States Achievement Academy to be honored nationally as an official Collegiate All-American Scholar Award winner nominated by the University of Hawaii at Kapiʻolani's dean Louise Pagotta. Meanwhile he simultaneously enrolled at Belmont University in partnership of the University of Hawaiʻi at Honolulu and the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business for Music Business, Audio Engineering and Songwriting through the MELE Program thanks to former Hawaiʻi Governor Linda Lingle and Lieutenent Governor Duke Aiona administration.

In My Own Words: My K-12 Education Years

In my own words (the word of my testimony): As a fourth-generation American of Hawaiʻi Chinese ancestry, I recalled my first bully in kindergarten, but I can't remember his  name. I felt parallelized when all he did was pinched my arm and I felt I had "no voice." Many of us can relate to bullies, either being one, was bullied by one or we know someone that have been bullied. Even the bullied become bullies. Today, even the bullied can become the cyber bullies due to their hurt.

I failed my first grade at King Liholiho Elementary School, because I knew not my A-B-C's and I was illiterate. My mother helped me by holding up toy colored letter blocks for me to visually see, identify, audibly hear myself repeat, and speak out each letter. I am forever grateful that my mother helped me a great deal. My parents who worked in the restaurant business demonstrated for me great work ethic and discipline. My father was a disciplinarian and I am grateful for all he instilled in me that I continue to carry with me today. My father taught me mathematics and today, I have a loving relationship with mathematics. My father lived to be 84 before he passed on for Father's Day 2017.

I transferred to Kauluwela Elementary my second go around with first grade. Throughout elementary school, I stayed behind often to catch up on classwork. I told myself to not give up. That also crossed over to learning Cantonese Chinese at Sui Wah School of the Sun Yat Sen Cultural Center. I do not recall the number of times I repeated the first grade in Chinese school. I eventually refused to go to Chinese school so I could be home to catch my favorite cartoon series on television. I enrolled in summer school to graduate King David Kawananakoa Middle School on time. I enrolled in summer school and did high school correspondence to graduate at President William McKinley High School on time. Had I not lettered two years in high school varsity soccer and judo, I would probably not have been as motivated to maintain a minimal 2.0 grade point average, because that meant I could play during regular season games and tournaments. I also played in a basketball summer league, tried out for volleyball and baseball, but I discovered those sports were far from my calling. Joining a sports team was a fresh experience that I enjoyed, because it made me feel that I belonged and I got out of the house more.

Growing up, I got teased non-stop as "four eyes" and "loser" by school bullies until I fought back in self-defense against bullies and group of bullies (like Bruce Lee) throughout elementary and middle school. In middle school, I was reported to cafeteria detention pretty much daily due to fights, because I knew no other avenue to let out my hurt. Then I got suspended once in middle school. I got suspended twice in high school. First high school suspension was with an eventual all star football player my freshman year and second suspension against one of my arch rivals since elementary school who enjoyed teasing me. Following those suspensions I said I'm done with this fist fighting, because this ain't the kind of life I want to live and that's not how I want to behave with my emotions and behavior. I had no idea that I had become a little monster by responding to violence by violence. From the very strict discipline at home and bullying growing up I had a low-esteem and a negative outlook in life. It was awkward growing up until I chose to believe that I don't have to feel and live that way forever and I decided to flip the script.

Athletics...
Growing up I was a homebody who enjoyed watching countless hours of cartoon marathons as I aspired to be a cartoonist and comic book artist. I loved Looney Tunes, Mickey Mouse, Disney, Nickoloedean, and more. I also enjoyed watching black and white classics of "I Love Lucy" and the 1950's "Adventures of Superman" television series that starred George Reeves on Nick At Nite. I also played countless hours of video games on Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo's Gameboy. My small close circle of friends at that time were avid Marvel Comics card and comic book collectors.

My interests shifted when I became a high school student, because I wanted to be like Michael Jordan. My goal was also to be more outgoing and positive. I disliked my low self-image and low self-esteem. I strived for confidence. The team sports of soccer and judo helped me to develop a less angry at the world personality. It provided me an outlet to let things out without hurting others physically. I loved soccer and judo. I still consider soccer my favorite sport to play. Positions I played were left forward striker and left wing outside halfback. I was one of our more accurate goal scorers four our shooting drills. I finished my senior soccer season as our team's leading goal scorer and I retired my soccer jersey number "17" from President William McKinley High School (Honolulu High School) class of 2001.

My judo alias "Spider-Man" was given by my 5th-degree black belt coach Clinton "Tubby" Sunada due to uncanny grip fighting style. It was all the motivation I needed to stick with judo.

In My Own Words: My Adult Years

On December 11, 2002, I earned my Yonkyu-Green Belt by the United States Judo Federation and Central Coast Judo Association's 4th-dan president Vaughn Imada, 7th-dan instructor Emilio Mel Augustine, and 9th-dan Chairman of the Examining Board Kaiki Fukuda.

Miraculous Awakening...
On Friday, February 27, 2004, my application of judo miraculously saved my life after intense training at Shobukan Judo Club in Liliha as a member of the 50th State Judo Association when I got struck by a fast 3,610 pound van that made a left turn. With no fear I braced the impact instinctively in judo style sprawling technique and I broke my fall and safely landed on the wet asphalt from heavy storm forecast.

