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My Heroes and Influences

April 21, 2017 at 10:07PM

Many of my heroes and influences are the people I grew up with and some are those I have watched from afar. Many I've met and many I haven't. My heroes include my family, relatives, friends, colleagues, past and presentAcademy beatboxers, people of all walks, my fans, and the community. Here is a list of those you may or may not recognize who I have been inspired by and have been influenced by in one way or another.

  • Maximus Ornelas (Sep 7, 2001 - Feb 26, 2017; age 15)
    I have not met or known of Maximus George Ornelas until today when I stumbled upon his obituary article in the Yakima Herald and I read that he had passed on due to a severe asthma attack and that one of his passions is to beatbox.

I looked if he had a Facebook and discovered he had videos uploaded of him beatboxing and I watched them.. I can tell he was really into it and that he was very passionate about it. I also noticed that the photo used for the orbituary that he has on a Legend of Zelda hat.. that's one of my all-time favorite Nintendo Entertainment Series video games. It would have been nice to have met this young talented beatboxer.

My heart, thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to his family, his friends, Lacrosse Middle School classmates, Christian Worship Center pastors and congregation and all those that will greatly miss him. I am in agreement that he is with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! As a born again beatboxer and I too have experienced asthma attacks... so severe I nearly lost my life.

The testimony of Maximus is a miracle when I read the article and I felt compelled to reach out to his family by reaching out with my sincere message of condolences, prayers, encouragement, edification, and support.

  • Gene Kelly (Aug 23, 1912 - Feb 2, 1996; age 83)

    Gene Kelly is known for how he presented dance choreography in his MGM Grand classic such as "Singin' in the Rain," "An American in Paris" and "On the Town" that also featured Frank Sinatra to name several! Here is "Good Morning" performed by Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor! A gem from Singin' in the Rain.
  • Bruce Lee (Nov 27, 1940 - Jul 20, 1973; age 32)

    Bruce Lee is influential in my life where he inspired me in the way he expressed himself as a true martial arts fighter. His self-discipline and work ethic is ahead of its time. What he demonstrated on film through his martial arts and philosophies are being applied today by martial artists and non martial around the world today. During the years of childhood when I was physically bullied in school, Bruce Lee's movies were helpful in the way it gave me the confidence to defend myself when I replicated his fighting moves when I defended myself against the bullies and it worked. I am inspired he taught his own kung fu called Jun Fan Gung Fu or translated as Bruce Lee's Kung Fu and opened his first martial arts school called the Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute in Seattle, Washington and a second school in Oakland, California. Bruce Lee's philosophies also showed he is more than brawn and that he indeed had an intellect and his philosophies can still be applied to anything and everything in daily life. One of my favorite quotes of his is, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." I apply this very principle to when I practice and work on and isolate a single beatboxing sound. That could be the bass kick drum, hi-hat or snare. I'd work on a single sound repetitiously to master it to develop the greatest characteristic for the sound and carry out the emotional intent behind it. My favorite Bruce Lee film is the Way of the Dragon where he fought the World Karate Champion Chuck Norris in the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. Great fight choreography!
  • Bobby McFerrin (Mar 11, 1950 - age 67)

    As most people are familiar with multi-Grammy Award winning jazz musician and vocalist Bobby McFerrin, I grew up hearing his hit classic "Don't Worry, Be Happy" on the radio. Others are also familiar that he did the Bill Cosby Show theme song. When I watched Bobby McFerrin's Spontaneous Inventions Music DVD, I was literally blown away how he floored a crowd of just him and his voice and one microphone. All improvisational too. He had guest musicians join him as well. This blew me away and had a very significant impact in my life.
  • Michael Jackson (Aug 29, 1958 - Jun 25, 2009; age 50)

    Michael Jackson was huge in the 1980s and 1990s and was known popularly as the King of Pop, Rock and Soul. His song Bad from his album of the same title compelled me to start beatboxing at the age of 4. It was his follow up album to Bad, Dangerous that became the foundation of my beatboxing style and sounds. The Michael Jackson Dangerous album is the biggest selling New Jack Swing album of all time that was produced by Teddy Riley. New Jack Swing is a fusion of the production style of boom bap hip-hop with the melodies of rhythm and blues. The soulful, strong and hard hitting snare that is used in boom bap hip-hop is still today my favorite snare to listen to in music and also apply in my beatboxing. My world class beatbox colleagues have shared with me personally that they enjoyed hearing my inward snare in person, because it is one cleanest they've heard. My inward snare is probably of another era. One of my favorite Michael Jackson songs and short film music videos of his is "Jam" where Michael Jackson is joined by basketball superstar Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is another hero of many including mine. I think everyone during his active years wanted to be like Michael Jordan. I even aspired to play in the National Basketball Association, and after I gave that a shot during a high school basketball summer league I learned that playing in the NBA is far from my calling. I knew then it was time to wrap that up and move on.
  • Michael Winslow (Sep 6, 1958 - age 58), the Man of 10,000 Sound Effects

