Meet the Artist #8 – Testament
Testament (aka Andy Brooks) is an MC / rapper and Guinness World Record holding human beatboxer.
“I have been Beatboxing since I was 11 and rapping since I was 14. After kicking off my career as ‘Testament’, I went on to win the BBC Urban Music Talent Award in 2007. Since then I have gone onto work with a diverse range of artists from Grammy winner Corinne Bailey Rae, MOBO winner Soweto Kinch, soul superstar Ray Parker Jnr, Mercury Winner Ty to the progenitor of Hip-Hop himself, US legend DJ KoolHerc.”
In 2009 he released his debut album ‘No Freedom Without Sacrifice’ (as ‘Homecut’) to widespread critical acclaim, reaching Top 10 in the iTunes Hip-Hop chart, before touring the UK.
Testament is currently a member of the world’s greatest beatbox choir ‘Shlomo & The Lip Factory‘ based at the Southbank Centre, London. He was also part of the original line-up of Shlomo’s other group project ‘The Vocal Orchestra’ and toured the UK with them (including an appearance at Glastonbury).
He has over a decade of (impressive!) experience, from busking on park benches in New York’s Washington Square, rocking the bars of Kuala Lumpur, headlining London’s Jazz Café and being invited to perform in front of Presidents and Nobel Peace Prize Winners. In 2011, he became a Guinness World Record holder for leading the largest ever Beatbox Ensemble piece with Shlomo at Google. Recent credits include performances on BBC TV, MTV, BBC Radio 1, Radio 3, BBC 1txra, as well as a trip to Mumbai to train India’s first ever beatbox orchestra for Sony Music and the British Council.
As if that isn’t enough(!), Testament has facilitated amazing workshops since 1998 in the UK and in locations across the globe. He’s worked with universities, the BBC, The Princes Trust, libraries, the BAC in London, the YMCA and with countless and various schools and community groups across the country. You can find details of his fantastic education work at www.hiphopclinic.co.uk.
Finally (is there anything he can’t do??), he is also a published author and a guest tutor at the world’s only Beatbox Academy at The BAC, London.
Testament’s first theatre show ‘Blake Remixed‘ premiered in 2015. The project, co-produced by West Yorkshire Playhouse and acclaimed theatre company Little Mighty, is a semi-autobiographical exploration of the link between the poetry and art of William Blake and Hip-Hop.