Jason Tom - Official Site


December 4, 2009 at 12:24AM

Early last month I was a guest entertainer for the TEDxHonolulu (TEDxHNL) conference which took place at the Hawaii Convention Center. "TED" of "TEDx" is a acronym for "Technology, Entertainment, Design," and the "x" of "TEDx" represent "an independently organized TED event." TED's motto is "ideas worth spreading."

Courtesy of Ed Morita of Grilled Cornbread LLP Courtesy of Ed Morita of Grilled Cornbread LLP

I want to thank Janel and Nari for accompanying me.  Props to Ninja Nari for the vids:

TEDxHonolulu - Jason Tom - 11/05/09 (performance)

TEDxHonolulu - Jason Tom - 11/05/09 (interview w/ Angela Keen)

Angela Keen: How long have you been doing this?

Jason Tom: Performing wise 5 years, but I've been doing this since I was 4-years-old.
*Playfully says* I was holding back by the way. *laughs*

*crowd laughs along*

Angela Keen: So when you were 4-years-old, what was the first thing that you did?

Jason Tom:
Okay, the very first song?

Angela Keen:

Jason Tom: Okay so I used to do scat too.
I would sing "Bad."
So "dun dun da-dun da-dun-dun" with the snare. *snare*
That was my very first technique. *snare*

*performs the bass line of Bad and sings the chorus with the beat at the same time:

"You know I'm bad,
I'm bad,
you know it, you know,
and the whole world has to answer right now
so tell me once again
who's bad?"

*crowd cheers and applauds*

Jason Tom:
So that was my very first (beatbox) technique (at 4-year-old). *snare*

Angela Keen: *Playfully asks* Can you pat your head, rub your tummy, do that at the same time? *laughs*

*crowd laughs along*

Jason Tom: Well I gotta hold the mic too.

Angela Keen: *laughs* Just kidding. I'm just kidding. It takes a lot of coordination to...

Jason Tom: I can actually dance and beatbox at the same time.

Crowd: Do it!

Jason Tom:
Okay, real quick sample.
*performs "Billie Jean" with the popping dance at the same time*

*crowd cheers and applauds*

Angela Keen:
What was the most difficult thing someone said to you, because I'm sure in the beginning you probably had some type of criticism.

Jason Tom:
Let's see. That's a tough one, that's a good question.

Angela Keen:
Whether a laugh, someone said you were silly, or you know saying be quiet.

Jason Tom: Well there are actually people that find it hard to get out there, and they'll criticize me. They'll say, "hey you should give up.. quit!" But you know successful people fail more. So we can't quit and give up. *inaudible* It comes from here (patting heart).

Angela Keen: Thank you. And it comes from here , and here, and here. Okay, thank you so much Jason.

Jason Tom: Thank you.

*crowd applauds*

Sound check: I performed with a cordless Shure Beat 87A supercardioid condenser vocal microphone. I love the overall feel, warmth, clarity, and accuracy of that microphone model from the Shure brand. It's marketed as the premier live performance microphone.

Here's a quick low down of what went down:

Neil Blecherman and Jill Buck were the first speakers for TEDxHNL.

Then an inspiring TED Talks video of Stuart Brown who discussed the importance of "play" was shown. After that was break time (my favorite part since we get to loosen up). I also got to "play" for a while to warm up before my performance.

After the break Henk Rogers was the next speaker for TEDxHNL.

Followed by my performance for TEDxHNL:
Courtesy of geewhy Courtesy of geewhy Courtesy of Elliot Ng of Courtesy of Ed Morita of Grilled Cornbread LLP Courtesy of Ed Morita of Grilled Cornbread LLP Courtesy of Elliot Ng of Courtesy of Elliot Ng of Courtesy of Elliot Ng of Courtesy of Ed Morita of Grilled Cornbread LLP Courtesy of Ed Morita of Grilled Cornbread LLP Courtesy of Ed Morita of Grilled Cornbread LLP Courtesy of Ed Morita of Grilled Cornbread LLP  
This was what got buzzed on Twitter:
@mikeprasad At #TEDxHnL with @rethinkbunny! Watching the most awesome human beatbox EVEr! #rethink

@adamontherun #tedxhnl is #rethink ing the robotic beatbox :)

@christinelu Jason Tom at #TEDxHNL human synthesizer. Amazing!!! #rethink

@leahlamb when art stretches the confines of the imagination. This kid is making a full orchestra of sounds from 1 mouth. #tedxhnl #brainexplosion

