Menu

Jason Tom - Official Site

Girl Fest Interview

October 28, 2011 at 04:50AM

Jason Tom featured in an exclusive interview for November's edition of Girl Fest Hawaii's monthly e-zine, "What's Going On." Sign up for the Girl Fest newsletter here.

Our Conscious Brothers
An Interview with Jason Tom
The "Human Beatbox"

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!

GFH: Where did you grow up, what do you do (your passion), and who were your influences?

JT: I grew up in Honolulu's Chinatown on the island of Oahu since the early 80s. I believe we are the agents of change. Bay Area California beatboxer Elaine Chao indirectly influenced me to get into the beatbox performing after I caught her 2003 Showtime At The Apollo performance on television. My biggest beatbox influence to date is Rahzel. We met at the International Human Beatbox Convention in the Big Apple and I was at a complete loss for words.

GFH: You teach downtown. Please give details and highlight some girls you teach, if possible.

JT: I opened up the Human Beatbox Academy at the ArtSmith on Smith Street across from Little Village restaurant. Class is every Wednesday from 3:30pm-6:15pm and we welcome all ages and genders. The first class is free. My youngest [student] was 4-year-old Tinkerbell. Her older brother Chase was my most enthused student. Maylene is my current regular female student and she picks it up well. Her tempo is great and she's creative with the curriculum taught. 

Working with my students from scratch is exciting because they progress and develop and grow with the art of beatboxing. On occasion they even perform with me on stage. In 2010 my youngest was 7-year-old Pele when I taught at the Diverse Art Center on Queen Street and she had a lot of fun. Female enrollment for beatboxing was at a high [then], too.

I think some might have an impression that beatboxing is a guy thing. Some parents say they want to enroll their son but do not think it is for their daughter. As I mentioned, Elaine Chao (www.gotspit.com) influenced me to get into performing after seeing her rock the stage beatboxing on TV. I think if it weren't for her I do not think I would be performing as soon as I did as a beatboxer.

GFH: What kinds of things do you promote as an artist. What's important to you?

Expression, communication, encouragement, education, literacy, languages, tapping into creative outlets, perseverance, play, travel, the arts, faith, fashion, and [teaching] our youth. I believe that a teacher's number one priority and objective is to take initiative to be a leader of his or her community and positively impacting our generation. [Teachers] also should also value the students overall well being and concerned about their environment. Sexual harassment and domestic violence against women concern me. Human nature concerns me-- how people attack one another either verbally, physically or passive aggressively. Bullying and adult bullying at work is also a serious issue.

GFH: What do you know about the roots of hip-hop and how do you feel about how the Hip-Hop genre has changed?

JT: There is a lot I don't know that I'm consistently learning. Hip-Hop is recognized as having "four pillars" in the arts of writing (aerosol art), deejaying, b-boying/b-girling, and emceeing. There are also other elements that play into the culture such as knowledge, beatboxing, fashion, etc.

As with any art or culture, Hip-Hop evolves for the better, for the worse, and in between. There is a watered-down version that degrades and objectifies women in a light that does not honor females. However, I don't think Hip-Hop is to blame. "Mainstream media" is to blame for degrading our younger generation with messages to dumb them down-- distracting us away from the truth and good news. Hip-Hop that uplifts a community, with lyrical content of depth and substance at its core, still exists. There are Hip-Hop jams today that strive to stay true to Hip-Hop culture and I highly recommend it for anyone to check events like these out. ***


Jason with his hanai little brother, bringing up the next gen!

Girl Fest also recommends you check Jason's classes out at:
The Human Beatbox Academy (of the ArtSmith)
1116 Smith Street, #215
Honolulu, HI 96817

Go Back

Comment

Get Jason Tom Newsletter

Blog Feedback

Good job homie! Keep doing you! And keep up the good work!!

Hey, sharp! Can’t wait for the episode. Pretty stoked to see what you do there. My friend’s @hi sessions are so dope. Glad they brought you on!

Cheers!

Hey Jason,
Glad to see you still performing! Keep up the good work! Hopefully, you'll come back to the Bay area soon!

love the caption "Her math tutor can dance". :)

What a beautiful tribute to your dad! He must be so proud of you. Thank you for your labor of love to your students and to the community.

Happy labor day,
Interesting read.

Jason you are awesome, so focused and committed to your craft and compelled to share and educate others. Human Beatbox Academy?!?! WHAT!?! Amazing, I didn't even know. Keep it up, look forward to our future encounters my friend.

Amazing performance of dance using sound and body. Your have an amazing flow.
Keep sharing that talent of yours!

Yup bro yu are awesome as I am big fan of beat box and yu ar beatboxer as I am fan of yu tool.

That was amazing!!! Beatboxing and doing the moonwalk at the same time!!! Mind-blown dude!

Amazing job. proud of yah bud. keep it up

Way to go my friend! So proud of you Jason!!!

I'm so glad I got to see you perform Jason! You were awesome!

Dawg u get um no worries keep doin wut u love braddah

It was great seeing you perform and meeting new people.

Categories

Blog Posts

View older posts »

Blog Months

Instagram

jasontomblog

Child of the 1980's and child of God, #JasonTom, Hawaiʻi's Human Beatbox, is a mathematician moonwalker who sings music with his voice. #jasontomblog

So great to reunite with Angela Keen! Tonight, I had an honor to volunteer my time at Shriner's Hospital with Prisma Dance as we cheered the young patients there up. I beatboxed and danced for them and offered beatbox lessons. They rocked the microphone and all. They were incredible! I loved every moment, especially when one of the patients in his wheelchair rocked the beatboxing on my microphone and my dance buddy Henry danced to his beatboxing. That was something I had not seen in all 13 of my years performing live. It was rewarding to see their smiles and the patients enjoying himself and herself. All of the dancers did great too from ballet, jazz, acrobatics to hip hop, and our dance contest. I loved it all!

