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Everyone can do it

The legion of international artistes who comprise the Urban Culture Project hope to give impetus to beatboxers, graffiti artistes and b-boyers in the city.

art and culture Updated: May 12, 2012 15:22 IST
Megha Mahindru

The words spaghetti and drool go hand-in-hand in an Italian gastronome’s vocabulary. But tonight, when the two get together, it will translate into an explosive combo of power moves and vocal skills.

As part of the Urban Culture Project, a programme that promotes social exchanges around the hip-hop culture, a host of European and local talents in the fields of beatboxing, breakdancing and graffiti are in the city to give a boost to this underground arts movement.

B-boy Spaghetti, who was a finalist on the Norwegian version of So You Think You Can Dance, and his compatriot, beatboxer Droolian, are some of the hip-hop crusaders headlining the event.

About their quirky stage names, the beatboxer explains, “I spit a lot while beatboxing, so I thought of calling myself Droolian.” Spaghetti, a Norwegian b-boying artiste of Iranian descent, insists his name doesn’t imply a love of pasta. “I’m extremely flexible and when I dance, my body moves like strands of spaghetti,” he says.

The two are joined by an army of international artistes, including German ‘robotic’ dancer Chriss, who specialises in electric boogie, French spray-painter Ivan Rock, German graffiti artist Rene and local acts like b-boying collective Roc Fresh Crew, beatboxing duo Boxy Turvy, Dharavi-based hip-hop collective Sout Dandy Squad and city favourites like DJ Uri and Bombay Bassment.

Graffiti artiste Rene, who has been painting the town red with his 3D artwork, chips in, saying, “Working on a wall for two days in this heat has been excruciating, but the final result is always rewarding.” He adds that over 15 cans of spray paint exploded in the heat. All the three forms of urban art will come together under one roof tonight, with a mission to make them more popular.

Spaghetti says, “Everyone can do it, but not everyone can do it for a living. With these workshops, we wish to empower the youth in spaces with soul, such as Dharavi, where kids are hungry to learn.”

The Urban Culture Project will take place at Blue Frog, Lower Parel, from 6.30 onwards. For details, call 4033 2333.

Dummies guide to basic beatboxing
There are three basic sounds in beatboxing — the kick drum, snare drum and the hi-hat.

KICKDRUM: Say BO with a lot of pressure. Make the ‘b’ sound like you are saying B from the word bogus. Then with lips closed, let the pressure build. Then control the release of your lips just enough to let them vibrate for a short time.

HI-HAT: While making a ‘T’ sound, keep your teeth closed. Move the tip of your tongue forward behind your front teeth for a thin sound.

SNARE DRUM: While saying ‘K,’ pull your lips in and build up air pressure behind the hidden lips.