In between working as an emcee and artist manager, 22-year-old Vineeth Vincent is a professional beat boxer and has performed in over 650 shows making it to the list of India’s biggest beat boxer.
A musician and singer, Vineeth picked up beat boxing as a serious career option after watching American Idol contestant Blake Lewis.
A regular at corporate events and other shows in the city, Vineeth claims that he is probably the “only beat boxer right now who is making a good living out of his art.”
The artist offers the story of his survival and the pitfalls to look out for, to aspiring beat boxers and musicians in the city.
It’s been three years, since you have been pursuing beat boxing. What have you learned over the journey?
t’s been a long and difficult ride, after choosing to pursuer beat boxing as a career. It is not easy to make ends meet as a performing artist in India. Show organisers often ask for free performances, or bargain the fee. Then there are performers who get behind the microphone for free, which makes it difficult for all others to ask for a fair price for their performances. I have realised that artistes of all kinds can make a good living, doing what they love, if they know how to market their talent and know how to demand a price for their talent.
The performance art and music industry poses a lot of challenges, in terms of being financially sound. Do you think it is essential to have a fall-back option, or does that divert one’s focus from their art?
Having a fall-back option is good, but knowing one has a back-up plan reduces the intensity on focussing on the main goal in life. In the beginning it might be required for a wannabe professional artist to have an alternate source of income, or financial independence, but the artiste needs to let go of the crutch to develop completely. Right now, there is a desperate need for a social movement to develop the music industry in India. An aspiring artiste does not need the current educational format. A more art-oriented form of education is much needed.
How have you managed to survive through your art form? What are the essential tools, to make oneself financially viable in the performance arts segment?
One has to be talented, but one also needs a firm footed crew for management, promotion, booking, branding etc. More importantly it is important to treat the performing arts segment as a business rather than something just for pass-time.
What have been your success mantras and challenges in the course of your beat boxing career?
It has been sheer hard work, belief in myself, being able to take negative criticism, learning from constructive criticism and just knowing that I need to do things differently.
What would be your advice to aspiring beat boxers?
Be original. Being able to copy someone and doing it well, is awesome, but that still is a copy. It is essential to create something original and beautiful. Also, never look at being the best. Instead do what you love doing, do it with style, but most importantly do it with honour.