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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Band Pop A Capella


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"Beat That"

‘Music is both work and play’

Beat Boxer Shamik Bilgi talks about his passion

With the recent American Idol contestant Blake Lewis making beat boxing a new trend in music, there’s a whole new genre altogether. And Bangaloreans got a taste of what it’s all about when Canadian beat boxer of Indian origin Shamik Bilgi, who was in town, showcased his skills. “I can make music through my mouth. From hip hop to techno, without any instruments. This is my seventh year of beat boxing,” says the artiste. A household name back in Canada, he is currently beat boxing all over Asia and has performed with various DJs around the world.

Shamik grew up imitating people and claims he had a good memory. “I started learning drums
which helped me get better as a beat boxer. My music has a lot of electronica, house and up-tempo techno,” he explains. Even though Shamik’s mother is from Bangalore, this is only his second visit to India. I surely want to come back and let the people of India experience global music,” he says with enthusiasm. Shamik says he’s proud of his Indian origins and that Indian forms of music are well appreciated overseas. - Times of India, May 24, 2007

"Shamik Bilgi"

One of the most exciting moments for anyone who books a festival is when you walk into a club expecting the normal pub/ bar music scene when you get slammed in the head with someone who blows you away! Such was the case when recently in Calgary, with a night off, I went to visit old buddy Tim Williams at his weekly jam session. Tim said, "Hey Man, you've got to check this kid out," talking about Shamik Bilgi who was stepping up onto the stage. I was immediately a fan.

Sometimes it seems as if Shamik has 3 or 4 very different sounds; bass, drums and melody, all coming out of his mouth at once. Other times it seems he has mastered the ancient art of circular breathing. I don't know how he does what he does, but with a natural mastery of the art of beat box (or is that beat boxing?) and a positive energy and message, prepare to be amazed by Shamik Bilgi! - A Musical Voyage (Vancouver Island Music Festival)

"Shaping Sounds With His Mouth"

Deep down we all want to work towards our passion. Yet, it's quite rare to see someone living their dream and doing it with raw talent and confidence. This is why it was such a pleasure to meet Shamik "The Human Beatboxer" Bilgi.

Sitting across from him in a local Vietnamese restaurant, I sensed a quality in him that I rarely see, true intellect. Behind his big brown eyes I could almost see a computer scanning everything, taking it all in and having it all figured. I was interested to see what I could learn from him.

Shamik is a self-taught beatboxer - that is to say he makes music with his mouth, only his mouth.

"I always had a thing when I was a kid, I made funny sounds and did voices. I would come home and make fun of my teachers and do impersonations," Shamik says of his early inclinations towards the art. "I would go and see a movie and know all the words just from seeing it once."

He never took it seriously until the advent of Napster and Internet search engines. He was then able to look up other beatboxers and saw something worth pursuing. That is what he has been doing since 2001 and he was able to catch his big break in 2004, opening for DJ Craze, a world-renowned turntablist.

The road seemed to get a lot easier for him and he has now performed in 7 countries and in cities ranging from New York to Kuala Lumpur and San Francisco to Bangkok.

With all this success Shamik still practices all the time, forgoing an iPod so he can practice while he walks. He wants to bridge gaps with his music and appeal to an unlimited audience.

"I would narrow it down to what my friend's parents would think," he says about his music style choice.

Beatboxing is normally thought of as the unspoken fifth element of hip hop, but Shamik hopes to evolve that idea by incorporating all styles of music into his act.

"I want to play at hip hop show, I want to play at electronic shows. I want to play at folk festivals. I want to play at rock shows. I want to play at everything and do everything," Shamik says.

Last year his performances ranged from a gym full of junior high school kids at an anti-smoking assembly to the diverse crowd at the Vancouver Island Music Festival.

"If I limited myself to one genre of music or one type of crowd then only one group would know me.

Not willing to be typecast, Shamik will continue to forge ahead and break barriers. He is a man who thinks music is about the people, the growth of an idea and deeply emotional. This is what I learned from him.

-Jessica Wittman. - All The Best Things Magazine (Calgary)


Nomadic Injections (2010)
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Equal Eyes (2007)
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Shamik hears music in his head and uses beatboxing to bring it to life. He has performed in Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Czech Republic, India, Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Peru. Shamik's vocal percussion is a language communicated with crushing basslines and crisp rhythms, like an acappella DJ set going from genre to genre.

