UK Beatbox Champion, Grace Savage, has just dropped a brand new video for her latest track ‘Running Under Water,’ the highly anticipated follow-up to recent EP, Control Freak, and debut Savage Grace.
“It’s a song about falling for someone with depression and feeling apprehensive about the emotional difficulty that that might entail,” explains Savage, who wrote the song with Ben Cartwright and Jason Julian at OddChild Studios. “But at the same time, knowing there is nothing you can do about it as the love is addictive and the falling is inevitable. Watch the summer festival vibe video HERE.
“Vocal percussion/face drumming/beatboxing/sound making is my my day job and my first love. Over the years I have developed my sound and live performance from solo beatbox routines, to becoming a looping artist, to fronting a live band and establishing myself as an electro-pop singer songwriter; everything so far has stemmed from beatboxing and everything I continue to do will be influenced by this in some way.
“When I write songs, I record vocal loops and beatbox the percussive parts to form the bones of a track and when performing my songs live with my band, I incorporate interesting vocal elements wherever I can. I am always on the lookout for new sounds, voices and textures I music and feel it is particularly important for me to champion that as an alternative pop artist in an ever increasingly homogenous market (oooh clever words). Here are my Top Ten Tracks that use vocal percussion.”
1. Stephen Marley – ‘The Traffic Jam ft. Damian Marley’
“This is a BIG tune! I found it quite hard to find modern songs that use beatboxing as the core part of their production and not just the breakdown – this is the first one that came to mind. It’s a serious vibe. You can’t go wrong with the Marley’s mate.”
2. Bobby McFerrin – ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’
“Bobby McFerrin is one of the best to do it. If you have a moment, check out his ‘Thinking About Your Body’ live video. Living proof that all you need is creativity, a body, a voice and a healthy dash of soul to make good music and captivate an audience.”
3. Rahzel – ‘Southern Girl feat. Erykah Badu’
“Rahzel is a pioneer in the beatbox scene and was the first beatboxer I ever saw live, he was the first beatboxer to vocal scratch and also the first to sing and beatbox at the same time. He is probably most known for his “if your mother only knew” song but this collab with Miss Erykah Badu is BAAAAD as in good as in listen to it.”
4. Justin Timberlake – ‘Rock Your Body’
“This tune made beatboxing cool again. After the beatbox boom in the ‘80s hip hop scene…it sort of died out in the ‘90s and no one was doing it/pushing it as a thing but in the early ‘00s, with Rahzel’s album and Justin Timberlake showcasing the 5th element in this little beatbox breakdown – suddenly everyone wanted to know about beatboxing again and it’s sort of been on the rise ever since.”
5. Ella Fitzgerald – ‘One Note Samba’
“I dare you to watch this and not smile, laugh, be filled with admiration and awe. This is probably one of my favourite videos of an artist ever. An absolute masterclass in vocal improvisation and an all-round entertainer.”
6. Michael Jackson – ‘Beat It (Demo)’
“Michael Jackson used to record A cappella Demos like these a lot – similar to how I like to work sometimes – this is one of my favourites. Makes me think I should definitely do a vocal/beatbox/A Capella version of one of my songs soon…a ‘stripped back’ version…I might just email someone about that now.”
7. Grace Savage – ‘Medusa’
“This was my debut single – my first transition from beatboxing/looping artist to singer songwriter – and I wanted to leave a beatbox stamp on the production. Like a lot of my ideas, they originate from vocal recordings that I then send on to a producer to work their magic. For this, we kept the breath and the shakers that I made with my voice for the intro and in the final chorus; if you listen really close you can hear my vocal scratching too.”
8. Bjork – ‘Oceania’
“Bjork’s album Medulla was made of almost entirely A cappella songs constructed from human vocals. On this song she collaborated with a big influence and friend of mine – Shlomo. It’s really beautiful and stands out as unique because it is emotive – which is so refreshing when beatboxing and vocal percussion can be sometimes brushed aside as a gimmick and a party trick. Bjork for president!”
9. NSYNC – ‘POP’
“It’s the Timberlake again! “Man I’m tired of singing.” Kinda cool the way they programmed the beatboxing so it had a layered, electronic sound to it, the actual beatboxing is pretty “boots and cats” basic but you gotta give it to him for reigniting peoples interest in the art form and giving every ‘90s kid a routine to practice in the playground.”
10. Snoop Dogg – ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot feat. Pharrell’
“Such a simple beat and idea and catchy as hell – using the “clucks” on the off-beat, going up and sown the scale. Pretty much every single beatboxer I know has covered and performed this tune at some point in their early careers.”
‘Running Under Water’ is out now. For new releases, follow Grace Savage on Spotify HERE.
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Find the playlist by Grace Savage below and HERE.