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South Street Kids learn to Beatbox

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

On Saturday 9th October we were lucky enough to have Natty Sobhee run a beat box and lyric writing with our South Street Kids.

Natty is Co-founder of Youth Development and Events Programme ‘Lyrix Organix’, consultant providing advice and opportunities for young people, music programme developer, and touring Artis Musician.

“That was loads of fun, I didn’t know I could beat box!” Kaileb

Natty taught the group to beat box using a loop pedal and some basic ‘boots & cats’. We then learnt some techniques to write lyrics. First off, we wrote down our favourite words. Then a series of words inspired by our favourite thing we like to do. This gave us the inspiration to create lyrics.

We loved to see participants who felt like they couldn't write at the beginning of the workshop, rise to the challenge and grace the floor with the new skills they learned.

According to Natty, the essential beatboxing components are the willingness to be bold and explore your identity through creating your sounds. Also, doing exercises to help improve posture and breathing. “I liked the exercises that we did during the activities,” Ferenc says. “The hardest part is moving your mouth to make certain sounds.”

Participants grew a deeper appreciation for beatboxing because after practicing and learning from Natty, they understood the complexities of beatboxing. “I like learning how your mouth can create different sounds depending on how you shape it,” Sharo says. “It’s challenging but fun and something new to try.”

Beatboxing is a vocal exercise in which the artist imitates percussive sounds. It can be traced back centuries to India, China and Africa, but modern-day beatboxing refers to mimicry of the first generation of electronic drum machines.

It originated in the United States in the 1980s, with Doug E. Fresh being known as the first “human beatbox”. In the 1990s, beatboxing made its way over to the UK.

Try it now…


Now emphasise the B, C and T sounds and repeat until you get clearer and more powerful.

Now repeat 4 times and you have learnt your first beatbox beat. It's not as difficult as you thought it would be, is it?

We loved learning new sounds and rhythms. They sound even better when they are layered with friends as a beatbox orchestra! This was the perfect workshop to practice phonetics and teamwork skills, and we can’t wait to work with Natty again sometime soon.

South Street Kids is our Free weekly sessions for young people, gaining skills, confidence and developing a strong voice in their community – reflecting the diverse communities that surround Westgate Ward, and Ipswich.

We organise trips, media training, workshops, film music and media all designed to engage young people and ensure they feel a part of their town. South Street Kids is a project aimed at kids aged 7 – 14 years old, who live in and around the Norwich Road.

By Laura Norman

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