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Artist of the day: eFFeX


World-class beatboxer Cory Matthew Michael, a.k.a. eFFeX, has traveled the globe for his music, performing in commercials in Sweden and South Africa and starring in an online ad campaign for Nokia. And he doesn't seem the slightest bit fazed by it.

"Honestly, it’s never felt anything but secondary to me, like it’s what I’m supposed to do," he says. "A lot of people ask me why I am not more excited about such and such. Like, yeah, I’m excited, but I’m not giddy."

Soon, he'll get arguably his biggest spotlight yet: A slot performing on America's Got Talent (9 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, NBC). And on Friday, he'll be part of the Hot Dog Show 3 with Sunbears!, Juicy Pony and Shunda K. at Crowbar in Ybor City.

Some of you might remember a local commercial eFFex once did for tbt*; you can check it out below. And after the jump, get Julie Garisto's full profile on the human sound effects machine...

Vox haul: Beatboxer Cory Matthew Michael, a.k.a. eFFeX, has wowed audiences with his vocalized percussion and other sounds locally, nationally on the TV show America’s Got Talen, and internationally in TV commercials.

Tampa native: Born Oct. 6, 1984.

Family man: “I’m engaged. I have children, two girls.” One will be 3 this week and one is 10 months. “They’re hers but they might as well be mine.”

'Pretty standard,’ eh? “(America’s Got Talent) was a lot of fun,” eFFeX says. “It was an audience of around 2,000 and the three judges. You first go in front of a panel of producers, then the executive producers. I wasn’t really nervous, though. It was pretty standard.”

The Hoff, Sharon Osborne and …? “And Piers (Morgan) … yeah. They liked me. Their main concern was moving a beatboxer onto the next stage. Straight beat boxing gets mundane and repetitive. It’s like watching a drummer, which I completely agree with. A beatboxer just beatboxing has a 15-20-minute stage life before people want to know what else is going on.”

In addition: “I sing a little bit, but I’ve never been a big MC. I just recently started using loop pedals and effects processors, so now my live shows take on the level of vocal deejaying.”

So, there’s more variety? “Yeah with the technology I use, I can easily do an hour set. The hardware I bought was (A) stupid expensive and (B) totally worth it. I have a Boss RC 50 and a Boss GT10B, which is actually a bass guitar processor but it’s wicked for vocals.”

First show: ‚ÄúI did an exhibition at Tampa Prep in 2003, and the video from that got a lot of Internet play, and that‚Äôs how I got booked for commercials overseas. I did one for a soft drink called Calypso Rapids, in South Africa, Cape Town. It was a lot of fun. The other was in Stockholm Sweden for Nokia. Pjotrovs was a guy whose suit made music when he danced. He was the former spokesperson‚Äôs for Nokia‚Äôs ‚ÄúI Am My Music,‚Äù and I beat him in a battle.  It was more of Web campaign than anything.‚Äù

On jetsetting: Honestly, it’s never felt anything but secondary to me, like it’s what I’m supposed to do. A lot of people ask me why I am not more excited about such and such. Like, yeah, I’m excited, but I’m not giddy.”

What gets him excited and giddy? “16,000 people, performing at the St. Pete Times Forum.”

Collaborations: I’ve done a lot of work with Breakdown. He’s probably my favorite local MC, and we have a lot stage chemistry. I feed off his energy really well. I’m a big fan of beatbox/DJ mashups, scratch battles. I like seeing beatbox with any genre. I’m huge fan of, say, a 10-piece instrument with beatbox as the percussion for it. I like the genre mash-ups. I’ve done it before with a student ensemble from USF that performed classical music meets hip-hop.”

Hear him: Friday at 7 p.m. at the Hot Dog Show 3 with Sunbears!, Juicy Pony, the Grecian Urns and DJ Mini Horse, Crowbar. 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $7.

-- Julie Garisto, tbt*

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 7:00am]


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