I was able to answer questions by the immediate responders and I was sent to the Queen's Medical Center and I left that same night with no broken bones and no serious injuries. I experienced trauma. I thank God that female driver, a manager of a hotel, was sober and she was not a hit and run. Next morning my older sister, I am the youngest of two in our family, took me to go see in movie theatres the Passion of the Christ and that pointed my focus back on Jesus. That was the spark I needed to be reawakened and the rest is history. It inspired me to the point that I wanted to take care of unfinished business academically and pursue my passion for music and beatbox with a purpose professionally and to surrender my whole heart and to seek more of Jesus in regards to my livelihood.

Academic to professional journey...
On December 27, 2006 I received a letter by the United States Achievement Academy to be honored nationally as an official Collegiate All-American Scholar Award winner nominated by the University of Hawaii at Kapiʻolani's dean Louise Pagotta. I moved on from that endeavor with the faith in God the size of a mustard seed and the pursuit in life to dream BIG and to live beyond the box as a freelance musician for the love and passion for the culture and music of the Human Beatbox element of hip-hop culture and to share the word of my testimony on how I overcame by the blood of the lamb.

Who Jason Tom Have Worked With (Not An Exhuastive List)

What is A Human Beatbox?

A "human beatbox" is a term made popular in the early 1980's in hip-hop culture and was coined to Doug E. Fresh by Barry B. in 1982. Doug E. Fresh is also the song and dance inspiration behind "Teach Me How to Dougie" by the Cali Swag District. "The Human Beatbox" was also made popular in the mainstream by the late Darren Robinson also known as Buffy and DJ Doc Nice of the legendary rap trio known as the Fat Boys. "Beatboxing" is also known as the fifth element of hip-hop culture in the community among the four pillars of hip-hop which are writing, bboying/bgirling/dance, deejaying/turntablism, and emceeing. Beat boxing was also pioneered by Biz Markie who is known for his "You've Got A Friend" hit and Markie was also featured in the children's Yo! Gabba Gabba in "Biz's Beat of the Day." Rahzel the Godfather of Noyze and Kenny Muhammad the Human Orchestra were the next to push the human beatbox art form to the limelight. A beatboxer is a person who emulates music, percussion, synthesizers, a drum machine, and more with his or her voice. Beatboxing is an A Cappella art form that has its origins in jazz genre of music stylings of scat singing and an urban form of vocal percussion. A human beatbox is a vocal musician who does voice music.

What Does Hawaii's Human Beatbox Mean to Jason Tom?

What does "Hawaii's Human Beatbox" mean to me? For me it means that even as a traveling beatboxer I have not forgotten where I came from to know where I will be going in life and career and my relationship with the Most High God. Regardless if I've lived in San Francisco, Beijing, China and New York. And even though I traveled to Canada, Inner Mongolia and Sydney, Australia and many states of the USA, that does not mean I have ever forgotten that Hawaii is where I am from, born and raised.

Highlights

Jason Tom has facilitated human beatbox workshops and or done motivational/inspirational speaking tours at these studios and or schools (not an exhaustive list)....

Studios

- Branch Studios Hawaii
- Diverse Art Center
- Housing Project 360
- The Human Beatbox Academy/Hawaii Beatbox Academy
- Kidz Life Hawaii
- Waikiki Community Center Preschool

Universities/Colleges
- College (New York)
- Hawaiʻi Pacific University
- Tokai University (Hawaii Tokai International College)
- Tufts University (Boston)
- University of Chaminade Hawaiʻi
- University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa

- University of Hawaii at Honolulu Community College
- University of Hawaii at Kapiʻolani Community College
- University of Hawaii at Leeward Community College
- University of Hawaii at Windward Community College

High Schools
- Campbell High School (Sabers)
- Castle High School (Knights)

- Farrington High School (Governors)
- Kalaheo High School (Mustangs)
- Kalani High School (Falcons)
- McKinley High School/Honolulu High School (Tigers)
- Moanalua High School (Menehunes)
- Nanakuli High School (Golden Hawks)
- Pearl City High School (Chargers)
- Radford High School (Rams)
- Roosevelt High School (Rough Riders)

Intermediate and Elementary
- Aina Haina Elementary School
- Ala Wai Elementary School

- Aliiolani Elementary School
- Hahaioni Elementary School
- Hokulani Elementary School
- Jefferson Elementary School
- Kahala Elementary School
- Kalihi Elementary School
- Kalihi-Uka Elementary School
- Kalihi-Waena Elementary School
- Kamiloiki Elementary School
- Kauluwela Elementary School
- Koko Head Elementary School
- Kuhio Elementary School
- Liholiho Elmentary School
- LIkelike Elementary School
- Lincoln Elementary School
- Lunalilo Elementary School
- Maemae Elementary School
- Manoa Elementary School
- Noelani Elementary School
- Nuuanu Elementary School
- Palolo Elementary School
- Pauoa Elementary School
- Puuhale Elementary School
- Royal Elementary School
- Waiau Elementary School
- Waikiki Elementary School
- Hawaii Baptist Academy
- Iolani Middle School
- Kamehameha Middle School

- Mid-Pacific Institute Middle School
- Word of Life Academy
- Central Middle School
- Kaimuki Middle School
- Niu Valley Middle School
- Waipahu Middle School
- Washington Middle School

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Jason Tom is an American award-winning beatboxer, speaker, voice actor, mathematician, and author of his Music, Hip Hop And Faith Life Blog.

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