SK Shlomo // Beatbox Superstar.
Richard Freeman’s special guest is SK Shlomo
Simon Shlomo Kahn, better known as Shlomo or SK Shlomo, is one of the world’s most celebrated vocal performers and a pioneer of the art of human beatboxing. Already a prodigious jazz drummer from the age of eight, SK Shlomo made a name for himself in his late teens and early 20s as a world champion beatboxer, collaborating with Björk on the theme song for the opening of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games – which she performed, with Shlomo’s vocal instrumentation, to an audience of 3.9 billion people.
For the following decade, SK Shlomo’s influence on British music was profound – and his establishment of The Vocal Orchestra, the concert series Music Through Unconventional Means and the London Beatbox Academy saw him creating music for theatre, major music festivals, film and digital music resources for education and inclusion programmes.
In 2007, SK Shlomo was appointed Artist-In-Residence at London’s Southbank Centre, and his wide-ranging collaborations include artists as diverse as Damon Albarn, Ed Sheehan, Lily Allen, Imogen Heap and The Mighty Boost and charities such as Cape Farewell and Medecins Sans Frontier.
His award and accolades include Guinness World Records, commendations for his work as a composer and recognition for his advancement of loop station technology – something now regularly used by mainstream artists in live performance.
Richard first met SK Shlomo when developing creative learning projects with young people in North London around 11 years ago, and Shlomo had been commissioned to create a huge and inclusive beatbox choir.
They caught up just before Christmas 2018, and talked about his career and his music ideas – but we mostly focused on the reasons why he suddenly withdrew from public life, why all of this drive and success came at a price and how that experience is now shaping a new and very different musical journey.
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Richard Freeman appeared for always possible and this podcast is produced and edited by CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts.