Beardyman at Camp Bestival - 20th July 2008
|Birth name||Darren Foreman|
|Born||14 May 1982|
|Origin||Stanmore, North London, UK|
He was given the nick-name "Beardyman" because a name was quickly needed for a flyer for an early show, and at the time he had a beard. Though often unshaven, he does not usually sport what would be considered a full beard.
After studying at Queen Elizabeth Boys' Grammar School, Barnet, Foreman moved to Brighton in 2001 to study at the University of Sussex. Although having started making noise at the age of three by influence of Michael Winslow in the Police Academy movie series, it was seeing beatboxer Rahzel play live that impressed Foreman that beatboxing could sustain a whole show rather than simply provide interludes within the context of a broader presentation.
In 2006 Beardyman battled to become UK Beatbox Champion and retained his title in 2007 making him the first beatboxer in UK history to win 2 championships in a row.
As well as accomplished solo beatboxing, Beardyman uses music technology such as the Korg Kaoss Pad 3 in order to loop and sample his vocals. Through his use of looping tools he effectively produces whole dj sets where the records are constructed live from his vocalisations, as well as live production of original material.
His interest in exploring new musical technology is also evident in the innovative Battlejam club nights he hosts with 2007 DMC champion turntablist JFB. Here the live looping technology is augmented with live sampling of the audience to make the hook of instantly composed tracks and even live video sampling and scratching.
He has gigged and recorded with MC Klum-Z-Tung as part of MC/beatbox duo The Gobfathers. Together, they presented Get Lucky TV's 'The Freestyle Show” in 2005, and also appeared as traffic wardens in a hidden camera show for E4.
In 2008 he collaborated with visual artist mr_hopkinson, to produce a video called 'Monkey Jazz' which visually describes the live looping process. Since then they have worked together to produce various multi-camera videos of Beardyman's performances filmed at the Cube Microplex. Beardyman has also appeared on stage for improvised live shows with mr_hopkison providing visual backdrops from images instantly searched from the internet in response to audience suggestions.
Beardyman often incorporates humour into his act. He has impersonated Elvis, dressed as a monkey on stage at Bestival and once posed as an Austrian climate change lecturer, "Professor Bernhard Steinerhoff", before breaking into his set, with over 1 million views on YouTube.
Beardyman also features in the Funky Sage ring tones in which he plays a floating head who beatboxes and gives good advice. His video "Kitchen Diaries" which features him combining beatboxing with cooking has been viewed more than 4 million times on YouTube. "Kitchen Diaries" also makes an appearance in 'South Coast', a Brighton based documentary about Hip Hop in the UK.
Beardyman has somewhat of a cult following, with many of his supporters sporting the phrase "Deus Ex Barba" - latin for "God out of beard". This is a reference to the phrase Deus Ex Machina. This has mainly spread over the internet, on websites such as YouTube or MySpace.
During November 2006 he took part in a series of children's choir charity concerts called Young Voices appearing in Manchester, Birmingham, London and Belfast.
On 10 February 2007 he made an appearance on the second episode of the BBC One show When Will I Be Famous. Despite winning over the studio audience and two of the three judges, he came second in a public vote. On the same day, he was on also on the Channel 4 show Homemade where he was profiled as the weirdest beatboxer around.
Beardyman supported Groove Armada on their UK tour in 2007.
On 28 May 2009 Beardyman appeared on the Scott Mills Show on BBC Radio 1. He participated in the feature "What's Becky's Forte?" by teaching Becky how to beatbox.
In July 2009, he appeared at the Udderbelly during it's residency at South Bank in London. This was for a ensemble comedy show called "Beardyman's Complete and Utter Shambles" featuring JFB, MC Klum-Z-Tung, Beardyman's comedian brother Jay Foreman, visual artist mr_hopkinson, guitarist 'j'm black, saxophonist Hellanor and comedian Reggie Watts. The show took the technology based entertainment experiments of Battlejam to a more theatrical comedy club setting. A reduced cast version of the show renamed "Beardyman's Unplanned Explosion" went on to appear at the Udderbelly at the Edinburgh Festival in late August 2009, and again at Bristol Old Vic in October 2009.
On 14 July 2009, Beardyman appeared on BBC1 show, As Seen On TV, beatboxing the Monty Python theme. The two teams had to guess what song he beatboxed. Comedian Jason Manford received the point. On 23 July 2009, he reappeared on the show, this time beatboxing the Big Brother UK theme. Again Jason Manford received the point.
Beardyman is sampled on the track "Hard Funk Core" by "Pin vs. Puzzle" from the album "Vuuv Festival 2008" on the label Planet B.E.N Records
As of September 2009, his voice was towards a DAB Digital Radio commercial.
On 12 March 2010, he performed at the awards ceremony of the Big Bang Fair 2010.