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Mike "Each" Tinoco

When and why did you start beatboxing?

Like most beatboxers I made noises as a kid; imitating different sounds and sometimes songs, but never really thinking anything of it.

Michael Winslow sparked my interest early on with his amazing repertoire of sounds, but I didn't get serious about my beatboxing until I heard Scratch and Rahzel on their [The Roots'] album, Things Fall Apart.

Do you have a favorite routine?

I don't have a favorite routine or cover. I usually just do a set based on the vibe of the night/audience. Sometimes I'll be performing at a hip hop show or a house party and will have to create music according to the environment.

Do you have a signature sound or routine?

I have a few beats and sounds which people know me for, but I don't claim ownership of them unless I'm pretty confident that no one else has.

I try and make [beats and sounds] as unique and different as possible, so I don't sound like just another beatboxer. I've got this one scratch which I call the "Superman Scratch" because it's identical to the sound that's made when Superman flies through the air. I've yet to hear anyone else do that.

I've got this one scratch which I call the "Superman Scratch"...

Did you have a beatbox mentor?

I don't have a beatbox mentor, though I do have mentors
who have helped me professionally and spiritually.

Which other beatboxers have you learned from?

I've never had a sit down, one-on-one lesson with a beatboxer. It's usually through jamming that I learn something from someone and vice versa. It could be something as simple as a new kick drum through to complicated time signatures.

Each (sporting a mic(saver) #03 t-shirt) and Rahzel

Which beatboxers do you admire or are inspired by?

There are so many beatboxers/vocalists that I admire for many reasons. Almost too many to name! But some who have really inspired me include: Kid Beyond for being influenced by rock music and taking live looping to an extreme; Kenny Muhammad for his mind-bogglingly precise timing and tight sound; Scratch for his vocal turntable skills and very unique style; and Rahzel for his amazing technique and vast array of different sounds.

Is there anyone you would love to work with?

Right now, Brian Eno is at the top of my list. I'm a big lover of ambient and down tempo music and am trying to steer my live performances towards that direction.

Are you influenced by old music?

Yes, very much so. I love old jazz, Latin jazz, classical, funk, and many other genres. I really enjoy listening to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cal Tjader...the list goes on.

Which genres of music does your style fall into?

I try and have a wide range of styles when I beatbox. I don't like to fit into one category, because I feel that will only limit me. As I'm influenced by so many different kinds of music, I like to think of myself as just a vocalist.

What do you think of battling?

I'm cool with battling if it's for fun and not aimed at trying to kill someone's career.

Have you been in any battles?

I only participated in two small battles when I was in high school. Neither of them had an announcement stating who won and what made the situation even more difficult was that the crowd gave us [both] the same response. Both battles were declared a draw.

I'm cool with battling if it's for fun and not     aimed at trying to kill someone's career.

Do you hold any titles?

No titles yet...

Where was your first performance?

My first performance was in front of my high school at a rally we had. There was close to 2000 people in the bleachers and it was my first time beatboxing in front of more than two people. You could say I was a bit scared.

Each live on stage, sporting a breath control t-shirt

What kind of performances have you been doing recently?

Lately I've been doing a bunch of things. I recently finished a two-week run project called Invisible Cities, which was a short theatre piece that fused body percussion and beatboxing. That was my first theater experience, which was great.

I'm a host of a monthly hip-hop show called Rhyme Division, which supports up and coming talent in the Bay Area. I'm also very heavily involved with The Vowel Movement and co-produce/co-host that every month.

Other than the monthly shows and weekly runs, I do a lot of various gigs around San Francisco and the Bay Area. Recently, Kid Lucky, my fellow beatboxers and myself rocked a show with Rahzel - it was phat!

What kind of situation do you enjoy performing in most?

I love performing almost anywhere, as long as the sound system is nice and there is a crowd!

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

If I slip during a performance, I'll try my best to blend it with a beat that I'm already doing, or turn it into a new one. It's happened a few times, and the crowd rarely notices.

Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?

Almost always.

Being nervous is normal... if you don't feel anything before the show, then the performance means nothing.

What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?

Relax, chill, and know that the crowd is there to hear something amazing. They're not there to laugh at you and bring you down. Being nervous is normal. In my opinion, if you don't feel anything before the show, then the performance means nothing.

Do you like to session with other beatboxers?

I love jamming with other beatboxers. As long as we're vibing together, the beat won't stop.

Do you think it's necessary to practice?

I practice a minimum of two hours a day. It's a necessity for me to stay on top of my game. I work a lot on breath control and technique. New sounds typically happen by accident when I'm not forcing myself to think of something new.

Have you ever taught beatboxing?

I have taught beatboxing in the past and would probably do it again if I came across people who really wanted to learn.

promo shot courtesy of Danielle Barnett

How do you balance your beatboxing with other obligations?

For me, I do most of my beatbox-related events/gigs in the evenings and try not to do them too late during the workweek. I have a full-time job Monday to Friday, which makes it tough sometimes for rehearsals, studio sessions, et cetera.

There was a time where I was going to night school on top of working full-time and doing gigs, but it was too much and very overwhelming so I had to take a break off of school for a while.

Fortunately, I'm living by myself and I don't have a girlfriend to dedicate all of my free time to (but eventually I will)!

What set-up do you use?

I'm not too picky on my set up. Sometimes I use an AKG D790, or a Beta 58A; it just depends on what I'm feeling. Aside from my mic, I use a vocal effects processor, foot pedal and a loop station for part of my routine in live performances.

Which do you prefer: acoustic or mic-ed?

Keep rocking the stage and break a mic!

Definitely mic-ed!

Have you appeared on any releases?

I'm not featured on any albums released at this time, but will be shortly.

Do you have a website where people can check out your skills?


Are there any new Each projects coming up soon?

I'm heading to Germany in September 2005 to participate in the Hip Hop World Challenge, taking place in Leipzig! I'm also currently working on a few album projects which are going to be released within the next few months. I'm going to be featured on The Shotgun Wedding Quintet's album and Goodword's album - two very talented hip hop groups. To catch my next performance, check out my events page!

Any shout outs?

Big shout out to all the folks at mic(ism), The Vowel Movement, Beatboxer Entertainment, Beatboxing.com, Humanbeatbox.com and all beatboxers who support this art form. Keep rocking the stage and break a mic!

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Each - beatboxer