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The United States can point to Rahzel, Scratch (both formerly of The Roots) and reggae-fusion artist Matisyahu as examples of human beatboxers who have experienced mainstream success. Britain has Killa Kella and Shlomo, the latter of whom, as well as having contributed to Bjork’s 2004 album “Medulla,” now performs in front of a variety of unlikely audiences via his residency at London’s respected Southbank Centre alongside the likes of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

For Japan, however, there is only one leading beatboxer: Osaka-born Akira Fujioka, better known as Afra. Yet, it is in no small part thanks to his efforts that the future of beatboxing in Japan is arguably brighter than anywhere in the West.

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