As for Angela Keen, growing up in Honolulu I watched her as a news anchor and I didn't think then that she'd one day interview me at the First Inaugural TEDx Honolulu Conference years back. She asked me great questions. She also knows my good friend Jody Kamisato and I told her he said, \
Spent quality time performing music, dance, and sharing words of edification, encouragement, honor, praise, desserts, and prayers with Prisma Dance to our brave and strong American veterans at US Vets in Barber's Point Kapolei last week. Here Hiro and I improvised on our viola and beatbox collaboration. We had blessed time.

PC: Brian Bat
I want to thank those of you who inbox'd me and inquired about my Hisessions shoot. My Hi Sessions episodes is in post production. I had a great time shooting with the Hi Sessions team. I just followed up with them and heard my episodes could launch December of this year or January of next year. People who have written shared with me that they can't wait and are buzzing about it right at this moment. Me too. Very exciting. Stay plugged in! I will keep you posted!
First Inaugural Rock The School Bells Hawaii Conference at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus. Dance, breakdance and beatbox workshop! What? Yes!

Other workshops included the dj and producer workshop, emcee and rap workshop, writing and aerosol canvas art workshop.
I am grateful and blessed to have an honor to have volunteered my time with Prisma Dance and to have performed for, converse with and pray for our brave and strong American veterans at US Vets in Barber's Point Kapolei last week. I am grateful to our American veterans for having served our great and beautiful nation.

2017 is wrapping up. What a fruitful year 2017 is. The biggest loss was when I lost my father on this Father's Day. I've honored my father's last wishes for what he wants and wanted me to fulfill in life. I am also working on another one of his final wish for me. My father didn't make it for his 85th birthday. There is not a day I don't think of my father or miss him. Father God has shown my earthly father at his best in my visions and dreams since his passing on multiple occasions that brought great comfort and peace.

Staying productive with the beatboxing....
I've performed for and spoken at...
- Bboy Reunion at Pure Nightclub
- First Friday at Downbeat Lounge
- Rising Melody at Downbeat Lounge
- Kick Butts Day at Hawaii State Capitol
- Revive Christian Fellowship at Iolani School
- Friday Night Flow at Inspire Church Waikele
- Boy Scouts at Iolani School
- Skillz Talk at Pure Nightclub
- Hawaii Baptist Academy
- Sung a song dedicated to my father & spoke at my father's funeral
- 1212 Session Hawaii at Kewalo Basin Kakaako .
- Hawaii Baptist Academy
- Prisma Dance Summer Intensive II
- 6th Annual Pacific Ink & Art Expo at Neal Blaisdell Cente
- Uplift at Ala Moana Centerstage .
- 2nd Annual Taste of Chinatown at the Smith Beretania Park .
- HI Sessions Shoot .
- 3rd Annual Moon Festival at Chinatown Cultural Plaza Moongate St .
- US Vets at Barber's Point Kapolei .
- First Inaugural Rock The School Bells Hawaii Conference at the University of Hawaii at Manoa

I will perform for a hospital and high school reunion party next week. I am grateful to be booked 'til December 2018 as my work is far from done and I am always working on music with my voice called beatboxing. I will meet with clients in the coming weeks to discuss potential tours, endeavors, performances, projects, and what not.

PC: Nicole Lam
First Inaugural Rock The School Bells Hawaii Conference at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus.
B-girl Yoda and I choreographed with students from Kalaukaua Middle and Farrington High School the First Inaugural Rock The School Bells Hawaii Conference Student Showcase Finale at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus Center. Students shared that they really enjoyed how interactive my combined workshop with B-girl Yoda was.. Yoda taught the foundation for breakdancing/b-girling/b-boying dance moves while I taught the foundation for beatboxing and popping slides and glides.

Big mahalo goes out to Freelance Brand, b-girl Yoda, UH Manoa, Diverse Art Center, Rock the School Bells, and all the students and teachers.

VC: Gale on the West Side
This weekend b-girl Yoda invited me to break down the foundation and history of the hip hop element of beatboxing and its relevance to the culture of hip hop in this workshop for the First Inaugural Rock The School Bells Hawaii Conference at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Students have shared that they enjoyed how interactive our combined workshop with b-girl Yoda and I at the Rock the School Bells Hawaii Conference was. B-girl Yoda also invited me to speak at her UH Manoa Hip Hop Literature Class last semester.

I want to thank Freelance Brand, b-girl Yoda, East-3, UH Manoa, Rock the School Bells, Diverse Art Center, and all of the students and teachers.

PC: Gale on the West Side
This weekend b-girl Yoda invited me to co-teach the dance and breakdancing workshop for the First Inaugural Rock the School Bells Hawaii at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. During spring semester, b-girl Yoda invited me to guest speak at her UH Manoa Hip Hop Literature class. This routine combines beatboxing (music with the voice) and dance to perform Billie Jean by Michael Jackson. This was demonstrated for students of Dole Middle School, Kalaukaua Middle School and Farrington High School.

These students then took what they learned from b-girl Yoda and myself and they used it for their student showcase at the Rock the School Bells Hawaii Finale. I want to thank g-girl Yoda, Freelance Brand, East-3, UH Manoa, Rock the School Bells, Diverse Art Center, all of the teachers and students.

VC: Gale on the West Side