Champion beatboxers help students find voice on pathway to college

DSF is excited to welcome champion beatbox duo, LightShip, to this year’s Bash to the Future event on April 6. Comprised of two time World Beatbox Champion Kaila Mullady and American Beatbox Champion and TEDxMileHigh speaker Mark Martin, LightShip is spreading the art of beatboxing all over the world, while helping students develop skills and confidence.

Beatboxing is the art of imitating and creating music and sound effects using only the human voice and can be adapted for any style of music you can imagine. Originating in New York City during the early ’80s, it has since spread all over the world and become an international phenomenon. LightShip believes that beatboxing helps you find the power of your voice, building confidence to stand up for yourself and others.

“The first step to speaking up is making a sound,” says the duo. “In a world of slashed budgets and cultural barriers, beatboxing requires no expensive equipment. All you need is your imagination.”

With over 16 years of combined teaching experience, Kaila and Mark have trained under some of New York City’s top teaching artists. Kaila started her teaching career in 2012 under world-renowned teaching artists Kid Lucky, Baba Israel, D-Cross and Yako 440. Kaila first promoted reading and writing through the Hip Hop Book club that taught songwriting and story remixing in libraries across New York City. Since then she has taught all over the world from the Bronx to Harvard and the United Nations. Mark has been beatboxing throughout New York City since 2007, graduating from New York University in 2011, designing a major around the idea of beatbox as a language. There, he studied phonetics and created a system teaching beatboxing using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). While in New York City he taught with several different local nonprofit organizations. From 2011-2015, Mark was a leading member of the international theater group Voca People, where he taught workshops all over the world. Both Kaila and Mark teach private one on one lessons in person and over Skype, focusing on beatboxing, singing, vocal health, songwriting, battle technique, and self-expression.

One of the most fulfilling parts of LightShip’s career has been teaching workshops and assemblies promoting reading, writing, finding your voice, and anti-bullying. Their work using beatboxing as a tool for speech therapy led to a partnership with New York University, which brought together students of various disciplines to design a class specifically to build tools for blind and handicapped students. Giving back to communities is an integral part of LightShip’s creative process which motivated them to take over producing the American Beatbox Championships in 2016, the largest platform for beatboxers in North America.

Whether on stage in front of beatbox fans, in an auditorium speaking to students, or helping staff training at a corporate event, LightShip has seen the benefits of beatboxing and how it allows people to open up, work together and build listening skills, no matter what their musical skill level is. LightShip believes beatboxing is the perfect vehicle to allow audiences to come out of their shell and build confidence in their voice.

To learn more about Bash to the Future and purchase tickets, click here.