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 ( 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

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Blog Comments

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.

Jason is an amazing beatboxer who captures his audience with his talented array of beats. His desire is not to keep his talent, yet to inspire others to grow their ability to stardom. Generously gives his time and talents to delivery a positive message while he was volunteering for MUSIC WITH A MESSAGE for almost a decade reaching over 10,000 to 20,000 students each year high and middle schools.

Jason Tom is the local prodigy to rise from this little island called Hawaii to become a professional rapper and make it big. But not only that he is very kind and holy and praises Our holy father named Jesus

He is a very friendly and humble guy. He always convinced people to follow their dreams no matter how big or small their dreams are. Since I first saw him in 2006 , he has been my motivation to follow my dreams.

Jason Tom truely is a human beat box. Full of inspired talent in the realm of interpreted beats and sounds, he captivates audiences with his enthusiasm and love for beat boxing and brings people together from all walks of life to share his unique talent and skills in the art. Inspiring people to venture outside of thier comfort zone and to reach for the stars, Jason Tom encourages others to follow thier heart and passions, whatever it may be, in alignment with positivity.

Jason Tom is an aural shaman. In a band, nothing is more important than the rhythm, kept in alignment by the bass or drums. Jason Tom provides that in spades, grounding you in an immaculate surreal soundscape, and plays a perfect host as he establishes the background before he starts to slant the narrative via classy changes until you realize you've been led into a wormhole and have come out of it with extra Hip Hop genotypes that end up becoming phenotypical as you exude a little more street out of your pores as collateral damage from the Jason tom experience, which is what you wanted all along but never realized you did:)

Jason Tom is a professional beat boxer
And also a big inspiration to the youth of Hawaii and many other places
I've talked to him personally and I know that he's a very good person and he follows his dreams
He's full of motivation talent and love for music!