Just as tap dancing, despite several resurgences, remains somewhat on the fringe of the pop dance scene, the vocal art known as beatboxing, that is, mimicking rhythms with the use of the mouth has remained on the fringe of the hip-hop/RB scene
Popularized in the hip-hop heyday of the mid-1980s with now legendary exponents as Doug E Fresh and the Fat Boys, beatboxing is also linked to scatting, which was pre-eminent in the
Enter Dervin Lee, for whom the aforementioned Doug E Fresh is a role model, but who has ironically transposed the beatboxing model from hip-hop to dancehall, and is in the process reviving the genre. Hailing from the western capital of Montego Bay, he goes by the name Mixing Lab and it's easy to understand why
ML: Well, I am a performer of this art of beatboxing, From I was seven ennuh it's a God-given talent, a gift from Jah himself. Mi get up and start do it, no training, natural.
From the legendary Taxi Riddim and Bob Marley's Natural Mystic Mixing Lab has steadily honed his craft on the musical grindstone of school shows, talent showcases and taking minor billing on bigger events (Reggae Sumfest, Summer Sizzle) to the present where is a promoter of dances and shows in his own right, in addition to deejaying on his own "beatboxed" riddims. .
The musical trek has seen him literally criss-cross Jamaica, but has also taken him overseas to places like London and Manchester, England, Glasgow, Scotland and - closer home - to Trinidad and Tobago. Naturally, he aspires to a more global itinerary. "I want to travel the world." And from recent trends, he will soon have it, having already attracted the attention of music bloggers and radio profs from Poland, Japan and elsewhere.
But in a local landscape that still prizes the toasters over the beat creators, Mixing Lab is toiling to grab his fair share of the accolades, bit by bit "Honestly, I just want to become a well-known performer, have a comfortable life as an entertainer and start my family. I want the love of the Jamaican people,"
To this end, he has a number of singles hitting airwaves, top among them, "She Want a Taste of Me Beatbox" This track joins "Di Most Gal" "Know My Friends" and others in the Mixing Lab firmament.
In the meantime, the entertainer, though seemingly always possessed of a ready smile, is continuing to take his craft very seriously, knowing full well that he is trodding a path less taken in the industry, but one that is set to secure him a place in history.