Get up close with the man behind the beat box
Text by Charlyn Pepito, USJ-R Intern
Photos by Judiel Dal, USJ-R Intern
MEET 24-year-old Jacob Redoble, or more popularly known in the local music scene as ZeeJacob. He has been in the industry the past four years, yet with his innovative style, he continues to captivate audience with his lyrical mash-ups of vocal percussion. Know more about the master of sound.
How were your early years, music-wise?
In my high school days, I listened to a lot of hip-hop songs, mostly Eminem. I was also into memorizing Bone Thugs N’ harmony lyrics—one song was about five pages long and I can’t even imagine how I did that.
In college, I was into the punk scene and that’s how I started appreciating music as a whole. It affects your reality and can also relieve stress. From there I have listened to different kinds: jazz, electro, hip-hop, trap, dub step and punk.
Why beat boxing?
I’ve always wanted to try something unique in my life, and mostly I was inspired to create my own music. I also wanted to explore the mouth and what sounds we can make out of it.
Who are your influences?
A friend, who is a lot younger than me, taught me the basics. But I always had that inside feeling that made me want to push further with the art form. I also have a Zen Master who teaches me creativity and gives me advice on how to go about it.
How did you discover this talent?
To be honest, it’s not really a talent. It’s the same thing as learning to play a guitar. Though you will start sounding like you’re farting, but when your mouth gets enough muscle to adjust the beat or can organize the humming or the proper positioning of tongues, then you’re on your way. I haven’t mastered it though. Beat boxing is an ongoing craft, and I am still growing.
How do you describe your sound?
Actually, it’s more on dark groovy upbeat nod-your-head flows. I’m focused on creating music but I also do cover songs to entertain crowds. Sometimes I improvise them so it sounds fresh. The goal is to always create, be better and explore other styles, grooves and tempo.
What feeling does it give to you?
The feeling of being relaxed and happy, especially after making a new flow that makes other people move and dance to its beat. And when I learn new techniques, I feel like I just can’t stop.
How is it like to be a beat boxer?
Well, some people say it’s unique. Some people say we are talented. But like I said I just want to play music.
As an artist, how do you handle critics?
Critics either develop you or destroy you. So you just have to know yourself and to be open to what they throw at you. Besides if it helps you grow, why not?
A quote that can describe your passion for beat boxing?
“Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, and add what is uniquely your own.”
Most unforgettable gig or competition?
When I collaborated with Loonie for the UP Cookout. Another was when I performed in Mango. It was one of the biggest crowds I played for — when I started doing the pit senior beat box in ukulele style. A crowd of thousands was applauding, Their energy was so good that I fell into a natural high state. Time stopped, then I was in love with that moment.
Other hobbies and interests?
Right now I’m learning martial arts: boxing, tae kwon do, and wing chun. I’m still in the basics, yet it helps me clear my mind and organize my thoughts. I am also interested in collaborating with some producers to see where my craft takes me.