Music Artist Biography: Who is Jason Tom?

Successful people fail more.”

Jason Tom, TEDx Honolulu Shift Conference

Honolulu native Jason Tom, born on November 21, 1982, is more than meets the eye, he is Hawaii's Human Beatbox. "It's not every guy who gets mistaken for a boombox. Jason Tom is a walking, talking instrument; an energetic combination of drums, snare, vocals and synthesizer, all replicated using his voice."

This southpaw, holds the microphone with his right, and expresses vocal percussion music with his left. He has opened shows for Michael Winslow, Reeps One, Blue Scholars, the Jabbawockeez, and Quest Crew. He has performed live with Tom Thum, Jake Shimabukuro, Bruce Shimabukuro, Imua & Tiffa Garza, Kapena, Kamuela Kahoano, Taimane Gardner, and Makana.

"Autobots Transform and Roll Out!"

Jason Tom’s sister audio engineered his first Human Beatbox recording, when he was at the tender age of six, to MIchael Jackson “Bad” on a music cassette tape. He kept with it behind the scenes through the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s before emerging to the live music circuit at age 21.

He was born again and re-dedicated his life to God on October 24, 2008. His Chinese name 譚志豪 means "will," "many aspirations" and "a person of outstanding talent." Tom is a Xenniel, a bridge between the Generation X and Millennial cohorts. He was raised by those of the Greatest Generation, Silent Generation, and Baby Boomer cohorts.

“Jason Tom's rendition of Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' is a spectacle of showmanship. From the first drum and snare beats, the song is recognizable, and you wonder how so many sounds could be coming from one person's mouth. Add to this Tom's signature Michael Jackson moves, from the hip thrust to the hand jive. He glides across the floor in a smooth moonwalk, a move that typically gets enthusiastic approval from audiences.”

Jason Tom attended McKinley High School in Honolulu, where he was a two-year letterman in soccer and judo. His judo coach and team called him "Spider-Man." He was nominated "Mr. Aloha" at the McKinley Senior Prom and he was recipient of the McKinley Tigers' "Mr. Hustle" Soccer Award.

During the post September 11th season, at age 19, he took a college break and relocated to San Francisco. He worked at a furniture warehouse while he trained in judo. He won gold medals at judo tournaments held at San Jose State University, and City College of San Francisco. At 21, upon his return to Honolulu, he had won a third place judo trophy weeks prior to his collision with an SUV that rendered him unconscious as a pedestrian. He was rushed to an emergency room. That stormy night was a scare for his family. Next morning, his family took him to see "the Passion of the Christ." That impact was a "wake up" call and the "turning point" of his life. He returned to college and followed through on pursuing his beatboxing career in music, entertainment and the performing arts.

He graduated Phi Theta Kappa and was a math supplemental instructor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Kapiʻolani, and was a Freeman scholar at Beijing Foreign Studies University. He then enrolled in "Music Business" and "Audio Engineering" classes at Belmont University and University of Hawaii at Honolulu's MELE program. His favorite courses included music business, public relations in the music industry, music publishing, history of recording technology, audio engineering, psychology, English, Chinese, math, voice, and music in world cultures. He was vocally coached by Lina Doo and Cat Wong.

Hawaii hip hop pioneers Kutmaster Spaz, Skill Roy, East 3, and local beatboxers Radical Rob "Onekea," Gizmo, Re-Run, and Joevon Brown paved the way in the 1980s and beyond for human beatbox artists like Jason Tom to put Honolulu on the map with the fifth element of hip hop art of beatboxing. He established the Human Beatbox Academy that perpetuates the art of beatboxing throughout the state of Hawaii and beyond.

Jason Tom is a fourth-generation American of Hawaii Chinese descent, and a four-time HawaiiSlam First Thursdays' Top 12 Performance Poet Grand Finalist. He is McDonald's TOP 3 NextNext Music Artist Grand Finalist, Hawaii Scene Choice Award's Best Performer, Na Hoku"It's not every guy who gets mistaken for a boombox. Jason Tom, one of Hawaii's most visible beatboxers, is a walking, talking instrument; an energetic combination of drums, snare, vocals and synthesizer, all replicated using his voice." Hanohano Award nominee, and Best of Honolulu Weekly's Local Musician Deserving of a Wider Audience. He qualified and was nominated for the Beatbox Battle World Championship.

He has presented the art of beatboxing at TEDx Talks, KS EdTech, Chevron Speech Festival, Mighty4, Rock the School Bells, Estria Graffiti Invintational Grand Finals, International Human Beatbox Convention, American Beatbox Championships, Early College, Hawaii Children & Youth Day, Hawaii Book & Music Festival, Kroc Center Night Market, Honolulu Night Market, Art & Flea Boom Bap, Art & Flea Mililani, Chinese New Year Festival, Brown Bags to Stardom. He's presented beatboxing on tour for Music With A Message, Say Yes to Purpose, Not Even Once, and RAP: Real And Powerful. He has been a featured human beatbox artist in productions Creation, HI*Sessions Acoustic Live, Hip-Hopalypse, Beatbox Battle TV, Art & Flea Do What You Love Series, GEAR Up's College is For Everyone, RAW artists, Swiss Beatbox, Puja Dance, and Femme Capulet.

