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Beatbox champ drums up energy at home as 1st Israeli to compete for world title

12 8 5

Now that he’s graduated from high school, 2020 Beatbox Israel champion Maxim Mirel, aka Max, has a message for competitors in the 2021 Grand Beatbox Battle: “The underdog is coming.”

With a menacing bassline and a snare that cuts right through speakers, Mirel has taken the beatbox community by storm and put the Israeli beatbox community firmly on the map, securing a wild card spot in the Grand Beatbox Battle (GBB), the world’s premier annual beatbox competition. (For the uninitiated, beatboxing is the singlehanded acapella rendition of rap or techno music, often performed at spitfire speeds.)

Despite his imposing on-mic presence, Mirel is actually quite down-to-earth. Though he was awarded the GBB wildcard spot in May, he only agreed to be interviewed in August, after he completed his Israeli high school matriculation exams. “I prefer to let my music speak for itself,” explains the 18-year-old Ashkelon resident, with characteristic understatement.

Mirel’s social media accounts are nearly bereft of personal details, and his peers in the Israeli beatboxing scene go so far as to call him shy. And while many beatboxers curate their image, releasing highly-produced videos staged in front of green screens, Mirel eschews pizzazz for a spartan commitment to solid crewneck t-shirts.

Breaking his musical style down into two main components, Mirel says that he has “the crazy drops that get the crowd going,” but that he tries to keep his sound “as close to [produced] music as possible” for the remainder of the time. He’s earned accolades from the best in the game: No less a personage than 2015 Beatbox World Champion, Alem, described Mirel’s wildcard video as “incredible” and praised his “atmosphere and presence.”

Next month, Mirel will take the GBB stage in Warsaw, Poland, alongside 23 other beatboxers representing 12 countries on four continents. The competitors were selected from a total pool of 1,000 candidates either by way of an online wildcard audition or by winning a major international competition. With the Beatbox Battle World Championships on an indefinite hiatus since 2018,........

© The Times of Israel

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