Video: North Walsham beatboxer returns to his old school for ‘inspirational’ talk

Former North Walsham High School student Tom Povey, also known as beatboxer Intensi-T, performing at his old school. With students, left to right, Amy Englestone 15, Millie Andrews 14, Will Taylor 14 and Megan Goodwin 14. 
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Former North Walsham High School student Tom Povey, also known as beatboxer Intensi-T, performing at his old school. With students, left to right, Amy Englestone 15, Millie Andrews 14, Will Taylor 14 and Megan Goodwin 14. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
9:10 AM

Practice makes perfect - that was the message from a Norfolk beatboxer who returned to give an inspirational talk to students from his old school today.

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Beatboxing facts

■ Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion primarily involving the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using the mouth, lips, tongue, or voice.

■ It may also involve singing or imitating the sound of a turntable, horns, strings, and other musical instruments.

■ According to the Guinness World Records, the current record for the largest human beatbox ensemble was set by Google employees. It involved 2,081 participants and was achieved by the Google staff together with UK beatboxers Shlomo and Testament. The record was set at the Convention Centre in Dublin on November 14 2011.

■ Beatboxing in hip-hop music originated in 1980s. Its early pioneers include Doug Fresh.

Tom Povey, 21, known as Intensi-T, spoke to year 10 pupils at North Walsham High School in the hall where he first tried beatboxing aged 15 in a school workshop.

He signed a major record deal with the Universal label in September this year after headlining the poetry tent at Latitude Festival this summer.

Other major popstars he has performed with include Ed Sheeran, Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud and Rizzle Kicks.

He said: “It is nostalgic coming back here. The hallway is still the same. It is important to inspire people, especially from my home town because young people have a lot of self doubt. When I was young I didn’t think I would be doing what I’m doing now. If you find something you enjoy and are good at work hard at it and be the best you can be at it.”

During the talk he performed his own versions of hits by rapper Eminem; rock band The White Stripes; and British rapper Dizzee Rascal.

He also combined his beatboxing while playing a harmonica.

Teenagers Millie Andrews, 14, Amy Englestone, 15, Megan Goodwin, 14, and Will Taylor, 14, had a masterclass from Tom.

The voice of headteacher Caroline Brooker was also sampled by the music artist.

“I love to hear success stories from all of our former pupils,” Mrs Brooker added.

Will, a budding beatboxer from North Walsham, said: “It makes you believe in what you want to do.”

Tom grew up in Earlham and North Walsham and after completing A-levels at Paston Sixth Form College in North Walsham, he studied a degree in music, business and production at the University of Westminster which he has just finished.

His first performance was at Sheringham Little Theatre in 2008 aged 15 with three other budding performers, including Britain’s Got Talent finalist Sam Kelly.

He was always enthusiastic about music and started guitar and drumming lessons aged 11.

After playing in school bands he focused on beatboxing - producing drum beats, rhythm and music sounds through the voice - after the creative school workshop.

He started busking and performing around Norfolk aged 16 and started rapping on top of his beatboxing last year.

He started performing at small festivals and has appeared at Latitude Festival for the past three years and Sundown Festival in Norwich this year and last year.

Highlights include performing with Ed Sheeran three times at the Waterfront in Norwich in 2010; performing with rap and grime act Rizzle Kicks in 2011; and appearing at T4 on the Beach at Weston-Super-Mare alongside Nicola Roberts in front of 50,000 in the same year.

He has written about 30 songs - based on real life experiences - and is in the process of recording his first single with Universal.

Tom hopes to appear at festivals across the country next summer.

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