By Marie Lamarque
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They are the worthy successors of band Berywam, giant in the world of beatbox in toulouse. “They are big brothers for us”, smile Akinde28 years old, and Kenozen26, two artists from the Pink City, who won, in early August 2023, the beatbox world championship. Together they form the duo Zen Hit.
For the two friends, accustomed to competitions, it is a real consecration. The championship was held from Thursday August 3 to Sunday August 6 at Berlin. In the duo category, the artists shone in front of performers from all over the world.
Entrance ticket, assessed criteria
To obtain their entry ticket, each beatboxer had to have already won a national competition at least once between 2018 and 2023. Zen’Hit had won its prize in 2018.
In the final, the Toulouse duo was evaluated on different criteria: “the stage presence, the quality of the sound, the originality of the creations, the symbiosis of the group, the way of communicating with the public”, describes Akindé.
In the jury, five members “including three who have been duo world champions”. As for the last two? “These are prominent names in beatboxing. »
25 duos from all over the world
In front of Zen’Hit, 25 duos from all over the world. With their experience in competition, Toulouse have learned not to be too impressed and “to focus less on the opponents”.
The Toulouse duo nevertheless took the trouble to learn about those who, in the semi-finals, risked facing them to climb on the last step of the podium in order to “refine (their) production”. A strategy that paid off!
Beatbox influenced by world music
In order to stand out, Akindé and Kenôzen have mainly drawn their inspiration from the electro musicbut also in the world music.
To prepare for this championship, the artists have taken up the principle of konakola vocal percussion technique from the south india. “We are also inspired by South American music. We like a lot of things and we complement each other a lot. »
Before Zen’Hit, solo careers
It will be understood, in beatbox, the alchemy between the two performers must be perfect. Since their meeting, eight years ago, the complicity between Akindé and Kenôzen has never run out of steam. “We each started beatboxing on our own, about fifteen years ago. »
The two Toulousains met in 2015, when they participated individually in the French championship. “We really liked each other. The contact went well, ”recalls Akindé. Zen’Hit was only born the following year.
Beatboxing is “like playing an instrument”
For Akindé, the encounter with the world of beatbox took place in 2013 when he came across a video of the final of the world championship last year. “It both motivated and amazed me. It went from there. »
And when the passion is present, you must not let go. Because the beatbox, “it’s a discipline, like for a musical instrument, underlines Akindé who also plays the transverse flute and saxophone. For me, it’s the same job. We are a singer, with more strings to our bow.
“Leaving room for young people”
As wawad And Beatnessthe two 100% Toulouse-based members of Berywam, who “greatly encouraged” Zen’Hit, Akindé and Kenôzen are determined to pass the torch and make way for young beatboxers from the Pink City and elsewhere.
Will they let go of battles and competitions for all that? Nothing is yet fixed on the side of the two young men. “We have concerts looming, videos and clips being developed. »
Curious to discover the performance of the Toulouse duo during their world championship? It will still take a little patience. The video will soon be unveiled on the Youtube channel of Beatbox Battle World Championship.
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