Jason Tom's rendition of Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' is a spectacle of showmanship. From the first drum and snare beats, the song is recognizable, and you wonder how so many sounds could be coming from one person's mouth. Add to this Tom's signature Michael Jackson moves, from the hip thrust to the hand jive. He glides across the floor in a smooth moonwalk, a move that typically gets enthusiastic approval from audiences.”

Tracy Chan, Metromix Cover Story

Jason Tom is a talented young man who is far ahead of his time. I met Jason while I emceed a TEDx Talk in Honolulu. I have interviewed many people in my time as a TV news reporter and anchor. Jason is one of the most memorable people I have met! He is not only talented, but he genuinely cares about others. Whatever Jason touches, he brings his aloha, talent and faith with him.”

— Angela Keen

Performances and presentations at..... 
UNIVERSITIES & COLLEGES 

  • Chaminade University Silverswords
  • City College of San Francisco (entered and won judo competition)
  • Hawaiʻi Pacific University Sharks (formerly known as Sea Warriors)
  • Honolulu Community College
  • Leeward Community College
  • San Jose State University (entered and won judo competition)
  • Tokai University (Hawaiʻi Tokai International College)
  • University of Hawaiʻi at Kapiʻolani Community College
  • University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Rainbow Warriors 
  • University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies 
  • University of Phoenix Birds    
  • Windward Community College 

PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS 

  • Campbell High School Sabers
  • Castle High School Knights
  • Farrington High School Govenors
  • Kahuku High School Red Raiders
  • Kailua High School Surf Riders
  • Kaimukī High School Bulldogs
  • Kalaheo High School Mustangs
  • Kalani High School Falcons
  • Nānākuli High School Hawks 
  • President William McKinley High School Tigers
  • Moanalua High School Menehunes
  • Pearl City High School Chargers
  • Radford High School Rams
  • President Theodore Roosevelt High School Rough Riders 
  • Waipahu High School Marauders

PUBLIC MIDDLE SCHOOLS  

  • Central Middle School Bulldogs 
  • Highlands Intermediate  
  • Kaimuki Middle School Voyagers 
  • Nanakuli Intermediate Hawks  
  • Niu Valley Middle School  
  • Waipahu Intermediate Marauders 
  • Washington Middle School Eagles

PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS 

  • Āina Haina Elementary School 
  • Ala Wai Elementary School 
  • Aliʻiolani Elementary School Aliʻi Warriors 
  • Hahaioni Elementary School 
  • Hokulani Elementary School 
  • Jefferson Elementary School 
  • Kahala Elementary School 
  • Kalihi Elementary School 
  • Kalihi-Uka Elementary School 
  • Kalihi-Waena Elementary School 
  • Kamiloiki Elementary School 
  • Kauluwela Elementary School Tiger Cubs 
  • Koko Head Elementary School Cobras 
  • Kūhiō Elementary School 
  • Liholiho Elementary School Aliʻi Warriors
  • Likelike Elementary School 
  • Lincoln Elementary School 
  • Lunalilo Elementary School 
  • Maʻemaʻe Elementary School 
  • Mānoa Elementary School 
  • Noelani Elementary School 
  • Nuʻuanu Elementary School 
  • Pālolo Elementary School 
  • Pauoa Elementary School 
  • Puuhale Elementary School 
  • Royal Elementary School 
  • Waiau Elementary School 
  • Waikīkī Elementary School Warriors 

PRESCHOOLS

  • Mililani Baptist Preschool
  • Waikiki Community Center Preschool

CHARTER SCHOOLS 

  • Hakipuu Learning Center)  
  • Kamakau School 

PRIVATE SCHOOLS 

  • Hawaiʻi Baptist Academy Eagles 
  • ʻIolani School Red Raiders
  • Kamehameha Schools Warriors
  • Mid-Pacific Institute Owls 
  • Word of Life Academy Firebrands
Jason Tom is a local beatboxer sharing his distinct sounds around the world, and to local keiki through his 'music with a message.'”

