Musical detox

Rapper Beatox collaborates with U of M jazz students on upcoming EP

Photo provided by Ron Hooper.

On March 27, Winnipeg rapper Beatox will release his latest EP, Late Nights, at the Good Will Social Club, In describing why he goes under the name Beatox, Adam Fainman admits three reasons.

“First, I love beatboxing. I do it all the time, everywhere. Secondly—being a rapper/MC—I love writing, storytelling, and making the ‘beat talk,’” Fainman told the Manitoban.

“Lastly, music has always been a form of a ‘detox’ in my life, helping me stay grounded.”

Fainman—citing D’Angelo and A Tribe Called Quest as his musical influences—has been a part of the Winnipeg music scene for a few years now. As a member of the now-defunct hip-hop group Butter Pretzels, he saw success with two releases in 2012, Joint Stupidity and Baked Not Fried. The group’s music was described as “stoner hip-hop,” a sub-genre popularized by the band Das Racist. Some of the songs by Butter Pretzels include the hits “Let’s Meet Jack Black” and “Outback Steakhouse.”

With the group disbanding, Fainman launched his solo project “Beatox” in September of 2013 and released the Modest Mouth Mixtape shortly after.

Beatox plans on releasing an EP entitled Late Nights on March 27. For the EP, Fainman recorded with several musicians from the University of Manitoba jazz studies program, including members of Winnipeg funk band Down to Funk, featuring Sean Burke on bass, Jesse Popeski on guitar, Carter Graham on keys, and Noah Chochinov on drums. The project also features jazz and soul vocalist Joanna Majoko contributing hooks to tracks such as “OZ.”

Being attuned to standard four-bar loops and hip-hop samples, the jump to working with live musicians was a new and exciting experience for the local artist.

“The actual process of making songs with musicians is a new experience for me, and a lot of fun. What the process has been, is that I bring songs I’ve written to them usually with a melody/vibe in mind, and the band will start messing around until something jumps out,” explained Fainman.

“Then we piece it together, record the whole jam, listen back, and then repeat.”

The product of the recordings is Late Nights. The new project’s trajectory bears no resemblance to Fainman’s earlier work with Butter Pretzels. While Butter Pretzels’ intention was mostly seen to be just goofing around, the focus of the new work aims to take listeners “on a journey through darkness and light.”

One of the EP’s songs, entitled “OZ,” starts off how one would expect a partnership between jazz and rap to sound. As the song builds, however, we are presented with a more interesting and experimental take on the formula. From a timid guitar riff intro, the song leads into Joanna Mojoko’s unique vocalization tied with Beatox citing references from the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz.

With plans to release Late Nights on March 27 at the Good Will Social Club, Fainman expects an eclectic musical-mixed event with R&B jazz band Sapphire Empire and rapper 3-PEAT sharing the bill.

“People should expect a lot of energy, some beatboxing, and a nice mix of hip-hop, jazz, funk, and some dancing.”

Beatox will be releasing Late Nights on March 27 at the Good Will Social Club (625 Portage Avenue). Tickets are $10 and will be available at and at the door.