Hirsute cult musician Beardyman became a YouTube sensation after posting several videos showcasing his unique blend of improvisational beatboxing, hip-hop, and comedy. Born Darren Foreman in Stanmore, North London, in 1982, he started at a young age, and after moving to Brighton to study at the University of Sussex, a live performance from the Roots’ Rahzel showed him that his own skills could sustain a whole show, inspiring him to pursue a career in the music industry. In 2006, he was crowned the U.K. Beatbox Champion, a title he also retained a year later, and set up his own ground-breaking Battlejam club nights, which became one of the London scene’s hottest events when it later moved to Cargo.
He found world-wide fame when he uploaded The Kitchen Diaries, a spoof cookery show which used beats as ingredients, onto various video-sharing sites, which led to appearances on Lily Allen’s BBC3 chat show, a support slot on Groove Armada’s U.K. tour, and performances at Glastonbury, Leeds/Reading, and Bestival. He also hosted a BBC Radio 4 documentary about lyrebirds, the Australian mimicking birds who apparently influenced him, MC’d at Fatboy Slim’s Big Beach Boutique 4, and recorded a single with Chipmunk and Labrinth for Radio 1. His debut LP, I Done a Album, was released in 2011.