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December 2003
Knock out blow by beatboxing king
KIlla Kela
Killa Kela turned heads at Po Na Na's.
Justin Timberlake collaborate Killa Kela is a master of "beatboxing".

Anjool Malde watches him steal the show and leave Po Na Na’s audience gobsmacked.

Killa Kela

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Resident DJs Dave T and DJ Denada provided an eclectic mix of funky beats and scratch-heavy underground tunes as Po Na Na began to get busy.

As good as they were, you could see the crowd repeatedly looking at their watches.

They’d heard the hype about Killa Kela, and now were waiting for him to deliver. With the floor ram packed a hyper MC Trip bursts on, backed up by DJ Skeletrik, warming up the crowd with a megamix of anthems.

quote Jaws literally dropped. "Oh my God" was heard from many, while other initial reactions are unprintable. quote
Killa Kela makes his mark at Po Na Na.
“Everything you are about to hear comes solely from these two microphones, that’s it”, says MC Trip as Kela finally joins him on the stage.

It seemed however that hardly anyone had come across the concept of "beatboxing" - the ability to imitate percussion through vocals which Kela is renowned for on both sides of the Atlantic.

Starting off with basic single bass, hi hat and snare imitations, he has the audience in awe.

Making heavy use of hand gestures to imitate hitting the drums, scratching and changing the pitch, he covers all effects, vibrating the microphone to echo his vocal percussion and sucking in for a vacuum effect.

A one-man orchestra able to sing at the same time, Kela spins out a range of hits from Soul II Soul’s classic ‘Back to Life’ to Britney’s ‘I’m A Slave 4 U’, beatboxing ‘Rock Your Body’ better than Mr Timberlake himself, who he recently toured with.

Check out Anjool Malde's interview with Killa Kela
Kela and MC Trip were supposed to be working almost as a tag team, with the latter "freestyling" after each talented display from the human beatbox.

Another part of urban music culture, the talent of improvising the rap on the spot was brought into the limelight with Eminem’s Oscar-winning "8 Mile".

MC Trip did a decent job of this, particularly skilled at rapping at hyper speed, working a cameraman, smoker and loudmouth from the front row into his freestyling.

At this point Po Na Na resembled the MC battle from ‘8 Mile’, if you replace the urban ghetto crowd with Oxford townies that is.

But although Kela called four rounds, there was no contest.
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