Canada has a new beatbox champion.
After two years of coming in second, Weston resident Scott Jackson was crowned the winner of the Freedom of Beats 2012 Canadian Beatbox Championships.
Held Nov. 10 at The Mod Club downtown, 16 finalists made up of Canada’s finest beatboxers battled it out, with Jackson beating two-time defending champ Terry Im, who performs under moniker KRNFX.
Judged on originality, technical skill, creativity, battle tactics and crowd response, Jackson clinched first place and was awarded $500 cash, a trophy and the chance to represent Canada at the World Beatbox Championships to be held next year in Germany.
“It was a tough battle,” Jackson said. “I beat the guy in the semis that won first for two years. It feels amazing to finally win. I can’t put it into words. To beat (KRNFX) in the semis is almost bigger than winning.”
The friendly rivalry between Jackson and KRNFX, who retired from competition after the championships, has not only been played out at beatbox events but in front of television cameras as both men were two of 12 finalists on Canada’s Got Talent in the spring.
“Scott Jackson has taken his rightful spot as the 2012 Canadian Beatbox Champion,” said Gary Goudini, host and director of Beatbox Canada. “A well deserved win over the toughest top 16 beatboxers in Canada to date. As an inspiration to us all, this hometown hero shares his passion selflessly, making beatbox music for all to enjoy. A true people’s champ.”
Jackson’s path to beatboxing a decade ago wasn’t planned. Bedridden for months with a virus in high school, Jackson dabbled in beatboxing after hearing small snippets from beatboxers Doug E. Fresh and Miz Markie to help pass the time. But as time wore on, his skills evolved and it soon became a passion that would lead to winning competitions and turning his art into a full-time job.
“It’s funny how stuff works out,” he said. “I took a negative and made it into a positive.”
In 2008, Jackson won the very first competition he entered to become the Scribble Jam Beatbox champion. He was then invited to participate in the World Beatbox Championships, working as a busker downtown to hone his skills and raise funds for the trip.
While he didn’t do as well has he had hoped, Jackson gained valuable experience, he said.
And that experienced showed, as Jackson continued to dominate in almost every beatbox competition he entered.
“Beatboxing really is like a family,” he said. “Right away that person is my brother or sister. At the World Championships in Germany I met people from all over the world and we had an instant connection. Music is an international language.”
Having won the Canadian Beatbox Championships and a slew of other competitions, Jackson, 25, is now wrestling with the idea of retiring from battling.
“It’s a question that’s been circling in my mind,” he said. “I may want to defend my title, I’m not sure. I don’t know if there is much more I need to prove in Canada. I want to give opportunity to some of the younger guys to make a name.”
While he decides, Jackson plans to keep busy with an upcoming battle in Switzerland and many school appearances, having performed at some 1,000 schools across Canada in three years, where he speaks about bullying, following your dreams and equality.