Published on March 2nd, 2017 | by Geckos Tales Team
Girl power: Meet American Vice Beatbox Champion, Kaila Mullady
Read time: a bit over 4 minutes
Kaila Mullady isn’t your typical young twentysomething. She’s the 2015 Female World Beatbox Champion, current America Vice Beatbox Champion and three-time reigning Loop Station and Beatrhyme champion (so basically she’s the coolest). But in addition to being an awesome beatboxer and performer, she’s challenging norms and giving back to local communities.
We had the pleasure of hosting Kaila on our Sri Lankan Adventure trip and we thought you should get to know her a little better.
1. What inspired you to get into beatboxing?
I have been making silly noises my whole life. When I was little, I was the kind of kid you would not give any sugar too (one sip of soda and I would be bouncing off the walls). From my earliest years, music always attracted me. From banging on pots and pans to picking up a guitar at ten years old, beatboxing was a natural thing I always found myself doing. It was the instrument that was always with me, and no one, not even my parents, could take it away. As I got older it became more of a joke with friends. Any time someone needed a beatboxer at a party, I would happily participate. Then in 2012, one of the best beatboxers in America heard me. We started hanging out and he introduced me to a community of people who were just as strange as me. It felt like I found my tribe. Having new friends to learn and play with lit a fire inside of me and I haven’t stopped since.
2. Was it hard learning to make all the sounds? (It seems super tricky to us!)
If you don’t mind looking and sounding strange it isn’t. Practice makes perfect (like they say). I think the toughest part is getting over that self-conscious feeling of, “does this sound right?” It will always sound like fart noises in the beginning. But after spitting all over yourself for a month, it becomes a great sound. Beatboxing really helps you find the power of your own voice and your style. Every beatboxer is unique – no two beatboxers sound the same. Learning sounds isn’t very difficult, but finding out what you want to say takes time.
3. You’re the 2015 Female World Beatbox Champion and the current America Vice Beatbox Champion. How did it feel winning those titles?
It was an amazing feeling winning the 2015 Female World Beatbox Championships (I felt as if I was in The Twilight Zone!). Never in my life would I have thought this is what I would be doing – I just think back at 9-year-old Kaila beatboxing to Britney Spears and laugh. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have represented America and to have won such a prestigious event.
When I battle in the America championships, I’m filled with so much pride. America is one of the only countries that doesn’t separate men and women from battling each other. Although I’m very proud of my World Champion title, my 3x Loop Station, 3x beatrhyming and Vice America champion titles mean more to me. There’s a lot of sexism in the beatboxing world. Men put women down and tell them they will never be good enough. Every time I beat a man, it shows any young girl coming into our scene they can do anything they set their minds to. I have been seeing a huge increase of female beatboxers in our scene in the last few years and couldn’t be happier.
4. We know giving back to communities is a big part of your creative process. Can you tell us a little of the work you do?
I teach beatboxing and theater workshops all over the world to help people find the power of their own voice. While home in New York City, my passion project is working with blind and mentally handicapped students. I work for a non-profit called B.E.A.T Global where we create original songs with these incredible kids using a loop pedal. They are absolutely amazing! Many times people tell them that they can’t do things, but my students are some of the most talented musicians I have ever met and I hope more people can hear their work. Another thing I am very excited about is the work I am doing with my boyfriend. He is also a beatboxer and we have created a Beatboxing and Speech Therapy curriculum which uses beatboxing as a healing and educational tool. I hope to reach everyone with the power of music and see them shine.
5. What’s the next thing you want to tick off your list?
I want to create a theatrical beatboxing show and travel the world in the process!
6. What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to achieve their goals?
Follow your heart. Money will not make you happy at the end of the day. No matter if you want to be a ballerina or a singing firefighter, follow your passions with everything you have. Anything you put time into will succeed. Don’t waste time with the “what ifs”. You never know what tomorrow will bring. If you want to see the world, then get out there and make every day an adventure.
Want to explore Sri Lanka like Kaila did? Check out our Sri Lankan Adventure trip