What’s On and Hype exclusively reveal that beatboxing champion Beardyman is coming to Dubai’s Zero Gravity on April 2. Get ticket info.

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Now, this is one gig not to be missed! We’ve seen many great DJs and artists descend on Dubai in the past few months, and we have a wealth of mostly as yet unrecognised local talent, but we’re beside ourselves in the Hype office at the news that Beardyman is coming to town next month.

The first Brit to win the UK Beatboxing Championship twice in a row (2006 and 2007), Beardyman – aka Londoner Darren Foreman – has since taken the skill to unprecedented levels, going on to invent his own software called the Beardytron5000 (now Mk4) after becoming frustrated with the limitations of existing software to turn his vocal chords into the required sounds for his shows. “I had no choice really,” said Darren of his geekery. “The shows I want to do are simply not possible using any existing off the shelf gear, existing software or even cobbled together patches using freeware.”

After releasing his second album Distractions last year – described by Bestival chief Rob da Bank as “one of my top three albums of the year alongside Aphex Twin and Caribou” – Beardyman set off on an international tour to promote it by not playing one single song from it. At the time of release, The Musical Melting Pot reported: “Distractions represents a Pokémon-like evolution not only for Beardyman as an artist, but also for the world of music as a whole. Just as Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile and Felix Baumgartner became the first man to skydive from the edge of space, Distractions demonstrates how something once thought impossible can be proven to lie within the realm of human possibility in a hugely inspiring fashion.”

On Distractions, Beardyman said: “I finally made an album that was made in something resembling the way most people make albums – I wrote songs, and so on. My last album had jokes and skits, and was more entertaining than good.”

Describing his “improvised” live gigs in which he relies upon his “brain, voice and Beardytron5000 Mk4”, Darren added: “I don’t know how many decisions I’m making at a time. It’s hard to say, because the brain is such a parallel processor that you never know who’s making the decisions. Decisions get made, and your consciousness is the last thing to know about it. So you think you’re piloting your mind, but you’re not. That’s what I like to do – immerse myself in music that I love, and enjoy what I enjoy. You immerse yourself in what you love, and if you give yourself the means by which to create, then that’ll come out.”

This is one for tech geeks, music freaks and casual observers alike. Sweaty palms all round, then. See you down the front.

April 2
Zero Gravity, Skydive Dubai Drop Zone, Al Seyahi Street, Dubai, Thur 8pm to 3am, gents free before 10pm, ladies free before 11pm, Dhs100 thereafter. Taxi: Skydive Dubai. 0-gravity.ae

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