@elliottng #tedxhnl RT @jowyang: There's beat boxin here at TEDx Honolulu

@billso Jason Tom beatboxing #tedxhnl

@kenbrady Beatboxing and dancing performance by Jason Tom just ended. Fun stuff. #tedxhnl

@techmama RT @christinelu Jason Tom at #TEDxHNL human synthesizer. Amazing!!! #rethink

@EZF_TechMoms RT @techmama: RT @christinelu Jason Tom at #TEDxHNL human synthesizer. Amazing!!! #rethink

And my impromptu interview with Angela Keen:

Then this was what got buzzed on Twitter:
@dkmashino Wow. After the beat-boxing, Jason Tom says "successful people fail more." Yup. #TEDxHNL

@leahlamb "succesful people fail more" #tedxhnl

@bjgoldstein RT @cfnoble: Jason Tom "Successful people fail more." #TEDxHNL #rethink

@jillbuck #tedxhnl words of wisdom from Jason Tom, awesome beat boxer, "successful people fail more."

@RichWhite RT @cfnoble: Jason Tom "Successful people fail more." #TEDxHNL #rethink //// Love it !

@leehop Jason Tom "Successful people fail more." #TEDxHNL #rethink (via @cfnoble) AMEN!!!

@valto RT @leehop: Jason Tom "Successful people fail more." #TEDxHNL #rethink (via @cfnoble) AMEN!!!

@teppohudson AMEN indeed! RT @valto: RT @leehop: Jason Tom "Successful people fail more." #TEDxHNL #rethink (via @cfnoble) AMEN!!!

@shebesosilly2 RT @teppohudson AMEN indeed! RT @valto: RT @leehop: Jason Tom "Successful people fail more." #TEDxHNL #rethink (via @cfnoble) AMEN!!!

@nerdseyeview favorite moment from tedx honolulu? beat boy jason tom saying "successful people fail more often.#tedxhnl

After my interview with Angela Keen, our final TEDx speaker Kaiser Kuo was next (his TEDxHNL video hasn't been uploaded yet),  and then the conference closed with a Q&A. After that we all talked story:

Big ups to Neenz, Christine Lu, and Traci Toguchi for organizing TEDxHNL. The Hawaii Convention Center for having us. Angela Keen also did an awesome job emceeing the event. I also want to thank our guest speakers Neil Belcherman, Jill Buck, Henk Rogers, and Kaiser Kuo. Oh, and I also want to thank all fellow TEDxHNL attendees. I've met so many great folks from Re[Think] Hawaii and TEDxHNL.

Check out these other TEDxHNL/Re[Think] Hawaii related blog posts (if there's more please write me):

*Photos courtesy of Ed Morita of Grilled Cornbread LLP, Static Photography, Courtesy of Elliot Ng of, TEDxHNL flickr photo pool, KK, geewhy, billso, and more.

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Jason kind of reminds me a gecko; a gecko always adapts and recovers from all the hardships he went through. The curves in Tom Thum's "Jason Tom" logo design looks really cool!

It's nice to see Jason's personality imbued in a gecko designed by him. Cool, fitting, totally Jason lol. I like it!

Jason Tom is a really dope guy. He's really funny, chill and positive. He inspires me. Jason Tom really loves God. He's awesome.

it is D O P E ❤️

This is so inspiring and great. I hope you continue what you're doing because you're amazing!

Your new name logo looks fantastic. Really fancy cursive. Keep up the good work Mr. Tom.

The logo looks awesome! Keep on making a difference in this world one beat at a time!

I thinks this is good for u keep up the good work love the new name keep on keeping on bro way to make the world change and put a little beat in there step box in there lives on to bigger and better things

Hey man I really dig the new logo! It suits you!

Awww I love all of them Jason, especially Tom Thum's one attracted me a lot :D Just DOPE!!!!!!!!!

Awww that's amazing Jason!!! I love the sounds of ukulele and awesome Collaboration with your koool beat box(´◡͐`)☆

That was brilliant good on to the both of you

That was great mix of the new and old . That was really impressive I liked so much. I like how he taught you one thing and you taught him one thing.

Mahalo mahalo for sharing the traditions and aloha! Continue spreading the love and being you❤️

Yoo! my brother from another MOUTHer!!
That's fresh logo as you are! Come down Japan and let's rock together!!


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Jason Tom is an American Freelance beatboxer, voice actor, inspirational speaker, session musician, designer, blogger, slam poet, TEDx presenter