When did you start beatboxing?
I started beatboxing in 2000. I've always been heavy into music, playing, creating, listening and I think the human mouth is the most versatile instrument on the planet.
Which was the first cover routine you learned?
First cover I learned sounded something like Nas' If I Ruled the World, but I'm actually not big on covers.
Do you have a favorite sound?
My favorite sound would have to be the hollow snare [laughs]. I laugh 'cause people always tell me I do it too much, but I don't care; I have other snares I use when I feel like it.
Do you have a signature sound?
I do think I have a few signature sounds, but I can't say for sure because I don't listen to many other beatboxers to compare. I just go off of the emails I get from people telling me they've never heard [beatboxes] and how do I do it. Don't ask me how I do it, why would I tell you a signature trick that I figured out on my own?!
...touring in China was an experience of a lifetime.
[...] Everyone understands the language of music.
Did you have a beatbox mentor?
Which other beatboxers have you learned from?
My friend, Mikee Mic, opened my eyes to a lot of things, but even then we didn't tell or ask each other how we did a particular sound.
Which other beatboxers do you admire or are your favorites? Why?
Mikee Mic - his sounds are unbelievable. It sucks 'cause he doesn't post so most beatboxers have no idea.
Do you have a fond beatbox memory?
Um, touring in China was an experience of a lifetime. That is when I fully realized the true power of beatboxing. Not only to make people smile, but its power to cross cultural and language barriers. Everyone understands the language of music.
Are you influenced by old music?
Hell yeah! I'm inspired by Motown from the 70s and classic break beats from the 80s.
Which genres of music does your style fall into?
I mix 'em all up. Break Beat, Hip Hop, Trance, Reggaeton, etc. I kinda put them in my beatbox blender and what comes out is Roman.
What do you think about battling?
Battling is fun but if the crowd is the judge or non beatboxers, to me it doesn't prove skill. I've lost battles because the other guy made the crowd laugh more times.
Which was your first battle and have you been in any recently?
My first battle was Lounge Battles in Orlando, Florida. I won that one. My most recent battle was at Scribble Jam. Made it to the final 4 out of 18 in that one, but like I said - battling when beatboxers aren't judging is like a deejay judging an emcee battle.
Where was your first performance?
My first show was in 2000 at the Vowel Movement in California.
What kind of situation do you enjoy performing in most?
I like sit down style shows, where it's an intelligent crowd sitting down enjoying a show. I'm weird, I know.
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
I don't make mistakes. Every one of my sets is freestyle. I don't have a 'routine', thus I don't mess. I just go with the flow.
What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
Go to open mics, do as many open mics as you can from biker bars to coffee houses. Get used to that stage.
Do you practice?
I don't really think of it as practice. I basically walk around all day beatboxing. Most of the time I don't realize I'm doing it.
What set-up do you use?
No set up. I like to keep things as simple as possible.
Have you appeared on any releases?
Yeah, my own release. You can get it right here in the mic(ism) online store.
Where can people check out your skills online?
My site is romanbeats.com.
Have you got any shows coming up where people can catch you live or any projects on the horizon that people should watch out for?
I'm going back to win Scribble Jam this year and I'm in talks with a rather big management company in Miami. This year is going to be good.
I'm going back to win Scribble Jam this year...
Any shout outs?
Shout outs to The Vowel Movement, Mikee Mic, Kid Lucky, Rubox, all my Orlando heads, Beatboxer Ent and of course, mic(ism)!
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