Jill Kuramoto, KITV4 News

ACCOLADES / HONORS / AWARDS / NOMINATIONS

  • The Opening Act, the world’s largest online music competition ROUND 5: Jason Tom finished 6TH PLACE OVERALL and was a 4X 1ST PLACE QUARTER-FINALIST, 2021. Jason Tom supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 320 contestants.
  • The Opening Act, the world’s largest online music competition ROUND 4 of the  GROUP WINNERS ROUND: Jason Tom - 1ST PLACE CHAMPION, 2021. Jason Tom supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 1,600 contestants.
  • The Opening Act, the world’s largest online music competition ROUND 3 of the TOP 5 PRELIMINARIES: Jason Tom - 1ST PLACE CHAMPION, 2021. Jason Tom supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 3,200 contestants.
  • The Opening Act, the world’s largest online music competition ROUND 2 of the TOP 10 ROUND PRELIMINARIES: Jason Tom - 1ST PLACE CHAMPION, 2021. Jason Tom supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 4,800 contestants.
  • The Opening Act, the world’s largest online music competition ROUND 1: TOP 15 ROUND PRELIMINARIES: Jason Tom - 1ST PLACE CHAMPION, 2021. Jason Tom supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 10,560 contestants. 
  • HawaiiSlam's First Thursdays Grand Slam Finals: Jason Tom - Top 12 Performance Poet Grand Slam Finalist, 2019. First Thursdays is the world’s largest registered poetry slam and open mic competition.
  • McDonald's of Hawaii's NextNext Music Competition Grand Finals: Jason Tom - 3rd Place Grand Champion, 2016. State of Hawaii’s largest statewide music competition. Jason Tom supported the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
  • HawaiiSlam's First Thursdays Grand Slam Finals: Jason Tom - Top 12 Performance Poet Grand Slam Finalist, 2016. First Thursdays is the world’s largest registered poetry slam and open mic competition.
  • Beatbox Battle World Championship: Jason Tom nominated Professional Vocal Percussion Artist, 2015. Beatbox Battle TV is the world’s largest beatboxing archive and organizes the World Cup of beatboxing known as the Beatbox Battle World Championship. The world’s largest beatbox battle competition.
  • HawaiiSlam's First Thursdays Grand Slam Finals: Jason Tom - Top 12 Performance Poet Grand Slam Finalist, 2015. First Thursdays is the world’s largest registered poetry slam and open mic competition.
  • HawaiiSlam's First Thursdays Grand Slam Finals: Jason Tom - Top 9 Performance Poet Grand Slam Finalist, 2012. First Thursdays is the world’s largest registered poetry slam and open mic competition.
  • TEDx Honolulu "It's About Time" Presenter Award: Jason Tom “Vocal Groove” TEDx Talks Presentation (Recipient), 2011. TED stands for “Technology Entertainment Design,” a conference with the motto, “ideas worth spreading.” TEDx Talks is an independently organized TED conference.
  • Hawaii Scene Choice Awards: Jason Tom - Best Solo Performer (Winner), 2011.
  • Best of Honolulu Weekly's Local Musician Deserving of a Wider Audience: Jason Tom (Winner), 2010.
  • Na Hono Hanohano Awards - Best R&B and Hip Hop Album - Nobody Owns Me by Faioso. "I'm Movin' On" track by Faioso featuring Jason Tom the Human Beatbox (Nominee), 2010.
  • Hawaii’s Got Talent, Hawaii’s largest statewide talent competition, 4th Place Grand Finalist Champion: Jason Tom, 2009
  • Hawaii’s Got Talent, Hawaii’s largest statewide talent competition, 1st Place Semi-Finalist Champion: Jason Tom, 2009.
  • Word of Life Emerge Talent Show Grand Finals, statewide talent competition: Jason Tom - 1st Place Runner Up Grand Finals Champion, 2009.
  • Word of Life Emerge Talent Show Semi-Finals, statewide talent competition: Jason Tom - 1st Place Semi-Finals Champion, 2008.
  • KCC Student Talent Show, campus wide talent competition, Top 6 Finalist: Jason Tom - 4th Place Champion, Fall 2007.
  • KCC Student Talent Show, campus wide talent competition, Top 6 Finalist: Jason Tom - 4th Place Champion, Spring 2007.
  • KCC Student Talent Show, campus wide talent competition, Top 6 Finalist: Jason Tom - 5th Place Champion, Fall 2006.
  • KCC Student Talent Show, campus wide talent competition, Top 6 Finalist: Jason Tom - 3rd Place Champion, Spring 2006.
  • KCC Student Talent Show, campus wide talent competition, contestant: Jason Tom, Fall 2005.
  • KCC Student Talent Show, campus wide talent competition, contestant: Jason Tom & friend, Spring 2005.
  • KCC Student Talent SHow, campus wide talent competition, contestant: Jason Tom, Fall 2004.
  • JasonTom.com Presents China Beatbox Tour, 2008 

National Act Openers

WORD OF LIFE EMERGE TALENT SHOW & HAWAII'S GOT TALENT (STATEWIDE)

KAPIʻOLANI COLLEGE COMMUNITY TALENT SHOWS (CAMPUS WIDE)

Asian Avenue: Asian American Online Community