VIDEO: Student beat boxes rivals to be crowned top teen talent

EPOS, real name Robert McKay, from Ferring, was crowned under-18 champion at the UK Beatbox Championships. Pictured right is his competitor Maish. Picture: Alex Zaj from Black Frog London
EPOS, real name Robert McKay, from Ferring, was crowned under-18 champion at the UK Beatbox Championships. Pictured right is his competitor Maish. Picture: Alex Zaj from Black Frog London

A college student from Ferring has beat-boxed his rivals into submission to be crowned the top teenage talent in the country.

Robert McKay, 17, better known to his fans as EPOS, was victorious in the under-18 category at the UK Beatbox Championships, held at The Garage in Highbury, North London on Sunday, November 26.

Having come out on top of 14 other beat-boxers in three battle rounds, he beat his rival Maish in the finals with an original set and was crowned onstage by one of the judges.

He said: “Honestly, I was in complete disbelief. The guy I won against is really good and I was a bit nervous beforehand, but when I found out I won it was the best feeling.”

Robert got into beatboxing when he met a fellow enthusiast online via his PlayStation 3 in 2014 who showed him tutorial videos.

He taught himself to imitate percussion instruments like the high-hat and snare, and then moved on to sub-bass guitars, trumpets and other sounds.

EPOS, real name Robert McKay, from Ferring, was crowned under-18 champion at the UK Beatbox Championships. Picture: Alex Zaj from Black Frog London

EPOS, real name Robert McKay, from Ferring, was crowned under-18 champion at the UK Beatbox Championships. Picture: Alex Zaj from Black Frog London

His mum Lorene initially found it ‘a bit strange’ when he wandered around the house making ‘all these strange noises’ but was very proud of her son’s achievements.

She said: “At first I had never heard of it before, I just thought it was a whole lot of noise. But as he progressed you realise there is a huge following and skill to it.”

The first time Robert entered the competition was in 2015, where he got to the semi-finals. Last year, he reached the finals before finally winning.

The Northbrook College music technology student incorporates beat-boxing into his work, and while he has done covers to Superstition by Stevie Wonder and Thrift Shop by rapper Macklemore, he said he is in his element when performing his own compositions to live crowds.

He will compete next year for the adult beat-boxing title, and hoped to make a living out of it: “If I could do beat-boxing as a career, I would be the happiest guy alive.”