    Michael Winslow is someone I grew up watching as a kid growing up in the 1980s in the Police Academy films. Yes, Michael Winslow is also that guy in the Geico Commercial and the Spaceballs movie. I eventually was booked by an events producer to open for Michael Winslow and that is when I met and hung out with my childhood hero back stage. Here is a collaboration Michael Winslow did with Reggie Watts.
  • Dale Keown (Jul 23,1962 - age 54)

    ​Dale Keown is one of my all time favorite comic book artists and pencillers. He is known for his run with writer Peter David on Marvel Comics' the Incredible Hulk and the "New" Incredible Hulk. He also created Pitt during his run with Image Comics and then Full Bleed and Top Cow Productions.  He also penciled Mark Turner's creation The Darkness. Above images are of his artwork of Hulk in the Marvel Comics 9/11 (September 11th) tribute "Heroes" and "Pitt Happens" from one of Pitt's t-shirts.
  • Biz Markie (Apr 8, 1964 - age 53)

    Biz Markie, you may know Biz Markie from his classic hit, "You've Got A Friend," and from Biz' Beat of the Day on the children's television show Yo Gabba Gabba!
  • Rahzel (Oct 6, 1964 - age 52) the Godfather of Noyze

    Rahzel the Godfather of Noyze is an honorary member of The Roots. He is the original designated beatboxer for The Roots before Scratch came on board after Rahzel embarked on a solo tour to promote his single "All I know" produced by Pete Rock. I love Rahzel's "Make the Music 2000" and "Rahzel's Greatest Knock Outs" albums, classic gems. I had the honor of meeting Rahzel in person of the two times I've been in New York City. Truly a humbling experience. Many are familiar of his tribute routine of Aliyah's "If Your Girl Only Knew" and remixed it as "If Your Mother Only Knew," and also giving his original interpretation to Black Sabbath's rock anthem "Iron Man." Rahzel is also the CEO of Beatbox University and Beatbox University Records.
  • Doug E. Fresh (Sep 17, 1966 - age 50)

    Doug E Fresh was coined as the first human beatbox by DJ Barry B. Doug E Fresh also influenced the "Teach Me How to Dougie" song. Here is Doug E Fresh's collaboration with American Idol beatboxer Blake Lewis.
  • Darren Robinson of the Fat Boys (Jun 10, 1967 – Dec 10, 1995; age 28)

    Darren Robinson also known as Buffy, DJ Doc Nice, and the Human Beatbox of the rap trio Fat Boys. Here's one of their classics featuring Buffy's beatboxing!
  • Brandi Chastain (Jul 21, 1968 - age 48)

    ​When the US Women's soccer team and Brandi Chastain won the FIFA Women's World Cup Final in 1999, I was inspired me to try out for soccer. I was not athletic or into sports growing up, but as soon as I discovered soccer. I discovered I grew passionate about it so much so I pursued to be a professional soccer player. It's a sport that my coach instilled in us team work and character. It was also great how he had the motto, "mind over matter.. if it don't mind, then it don't matter," when we would do conditioning and that motto stuck with me as endurance and perseverance. I finished my senior high school soccer season as my team's leading goal scorer. I played as the left forward (striker).
  • DJ QBert (Oct 7, 1969 - age 47)

  • Dwayne Johnson "The Rock" (May 2, 1972 - age 45)

  • Pharrell Williams (Apr 5, 1973 - age 44)

  • Jake Shimabukuro (Nov 3, 1976 - age 40)

    Jake Shimabukuro is an incredible inspiration of mine with what he has dedicated to one instrument the ukulele. I first knew of him through documentaries that aired on local channels and PBS Hawaii. When I first met Jake, I told him that he's one of my greatest inspirations and that what he's doing with the ukulele instrument is what I strive to do with the human vocal beatboxing instrument. Since then we crossed paths as colleagues and have even collaborated. People sometimes say to me that I remind them of Jake Shimabukuro, because we're positive role models for our community. Here is Jake Shimabukuro Electronic Press Kit video.
  • Floyd Mayweather (Feb 24, 1977 - age 40)
    Floyd Mayweather is an incredible fighter! When he fought Oscar De La Hoya in the ring, I rooted for Oscar and Floyd out boxed him. He also fought other great champions such as Ricky Hatton, Sugar Shane Mosley, Manny Pacqiao, and more! His work ethic and training regimen is above and beyond of this world. To become 49-0 as a professional boxer is an astounding feat and it takes a rare type of person to be undefeated in the professional world of combative fighting sports. I used to compete in judo tournaments and I know what it took to be undefeated. I had to lose to learn how to win, and Floyd Mayweather have figured out how to win consistently and remain undefeated. He's a master in boxing and his in-ring ability is said by professional boxers to be of another era. That requires a type of mindset and focus that not every fighter has. I don't know what Conor McGregor is thinking calling out Floyd Mayweather to a boxing match. Conor has already been defeated three times in Mixed Martial Arts, so it seems that Conor just wants a pay day at the end of the day.
  • Beardyman (May 14, 1982 - 34)
  • MC Jin (Jun 4, 1982 - age 34)

