No doubt that Cebu is so blessed with people who have talents in acting, singing, ramp modeling, dancing, and also those who are behind filming. Many Cebuanos have brought back the bacon of success from other places around the country or even abroad. They are so many things these people have in common: they mastered their craft, been into ups and downs, and they started learning and improving when they were young, or even younger.
Disclaimer: This post was originally published on this website last May 11, 2013. The response of our interviewee might not be relevant and current. However, we are hoping that you still enjoy our featured interview with the talented and young Cebuano Beat Boxer, GMTFX.
Now, CebuFinest will introduce to you this young lad who is unquestionably talented and started to learn the art of his talent at the age of 14. Our next featured Cebuano is no other than Genes Tapales, who is now 18, and people know him by the name—GMTFX. He is a beatboxer.
Cebuano beat boxer GMTFX
We have the chance to meet and talk to him; asked him questions about his background, his challenges, and the times when he realized that beatboxing is his thing.
Beatboxing in Cebu is growing. Genes (pronounced as it is, not “jeans”, but he’s used to it now) is a member of a group of beatboxers all over the province of Cebu. The Cebu Elite Beatboxers United (C.E.B.U.) was formed to give a venue to talented beatboxers to practice new techniques, to share their knowledge and also, to entertain people, especially those who are so amazed by it. When we got to interview him and he made demos of the sounds that he can create, there were goosebumps.
I first saw him perform live at the 7th year of Sonic Boom Sinulog Blast Off 2013 at the Cebu Grand Convention last January 20, 2013. It was just a short performance (or maybe it felt short because of the huge line up of rock bands who performed and he went on stage in between breaks), that when he started beatboxing, people inside the hall started dancing and demanded to beat box more. That feeling, I can still remember, was amazing.
Without further storytelling, let us enjoy the Q&A portion of this interview. Hope you enjoy.
When did you start beat boxing?
I started beat boxing when I was 14 years old.
Did you undergo training or did you just practice on his own?
I have no professional training in beatboxing. I just keep on practicing and enhancing my beatboxing talent on my own.
When did you realize that you can do beat-boxing?
I am the kind of person who likes making different sounds through my voice; my dad told me that those sounds are so noisy. But then, I have realized that by doing those sounds, it showed my real talent for beat boxing and now I keep on learning and improving more sounds.
Are there other members in you family that can beat box, too?
My younger sister can beat box. She learned the skills usually through imitating me. Then, I have noticed that she is good at beat boxing, too. She is now performing at her school; she is currently studying in Negros.
How did you come up with you stage name, GMTFX?
GMT stands for the initials of my complete name, Genes Mirasol Tapales. FX is by shortening the word, ‘Effects’.
In mathematics, F(x) means, function. Well, he sure does know other functions of his mouth and throat to make those amazing sounds. He can even do the “zipper”, the “Zaga” sound (it’s like a UFO ascending ; well, I haven’t heard of a real UFO, but I saw one in movies) and he can even do “dubstep” sounds.
Amazing, right? So, let’s continue with the Q&A.
Why did you choose that name?
At first, I was thinking of having the screen name, ‘Snitch’ because I like a candy with the same name. And I was supposed to have a commercial about that candy, but it didn’t push through.
How known is human beatboxing here in Cebu?
It’s now different from the last few years – now beatboxing had grown, it’s just that beatboxers do not have a place where they can properly and formally practice their talents.
They have a group named, Cebu Elite Beatboxers United. It organizes beatbox battles. Usually, they are joined by 20 to 30 beatboxers. If he is invited to showcase his talent on a specific event but is not available, he contacts the members of the group and gives the opportunity to them so that they can also perform.
When you perform, do you still get nervous?
Before I perform, I get nervous but when I see my supporters and the people who would be seeing me perform on stage, that nervousness will turn into confidence. Because of that, I can’t notice the time running and the time that is given to me to perform felt very short.
Did you experience discrimination from other people around you? Did it ever let you feel down?
I have had no actual or physical discrimination from other people, but there were times when other beatboxers send me private messages on Facebook, telling me unprofessional words about me and his craft, and I didn’t feel the need to respond to them to avoid conflicts.
What was your first major gig?
I joined Talentadong Pinoy last December of 2012.
Aside from beatboxing, what other talents do you have?
I can play drums. I can sing, too.
When we asked him to give us a sample of the singing talent, he refused, since we were positioned in a public area at The Terraces in Ayala Center Cebu and the place was so crowded. He said pass.
How do you deal with your supporters?
I never forget to thank them for their support. I communicate and interact with my supporters through Facebook and Twitter.
With the kind of career you have, how are you dealing with pressure?
I leave everything to God because I believe my talent comes from Him.
What makes you different from other people who do beat-boxing?
I consider myself still in the learning process because they are a lot of things to learn on beatboxing. I think I am still growing and I can’t really say if there’s something different about me and other beatboxers in Cebu. None for now.
Here’s a video of GMTFX performing Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster”.
Video by ainepetal on YouTube
More things to know about GMTFX and Beat boxing
– It took him 6 months to master the “Zaga” beatbox sound.
– The basic sounds of beatboxing are K, B, T.
– The Tapales Family is musically inclined: His father can play piano and his uncle can play acoustic/bass guitar.
– 10-15 minutes is the regular time given to beat boxer for their performances.
– He creates his own flow or composed for his beatbox performance.
– He joined a restaurant talent contest before and he won 2nd place.
– he had not tried to perform on the streets but he was planning to do so; however, because of his schedule, he was not able to continue with his plan.
– He is used to beatboxing; he can’t control but do beatboxing while walking and passers-by will be stunned.
– Beatboxing before was just a hobby. Now, he considers it as a career.
– He wishes to expand his exposure in Manila.
– The youngest beatboxer he knew is a 7-year kid from another country.
– Any kind of voice will do, but he thinks that it is an advantage to be a singer because it gives you a good voice quality.
– If beatboxing does not exist, Genes might be a singer.
– It is good to have speakers and microphone when performing.
– Beatboxing needs a lot of patience because it takes a while to learn such talent.
– Beatboxing is not like other talents like singing and dancing in which you can enhance by practicing for several months.
– One year is not even enough to master beatboxing; you will learn but only for few sounds.
– Five years from now, Genes would like to see himself touring around different countries to showcase his talent.
– With his talent, he still prioritizes to finish his study. He’s a University of San Carlos student.
Here’s a video of GMTFX on his live demo after our conversation. We have searched for a quite place to record but failed (we were in Ayala Center Cebu). But tell you, the sounds coming out of his mouth were brilliant and hair-raising! Have a watch!
That’s it (for now), folks! We hope you enjoy our feature and you get to know GTMFX better. You can subscribe on the Official GMTFX Facebook Page and follow him on Twitter (@GMTFX) for more updates about his show and future performance.
We would like to thank Genes Tapales for giving us his spare time to talk about cool stuff. We at Cebu Finest are hoping for his success and growth of his talent and someday we can see him on National TV performing or on stage for huge crowd gigs here in Cebu and all over the country. Wish you the best, GMTFX!