Darren Foreman (born 14 May 1982), better known as Beardyman, is a musician from London renowned for his beatboxing skills and use of live looping technology, and according to the BBC "King of Sound and Ruler of Beats".
Foreman was born to a Jewish family in Stanmore, North London. After studying at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School for Boys, Barnet, Foreman moved to Brighton in 2001 to study at the University of Sussex. Although he started making noises at the age of three by imitating Michael Winslow from the Police Academy movie series, it was seeing Rahzel perform live that convinced Foreman that beatboxing could sustain a whole show rather than simply provide interludes within the context of a broader presentation. Beardyman’s first musical venture was composing a symphony for his school orchestra at the age of ten. At fifteen, an introduction to drum and bass led to his long-standing obsession with music technology.
Darren was given the nickname "Beardyman" because a name was quickly needed for a flyer for an early show, and he had a beard at the time.
In 2006 Beardyman battled to become UK Beatbox Champion and retained his title in 2007 making him the first beatboxer in UK history to win two championships in a row. He was on the 2008 judging panel.
As well as accomplished solo beatboxer, Beardyman was inspired by MC Xander to use music technology such as the Korg Kaoss Pad 3 in order to loop and sample his vocals. Through his use of looping tools he effectively produces whole DJ sets where the records are constructed live from his vocalisations, as well as live production of original material.
His music frequently contains elements of drum and bass, dubstep, breakbeat, trance, techno and other associated forms of electronic dance music. He also incorporates other forms of music into his live sets, including but not limited to reggae and country music, often purely for the purpose of providing a comedic counterpoint to his beatboxing. Virtually all of his music is created using only his vocal cords to produce sounds, and incorporating music technology such as vocoders and software synthesis to alter the pitch of his voice, or to add various kinds of audio effects such as delays, reverbs or modulation effects. In various YouTube videos various pieces of electronic equipment can be spotted, notably the Korg Kaossilator Pro, the Kaoss Pad 3 (also known as the KP3), a Korg Wavedrum, a microKORG, a Boss GT-8 and a Boss RC-50.
During November 2006 he took part in a series of children's choir charity concerts called Young Voices appearing in Manchester, Birmingham, London and Belfast.
On 10 February 2007 he made an appearance on the second episode of the BBC One show When Will I Be Famous. Despite winning over the studio audience and two of the three judges, he came second in a public vote. On the same day, he was on also on the Channel 4 show Homemade where he was profiled as the weirdest beatboxer around. Beardyman supported Groove Armada on their UK tour in 2007.
In July 2009, he appeared at the Udderbelly during its residency at South Bank in London. This was for an ensemble comedy show called "Beardyman's Complete and Utter Shambles" featuring JFB, MC Klumzy Tung, Beardyman's comedian brother Jay Foreman, visual artist mr_hopkinson, guitarist 'J'm Black, saxophonist Hellanor and comedian Reggie Watts. The show took the technology based entertainment experiments of Battlejam to a more theatrical comedy club setting. A reduced cast version of the show renamed "Beardyman's Unplanned Explosion" went on to appear at the Udderbelly at the Edinburgh Festival in late August 2009, and again at Bristol Old Vic in October 2009.
Beardyman appeared in the BBC Comedy Prom 2011 with Tim Minchin.
Beardyman cites the Lyrebird as a form of inspiration, and hosted a BBC Radio 4 documentary about the bird entitled, "Beardyman and the Mimics".