    MC Jin is known by many as a successful battle rapper that got signed to the Ruff Ryders major label and won 7 straight weeks to get inducted into the BET Freestyle Friday Hall of Fame. Wyclef Jean produced MC Jin's first single "Learn Chinese." When I first watched MC Jin's Learn Chinese music video and his BET Freestyle Friday emcee battles on YouTube I witnessed a Chinese American rapper with lyrical swag, confidence and charisma. Many Asian Americans like myself can relate to MC Jin's story of having immigrant parents that work in the restaurant business. MC Jin then parted ways from Ruff Ryders and went independent with Crafty Plugz, then Catch Music Group, Universal Music Group Hong Kong, and now with the Great Company. MC Jin inspired me and many Asian American artists that I eventually met him in person and he also gave me a live shout out on stage during his sold out concert at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California that was produced by Wong Fu Productions and the Far East Movement. I have most if not all of his albums such as the Rest is History, The Emcee's Properganda, 100 Grand Jin Mixtape, I Promise (MC Jin's MySpace album), ABC (acronym for American Born Chinese; MC Jin's first Cantonese Chinese rap album), ABC (Hong Kong edition), Crazy Love Ridiculous Faith, XIV:LIX (Roman numero for 14:59). He recently released his new album for free entitled "Nobody's Listening." Here is MC Jin freestyling on Sway in the Morning's Doomsday Cypher.
  • Killa Kela (1983)
My colleagues:

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Love your heroes :D Some of them at are mine too. Amazing journey and talent. But more importantly, you have a beautiful Soul and spirit Jason, and it's really nice to meet people like you :)


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Honolulu native Jason Tom, Hawaiʻi's Human Beatbox, is reaching the multitudes today as an American born again professional beatboxer, founder and teacher of the Human Beatbox Academy curriculum, TEDx presenter, keynote speaker, voice actor, host,  mathematics coach, moonwalker, men's life group leader, church volunteer, Chinese language and culture scholar, and author of the Jason Tom Music, Hip Hop And Faith Life Blog. His blog is page viewed 2.2 million times by 2 million unique visitors and adoring readers like you from around the world.  "Quality over quantity." 

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Jason Tom is an outgoing guy who is not afraid to make new friends. He is a passionate guy who loves to share life with others through his music & faith. It's been really nice getting to know Jason & all the dope places God is taking him!

To me Jason Tom is a very talented young man that's on a mission from God to not only entertain but to touch the heart and spirit of every single person in his path. He understands that life doesn't always turn out the way we want or expect it to be but that with God all things are possible. He truly cares about people and is filled with the love of God and that is why I feel he does what he does. That to me is who Jason Tom is.

Jason, Mahalo for writing & sharing. That was so inspiring, healing, & filled with so much love & light !!! May everyone be blessed on our allumined paths, and as we welcome this new year that we remember how loved we all are & to choose love, light, and happiness. Thank you for reminding us! Brings a smile to my face, warms my heart, and happy tears to my eyes :)

I find ur story very inspiring my friend. Thx for sharing it. I also lost my Dad and I know it's not easy talking about those kind of things. You are a MIGHTY MAN OF GOD and I know that God's best is yet to come. Alright my braddah! Merry Christmas to you and ur family!

So awesome Jason!

Congratulations jason you are the man,i hope you have a nice dream!

Congratulations Tom! Keep brimming from the heart beat.

Dr. Miko

Congratulation're the best beatboxer

Congratulations Jason! So proud of you and excited for all that the Lord is doing in and through you!

Much congratulations JT,

You've definitely come a long way since the very beginning of your beat boxing career many years ago. Congrats on the new collaboration with HI Sessions and for reminding us all to be persistent and keep pursuing our dreams.

So 3 million hits should be coming up soon right? :)

- Hio

God loves you too. His love for everyone of us is unconditional love. In math is limiteless.

Hello! Great dancer and beatboxer. Would be honored to cruise with this awesome guy.

Go Jason!!! Keep climbing that ladder and and make us all proud!!!

