Kollaboration Star finalist Sung Lee is a professional beatboxer who defies stereotypes through his artform.
He has performed before stunned audiences on one of the toughest stages in the world, the Apollo Theater.
Sung Lee has a solid YouTube presence but the complexity of his work lends itself to live performance.
On August 30, Sung Lee won the competition Kollaboration New York 9, which established his opportunity to enter the voting lottery for Kollaboration Star.
Sung Lee was able to clench the vote to advance to Kollaboration Star where he will perform live on November 15 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.
When did you become interested in beatboxing? How did you get started with performing as a beatboxer? My journey with beatboxing started ten years ago.
I was a freshman in high school at age fourteen.
I came across a video on internet, where there was someone beatboxing who was legitimately good.
I was floored and blown away by what I saw.
I decided to pick up beatboxing, myself.
Now, there are a lot of resources for people who want to pick up beatboxing.
On the internet there are forums, tutorials, and YouTube.
Back then, there weren’t the same types of resources, so it was a little bit harder to learn.
I would listen to tons of other beatboxers to hear what they were doing.
In the beginning, I wasn’t very good.
I would practice at school and the other kids would tell me to be quiet.
Beatboxing was something I enjoyed and I had a passion for it.
Ten years later, I am still beatboxing.
Why did you decide to perform at the Apollo Theater? What were some of the challenges you faced in choosing to perform at the Apollo? Even though I have been performing for ten years, it only became a serious pursuit a year ago in 2013.
That’s when I quit my job, let go of a lot of the things I didn’t need, and decided to stick to beatboxing.
I decided to pursue the dream of beatboxing.
Since then, I have been doing everything to get my foot in the door.
I would do performances at The Apollo and Kollaboration.
I plan to audition for “America’s Got Talent,” this year.
Anything to get my name out there.
Before that I wasn’t as committed.
Would you say that beatboxing was once a hobby but it is now your career? I wanted to pursue beatboxing before.
There were a lot of pressures to do something else.
Society and my family weren’t a hundred percent for it [beatboxing].
It can be considered a strange thing to do.
What are your thoughts on the role of hip hop and beatboxing? Beatboxing used to only be included in hip hop.
I don’t consider myself to be a hip hop artist.
Beatboxing has evolved to the point where it is now part of EDM (electronic dance music) and house.
When people say hip hop and place me in that category, I don’t necessarily agree.
It try to embrace all types of music whether it is hip hop, EDM, jazz, house.
I love all types of music.
What are some of your expectations for the Kollaboration Star finals? I have seen performances from some of the other contestants.
The contestants I have seen are really good.
I definitely need to bring my A game.
I am thinking of a routine that I can use which will hopefully blow away the judges.
It’s difficult because it is only a six minute time limit.
If I exceed six minutes, there will be points deducted.
So, I’m still brainstorming different ideas.
I know that those six minutes have to be really good.
I need to make an impact with every second.
There is a $10,000 prize on the line.
Are there any other competitions or performances are you considering, in the future? Would you perform at KCON, if you were asked to appear? I am open for anything.
I will be entering “America’s Got Talent,” next year.I am somewhat familiar with KCON.
I know that it is a huge Korean event which occurs in LA.
The art of beatboxing is versatile.
It can be used in almost any circumstance.
I have performed beatboxing at weddings and corporate events, it is something everyone can enjoy.