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Nottingham, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Nottingham, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Alternative Electronic


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From Mexico to Malawi, The Petebox has an abilty to communicate like the most cunning linguist. He's not speaking in tongues though, but the rhythms he manages to wrench from his larynx. For as the 23-year-old says, human beatboxing is a universal language.

When TEN4 catches up with him to talk about his 4Talent award he's just returned from a short tour of Africa which began in Johannesburg and ended up at Liverpool club Chibuku Shake Shake's Lake of Stars festival on the shores of Lake Malawi, calling in at numerous remote villages en-route.

"People out there had never heard anything like it before, but they understood it immediately," he enthuses. "I did some impromptu workshops with kids I met by the side of the road and they all absolutely loved it." And this was only a short time after The Petebox had been selected to star in a Movistar mobile phone advert in Mexico.

"I like the fact that people are now taking notice and beatboxing is getting used in a wide range of things like adverts," he says. "Plus I got to go to Mexico City and find out what tequila really tastes like."

It's certainly a long way from his native Nottingham, where The Petebox began flexing his vocal chords after hearing an old Rahzel tape a few years ago. But then beatboxing itself has also travelled far. Although hip-hop clubs and beatbox battles are still the most likely place to find it - and as a performer at nights like Detonate and UK Takeover, and winner of Radio 1's Human Beatbox competition in 2005 he's a veteran of both - beatboxing is beginning to be recognised not just as a novelty act but as a bona fide artform.

Rahzel and Shlomo featured on Bjork's conceptual Medulla album in 2004, whilst the latter has also assembled the world's first beatbox choir - the Vocal Orchestra - and is currently artist-in-residence at the South Bank Centre. It's pioneering artists like these, rather than the guys doing the same tired �fricka-fricka-fresh' tricks, with whom The Petebox aligns himself.

"My main push is to try and steer clear of the gimmicky side of things, although I'll still drop a few tunes that people know to get that instant response," he elaborates. "But the fact that I now use a loop pedal in my sets allows me to focus more on the musicality of it, and create songs and arrangements rather than just doing snippets of tricks."

"The loop pedal is a sampler which lets me layer my voice so I can do the hi-hats, add a bassline, add some harmonies and add a vocal to deliver a full-frequency sound spectrum. Purists might say you have to do everything at once but it's all still coming from my mouth so it keeps that raw element. It means the genres I can pursue are now very eclectic because I can do house and techno routines, hip-hop, drum'n'bass and even jazz and folk."

All of which can be seen on his MySpace page, on YouTube and on forthcoming DVD The Petebox: Spit The Music Out. He's also recording his debut album, although he admits that the sheer range of styles he can now get out of his mouth has given him a lot to chew over.

"The main task is to try and bind it all together," he explains. "But I think the fact that it's all mainly from my mouth is enough of a link. It'll be my vision of what beatboxing should be about - which is the ultimate freedom to journey into any music we want."


Judge: Cath Lovesey, editor T4, Youth & Music, Channel 4
Words: Paul Clarke
Photography: Dave Remes

The Petebox was one of 20 4Talent Award winners in 2007, our hotly tipped young creatives to watch, to hire and to collaborate with. - Channel 4

“Outstanding skills – a barrage of sounds, beats and rhythms that I was instantly absorbed into. Competent, original and one to tip I think.” - Catherine Lovesey, editor of T4.

"I've been writing about music for ten years but I've never come across anyone quite like Pete. There are one-man bands, but the concept of a one-man recording studio is something else entirely. This is a deeply talented, quietly charismatic man, and a damn nice one to boot. He is destined for great things." - Ed Potton, The Times.

"Petebox makes music with his own mouth that others couldn't make with three guitars and a computer. Watch Petebox now - before he blows his voicebox" - Paul MacInnes, The Guardian.

"Bringing a welcome touch of humanity to electronic beats, ThePetebox can communicate with audiences and collaborate with musicians the world over. Skillful, humorous and very musical." - Simon Broughton, Editor Songlines Magazine.
- The Times, The Guardian, T4, Songlines Magazine

Archive of all press - Various


THePETEBOX - Future Loops - Light River Records (2012)



THePETEBOX is a solo performer, musician, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose pioneering live show has ignited audiences across the world.

Breaking out as an award-winning beatboxer he soon redefined the genre through the use of his loop pedal, guitar and an otherworldly, multi-phonic voicebox.

Witnessing a THePETEBOX live show is like experiencing a magic trick, reveal on reveal, loop on loop, one man building tracks that are as sonically massive as any full band setup or DJ set.

He possesses a primal talent and has transformed it into music that captures the imagination of people from all walks of life and from every corner of the world.

Make no mistake though, this is no novelty act, this is a singular artist untouched by trends or fads, someone who is genuinely and fiercely independent who has tapped into an art form of true expression that connects directly with the hearts of a rapidly growing fan base.

THePETEBOX’s debut album ‘Future Loops’, a ‘live, studio, video’ album comprising of original tracks and reworks of his favourite songs has reached over 17million views on his YouTube channel.

Through working with visionary director, Simon Ellis, his videos have reached audiences worldwide and his covers endorsed by their legendary creators, most recently Brian Wilson singing his praises for a unique cover of "I Get Around" and The Pixies posting the viral "Where Is My Mind?" video on their official website. 

Future Loops, (released on his own label, Light River Records) is on its third pressing and has sold over 50,000 digital copies through word of mouth alone.

THePETEBOX’s versatility is reflected in the variety of settings he has performed in, from clubnights world-wide to multiple Grand Prix, the major stages at festivals (Glastonbury, Reading/Leeds, V-Fest, Bestival UK - Lake of Stars, Malawi - Woodstock, Poland to name but a few, private parties for the stars and sold out headline tours around the UK and Europe.

With a packed tour schedule and midway through a sophomore album of entirely original material THePETEBOX will continue to reach and transform the sonic horizons of people across the globe.