In this week’s student spotlight, we sat down with Beat Rhino, a beat boxer who has been featured in multiple Spring Sing performances with groups such as Bruin Harmony. Learn more about how the name came about find out his favorite dining hall!
- Where does the name Beat Rhino come from?
When I started beatboxing, it was with my best friend Eric. One day, one of our friends came up to us and said that Eric’s style is quiet and clean, while mine was powerful like a Rhino. I added “Beat” as a thing that beatboxers sometimes attach to their artist names, like “SFX” (sound effects) in “Faith SFX”.
- Tell us about the beat boxing scene. How did you manage to break into the community?
The global beatboxing scene is small, but definitely has been growing in the past couple decades. There’re still people who don’t know what beatboxing is, but there have been many beatboxing videos that have gone viral and national as well as international beatboxing competitions around the world. Right now, Europe has the biggest scene, followed by the Americas and Asia.
My first breakthrough was winning the 2013 Grand Beatbox Battle Wildcard competition, in which a video I submitted was selected among a hundred or so others. Then I won the American Beatbox Championships for the first time in that same year. I think I won these titles because I had a unique set of sounds and style, as well as putting in a lot of time, being persistent — that was my third wildcard competition, and second national championship, respectively — and being open to jamming with other people.
- Will you pursue beatboxing as a career, or will it become a side interest?
Yes. It already is my career, except I go to school. Maybe if I decide to go into something else later, I’ll keep it as a side interest, but definitely no plans of that as of right now.
- Do you play any other musical instruments?
I played Clarinet for about 7 years til 11th grade, but I haven’t played in a while.
- How does it feel like to be part of the emerging Asian American entertainer movement that’s begun to emerge as a result of websites like Youtube and social media?
It feels great. I feel really blessed that I am recognized and people like what I put out. It’s crazy because when I started coming out on social media, no one knew who I was and I just put out content hoping that people would see it, not expecting big numbers like 1 million views or anything. Even though I don’t have anything close to those numbers still, I have a growing fan base that is really supportive of me, largely because of social media.
I also feel really blessed to be part of the Asian American movement. I guess it’s kind of funny because on some of my videos, people will comment “Level: Asian”.
- What’s your favorite dining hall, and why?
My favorite is Feast. Even though it’s hit or miss and unhealthy, I go there the most. When the food’s good, it’s amazing! And if I don’t like it, I can opt out to other dining halls or off campus restaurants.
- What’s your most iconic freshman year moment?
Performing at Spring Sing with Bruin Harmony. It was awesome because that was the first (and last) year I was in an A Capella group, we had a whole choreography to go with our song, and I had a dubstep solo. It was a really fresh experience. I miss that moment as well as being with the group.
- Where would you recommend students to live on the hill?
The newer Sproul dorms. New, centrally located and close to campus. Hitch would be cool too since it was recently renovated and has a basketball court next to it, although they’re pretty far from classes.
You can check out Beat Rhino’s videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/soulfullhuman/featured