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TED2009

Naturally 7: A full-band beatbox

February 4, 2009

One-of-a-kind R&B group Naturally 7 beatboxes an orchestra's worth of instruments to groove through their smooth single, "Fly Baby."

Naturally 7 - A capella ensemble
The group Naturally 7 practices vocal play -- the art of using the human voice to mimic instruments. It's as if a beatboxing troupe decided they could "-box" a whole orchestra: flute, horns, drums, guitar -- building a vocal wall of sound. Full bio

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Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
♫ I think I'm ready to do my thing ♫
01:22
♫ I think I'm ready to take my chances ♫
01:24
♫ I've been dining out and all stressed out ♫
01:27
♫ Due to the circumstances. See? ♫
01:29
♫ I gotta get up, get up, get up, get up ♫
01:32
♫ Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up ♫
01:38
♫ I see what you're saying ♫
01:43
♫ We sent a demo to the world, they said it sounds like Take 6 ♫
01:45
♫ I said "Hold on, wait a minute, I'll be back with the remix" ♫
01:47
♫ They looking at us funny, we can't make any money ♫
01:50
♫ It took us years to figure out that we was dealing with dummies ♫
01:52
♫ They didn't understand the sound from the Bronx, that's the boogie down ♫
01:54
♫ to Huntsville, Alabama, there's no circles in my planner, so ♫
01:57
♫ It was time to make the product, so we hooked up with Townsend ♫
02:00
♫ Made a deal with John Neal, on the road sold ten thousand ♫
02:02
♫ WBA, that means a trip to Nashville ♫
02:05
♫ Festplatte showed up and said them boys are naturals ♫
02:07
♫ Can you hear what they were hearing? See what they were seeing? ♫
02:10
♫ From Bronx to Berlin, we took the tour European ♫
02:12
♫ All vocal yeah, we widit, call the album "What is it?" ♫
02:15
♫ With Sarah Connor, set the goal for number one and we hit it ♫
02:17
♫ But now it's Kev, Sim, Drew, Stew, time for a new day ♫
02:19
♫ Ring the alarm, hit 'em on Skype or a two-way ♫
02:22
♫ Sung by the words, we ready to fly! ♫
02:25
♫ Fly baby! Time to leave that nest ♫
02:28
♫ Fly baby! This ain't no time to rest ♫
02:30
♫ Come on fly baby, we got work to do ♫
02:32
♫ Here we go, spread my wings and ... ♫
02:35
♫ Fly baby! Time to leave that nest ♫
02:37
♫ Fly baby! This ain't no time to rest. Come on ♫
02:40
♫ Fly baby! We got work to do ♫
02:43
♫ Here we go. Spread my wings and fly. One more time ♫
02:45
♫ Fly baby! Time to leave that nest ♫
02:50
♫ Fly baby! This ain't no time to rest ♫
02:52
♫ Fly baby! We got work to do ♫
02:55
♫ Here we go, spread my wings and ... ♫
02:57
♫ Fly baby! Fly baby fly ♫
03:00
♫ Fly baby! Fly baby high ♫
03:03
♫ Fly baby! Up to the sky ♫
03:05
♫ Spread my wings and fly ♫
03:08
Instrumental!
03:11
♫ We're ready to fly! ♫
03:31
(Applause)
03:34
Thank you very much.
03:45
(Applause)
03:47

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Naturally 7 - A capella ensemble
The group Naturally 7 practices vocal play -- the art of using the human voice to mimic instruments. It's as if a beatboxing troupe decided they could "-box" a whole orchestra: flute, horns, drums, guitar -- building a vocal wall of sound.

Why you should listen

The men of Naturally 7 can sing like a dream. But what you might not expect from this vocal group is what else they do -- their voices contain multitudes of instruments, from a glorious trumpet to a full drum kit (with a side of turntables). They call it "vocal play" -- the art of creating instrumental music with the human voice. It's an evolutionary step beyond beatboxing, which is a solo pursuit -- these seven musicians are a tight orchestra.

Naturally 7's sonic range is clear even by reading the member lineup: Roger "N'glish" Thomas is a baritone and rapper; Rod Eldridge handles tenor, trumpet and scratching; Warren Thomas brings percussion, guitar and a third tenor. Baritone Dwight Stewart; tenors Jamal Reed and Garfield Buckley (who also plays harmonica); and bass Armand Hutton round out the group.

The original video is available on TED.com
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