Congratulations!!!!!! Youpiiiii

Wow !! Congratulations !!! My friend from Hawaï !!! I hope to meet and work with you one day !! Peace and maximum respect !!

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Jason Tom is a trail blazer as a professional beatboxer, teacher, speaker, voice actor, math coach, men's life group leader, and life blog author.

Happy Birthday Kiyoshi! My brother in Christ Jesus, fellowship and faith! I honor this Mighty Man of God on this special Day.
Happy Birthday to this Mighty Man of God, Honor, Strength, and Valor John Lum! I venerate and celebrate this brother in Christ, faith, truth, and love on this special Day. This photo is of us when John Lum sent me to my fourth Encounter weekend. Praise the Lord! -Jason
Had a powerful Life Group with Nate and Kiyoshi, equipped Men of Honor and Strength! We are strengthened Today with the charge of first things first that Father God has deposited into our hearts as we seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness. We're stepping up this season to run our race to accomplish Kingdom goals. Thank you Holy Spirit for showing up and showing out on this Day that the Lord has made called Today. God, thank You for crowning our year with Your Goodness. Jesus, we give you all the Praise and Glory, acknowledging you in all our ways and we thank you Lord for ordering our every step.

Anointed to go, we've prepared our hearts for classes, services and meetings tomorrow. Our @WordofLifeHi Downtown Honolulu offer 7am, 9am, 11am, and 6pm services. We also have campuses on Oahu in Mililani, West Oahu and Kapolei. Kahului on Maui. Kona on Hawaii Island. Santa Barbara and San Francisco in California.  Overseas in Yokohama, Japan and Okinawa. Blessings to you this year of new beginnings.  Also I lift up @cesarcaste, @claudiacaste, @art_sepulveda, @kunasepulveda, @wallymatanza, @pmatanza, @isaiahmatanza808, and Nicole Farmer in prayer for the International #G12Conference in Bogota, Columbia.
Calling all Mighty Men, iron sharpens iron. Join me and fellow Mighty Men of valor at our Life Group for strengthening today at Ala Moana Center, 3pm. Be edified, encouraged and exhorted with a charge for this season of new beginnings. Crown our year this Day with God's goodness. See you there!

Here is a scriptural prayer for us:
As I prophesy Your Word, great things happen. I am a vessel for You Lord, You are my potter, and I am Your clay. Though my outward man maybe decaying, my inward man is renewed day by day. My youth is renewed like the eagles and like Moses, my eyes are not growing dim nor is my strength gone. I will not forget any of the Lord's benefits because You forgave all my iniquities, and You healed all my diseases. You satisfy my desires with good things. You redeemed my life from the pit, and crowned me with Your love and compassion. I release Christ in me, and I can hear the sound of an abundance of blessings. Praise the Lord, it is coming my way! Glory be to God I am reigning in life through Jesus Christ.
#latepost Post prayer night of prayer week with brothers Kiyoshi, Nathan and John Lum at Word of Life.
Thank you Pastor Wally Matanza for pouring onto the men you've led and are mentoring, including me, today. Thank you for not ever giving up your faith in me and for exhortation. I pray for supernatural protection, provision and traveling mercies as you, Patti and Isaiah reach nations. I recall when I first arrived at Word of Life and how one of the leaders you've mentored consolidated me. I will not forget how Jarmal impacted my life and my early walk with God as a baby Christian. He eventually got married and moved to the mainland. Then 2016 was when God called me back to your team. And from 2016 through 2017 the Holy Spirit counseled me to remain faithful to the leadership of John Lum. The Holy Spirit then counseled me on what I needed to do when I acknowledged Him in all of my ways and Father God ordered my steps. Then I got called to step up this season as one of your 12 and one of Word of Life's 144 Life Group leaders, an irrevocable call. As a man of God, it is an honor to serve among our team of mighty men of valor Rick, Paul, Shawn, John, Jordan, Mario, Sonny, Laneke, Michael, Nathan, Jason C., and Louis. I miss you Darius! This year 2018 is a year of new beginnings. Thank you Jesus for your glory, kindness, goodness, presence, and power!
Congratulations to Maryknoll basketball point guard Rhianne. Awesome victory at the Maryknoll Senior Game with the Punahou Buff 'N Blue! Joined here with my Life Group brother Nathan.
Great game! Maryknoll Spartan Basketball Senior Game versus Punahou Buff 'N Blue. Congratulations to the Maryknoll Spartan Basketball Seniors! Watched this game with senior athletes Taylor, Ciera, Kayla, and company. Big up to my Life Group brother Nathan for the invite.
Spoke at Waipahu High School's Career Day! Thank you Marauders!




Jason Tom is a trail blazer as a professional beatboxer, teacher, speaker, voice actor, math coach, men's life group leader, and life blog author.

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