Byron Bay beatboxer on his way to Berlin

Byron Bay beatboxer Jake Kemp
Byron Bay beatboxer Jake Kemp Contributed

IN A surprise decision, last-minute finalist Jake Kemp won the Australian Beatboxing Championships 2013 in Sydney.

"I didn't make it to the finals, but then someone dropped off so they invited me to participate, and I won," said the 26-year-old Byron Bay artist.

In winning, Jake defeated the nation's best beatboxers at Sydney Olympic Park.

He will travel to Berlin, Germany, in March to represent Australia against close to a hundred other national winners.
It has been a rags-to-riches journey for Jake, who arrived in Australia from the south of England about three years ago.

"I've been doing (beatboxing) forever - since I was a young kid. I did it when I was walking down the street, making breakfast, annoying my friends and family.

"At 16 I was asked to do a gig at a club, and then I got more gigs. I never thought I would make money out of it," Jake said.

"Neither did my mother.

"What are you doing making sounds with your face and making money out of it? she would say to me."

Jake migrated to Australia on his own and things got tough for him when his money began to run out.

"I am a skipper and came to Australia looking for boat work. I ended up in Brisbane homeless and with no money," he said.

"I saw someone busking and decided to do it too. I made, like, 100 bucks in 30 minutes and I could not believe it."

Someone suggested Jake check out Byron Bay and he has lived there for the past two-and-a-half years.

Between busking, gigs and club work, he has been able to earn a living, and now his hard work is starting to pay off.

"Beatboxing is something that I have learned by putting many hours into it. Now it's easy because I have programmed it into my brain, but before I was just like anybody else," he said.

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