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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Blog Comments

Jason is a loving, dynamic and driven servant of Jesus Christ who uses his entertainment talents to encourage and inspire all kinds of people worldwide. He is also a truly great friend and family member!

Thank you for sharing your nuggets. Very creative. I Like how you mention "pulling weeds by its roots rather then cutting it".

It was great to hear,good inspiration and nice to know from a different perspective of how we can look at life so thank you for the message

Great nuggets of wisdom! I especially love how you rephrased "Live each day like it's your last" to "Live each day like it's your first." Amen!

I met him on the dance floor at Ong King and he hasn't forgotten the few details I shared about myself.
Soulfully said already, Jason has a way with making a person feel worth. He has a light from inside that drives his love and talent out into the world and into your eyes ears and heart. Keep spreading the you Jason Tom!!

Jason is undoubtedly one of Hawaii's most thrilling entertainers. Reaching out to his community and uplifting others is deep in his blood. On stage he is a class act, and offstage he is a genuine influencer, a teacher of faith, a perseverer, a trailblazer, and a friend to many (including me). I ran into him with my family a few years ago at an Ala Moana show, where he approached me and told me to "check this out." AWESOME beatboxing ensued.

Consider it lucky to have such a well-rounded, dedicated entertainer who is not only able to put on a spectacular show as an innovative beatboxer but also is able to step off stage and infect others with all the plethora of care, enthusiasm, and optimism that he carries in his heart.

He is Jason Tom - and, ladies and gentlemen, he's a good one

The worlds #1 beatboxer!

A super energetic performer and entertainer.

Though I've never met him, he appears to be a holistic individual who emphasizes on being healthy spiritually, mentally and physically. I believe this is what has driven him to achieve his goals and kept him running the race :)

Upbeat, both in personality and in art. A connecting force in the community and music circles. Fresh energy in the international beatboxing realm. Innovative niche-maker in Hawaiian entertainment. Christ-follower. Someone I have known for years and am glad to call friend. That's Jason Tom to me.

Jason Tom is living proof that dreams come true if you work for it! He is a mentor, an inspiration, and continues to be humble through all his achievements. He is a friend to all!

Some people tell you about their dreams. Jason Tom actively pursues it every day.

Jason (or “Spidermon” as I used to call him in Highschool) can be perceived as a bit shy on the surface. He is still the same kind and genuine person as before except now more well-known. He is ready to bust out his beatboxing talent anytime and anywhere and share his passion with anyone willingly to learn and listen.

He exudes a special type of charisma that you can’t help but to feel inspired in his presence. Because you can see the overflowing passion in his eyes while it also tugs at your soul. I know he attributes much of his success and opportunities to GOD, but he is a super hard worker who is constantly working to improve his craft and himself. Because he never settles for just good enough.

The most important thing (I believe), is that he has not forgotten he is human-- who lives and hurts just like the rest of us. But he is able to turn the negatives and use it as incentives for positive development.

If you ever have doubts in yourself, Jason is the living proof that anything is possible.


Jason Tom is my very talented my eyes and experience he is one of the world's best beat box entertainer and a master at his talent in rythms and beats and tones...very first time I saw and met him a few years ago at a event in Aloha Tower Honolulu, when i heard him I knew then he would be as good as he wants to be...keep it up my friend
Rolando Sanchez

Jason is very talented. He can sing, beatbox and draw!

Jason Tom is a pioneer of the art of human beatbox in Hawai. Artist, Educator, Creative Entrepeneur.