He began singing as a child with his older brother, Vivek Shraya, and always had a knack for making sounds. This transformed into his ability to mimic voices and music. Shamik's taste in music was all over the map as he listened to rhythms and melodies to learn. He grew up listening to his father's pop, r & b, and disco records. Junior high was his time to love rock and hip hop. When he reached high school he learned of an artform called beatboxing. Over the next few years, he began studying the work of other beatboxers including The Fatboys, Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh and Rahzel. In 2001, Shamik met fellow beatboxer Sami Elber aka Unkle $am. They shared ideas, and Shamik repeatedly practiced the basics of beatboxing. He isolated sounds like the kick, snare, and bassline to build his skills. After performing together at shows, parties, fundraisers, and on street corners, Shamik began to get noticed in his hometown of Edmonton. His discovery of trip hop, dub, and other forms of electronica triggered his goal to make noises that played tricks on his audience's minds.

In 2005, Shamik was invited by DJ Degree to open for 3-time World DMC champion DJ Craze of Miami. This show was a pinnacle in his career as his live show was witnessed by music promoters from Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. They realized that booking Shamik to open for headliners brought crowds to the dance floor. He continued his growth by beatboxing all over Western Canada. That year he performed at two events with over 2000 people each alongside Kenny Ken, Ferry Corsten, and Yoji Biomehanika. 2006 marked Shamik's first appearance at Shambhala Music Festival, which is arguably the biggest electronica festival in Canada. He went on to open for one of the world's best beatboxers, Killa Kela. Their encounter impacted Shamik a great deal and inspired him to believe that the possibilities are endless. He also did a show with one of hip hop's founders, DJ Kool Herc. Beatboxing is often associated with hip hop music, but Shamik decided to perform at every kind of show no matter what genre of music.

In April of 2007, Shamik embarked on his first international tour performing in India and Malaysia. Highlights included sets at Ministry of Sound in New Delhi, Taika Club in Bangalore, and Laundry Bar in Kuala Lumpur. Upon his return to Canada, Shamik performed at the Vancouver Island Musicfest. It was a great experience meeting and sharing the stage with Inuit throat singer, Tanya Tagaq. Later that year he was featured on 3 songs on Tagaq's “Auk” album. Shamik made his second straight Shambhala appearance in 2007. This was another turning point in his career as he beatboxed for 5000 people after dubstep pioneer, Skream, and before San Francisco heavyweight, Bassnectar. September brought Shamik to perform in New York City, where he showcased at the Indian Electronica Festival and the Rubin Museum of Art. He also performed alongside Jon H, Nickodemus, and Quantic at Turntables on The Hudson's 9 year anniversary party. In October, Shamik was booked with turntable legend, DJ Q-bert for a third time. At the show Q-Bert and Shamik performed a fifteen minute unrehearsed jam session. Their chemistry was amazing and Q-Bert invited Shamik to do another show with him later that week in San Francisco. That year Shamik released his first solo album, “Equal Eyes.” In November, Unkle $am & Shamik were invited by Boodang Music Canada to open for hip hop icon, Method Man, in 6 cities across Canada. Their live show consisted of beatboxing and MC’ing for 20-30 mintues. The year wrapped up with Shamik doing a five city tour in India in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, and New Delhi. Highlights included "Rise," which was a 3000 person event in Pune, touring with Sub Swara, and the Sunburn Festival in Goa.

2008 began with Shamik touring in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan. He also performed at Q-Bar, Bed, and 808 which are three reputable clubs in Bangkok, Thailand. These shows were alongside Kutmasta Kurt and Shimon. Tanya Tagaq invited Shamik to perform at Colours of Ostrava (Czech Republic), Strawberry Moon (Ontario), and National Women's Aboriginal Summit (Northwest Territories) that summer. In addition, Shamik performed with Bassnectar right after Thievery Corporation to over 10 000 people at the first ever Rothbury Festival in Michigan. Shamik made his third straight appearance at Shambhala in August where he did multiple sets. During the hip hop showcase at Shambhala, he performed amidst a rain and hail storm which was followed by surprising sunlight. He recei