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[VIDEO] The Art of Vocal Percussion

We sat down with the Statesmen’s and Pennharmonics’ beat boxer Kyle Howard in our latest video to see just how a vocal percussionist makes all those noises.

Howard has the ability to make several distinct sounds with his mouth, which are called his “perk.”

“No one’s perk is going to sound the same, because no one’s mouth is shaped exactly the same,” he said. Compared to a trumpet, or a manufactured instrument, the mouth is never the same between artists. This means that his sound, or perk, is going to be completely unique to him and his abilities.

Howard started out learning how to perform vocal percussion when he first joined an a capella group. At the time, his sounds were used to fill empty spaces in performances and make the sound overall more professional. Although he normally does not perform alone, he is more than confident in his ability to create and mimic songs.

Text by Jack Lukow, video by Anthony Lestochi.

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