Rhythm of Love: In conversation with Lian Johnson aka Matt Lia - Eastern Mirror
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Rhythm of Love

Rhythm of Love: In conversation with Lian Johnson aka Matt Lia

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Jan 16, 2020 9:11 pm

Meet Lian Johnson aka Matt Lia who has been beatboxing for five years and won beatbox battles in Kohima and Dimapur. Lian has his share of tough stories about growing up because of his voice. In today’s Rhythm of Love, Lian talks about his journey to becoming a beatboxer.

S.Henlly Phom

Eastern Mirror: Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Lian Johnson: Hey, my name is Lian and I also go by the name Matt Lia and I’m a beatboxer or basically I make weird mimicries out of my mouth. I’ve been beatboxing for almost five years now and I’m currently doing my Bachelor’s at Baptist College in Kohima.

Eastern Mirror: When and where did the concept for beatboxing take birth in your mind? How did you start beatboxing?

Lian Johnson: Growing up, before and during my teenage years I always used to have a sharp pitch voice or tone so to say and that basically made people to make fun of me back then. When I was in my 10th standard in a peculiar manner I came across a beatbox tutorial online and from then onwards I started to beatbox so to say people know me now for the voice that they used to laugh at.

Eastern Mirror: How would you describe beatbox in your life?

Lian Johnson: Beatboxing has opened many closed doors for me, one good point would be that growing up as a shy introverted kid I was able to overcome that and now I’m able to stand in front of a crowd and express myself to the fullest. So basically in short, beatboxing has given me the opportunity to express myself to be me at my best out of my comfort zone.

Eastern Mirror: What were the hurdles in the journey of becoming a beatboxer?

Lian Johnson: Some of the hurdles in my beatboxing venture till date would be, firstly to practice every single day and to keep up the cadence running so that I’m not left behind in this competitive art form; secondly it would be growing as a performer to bring new routines to my presentation; lastly it would be the end returns of my work as I firmly believe that every individual should get something in return for the work they put in to do what they love and cherish.

Eastern Mirror: How did you come up with your stage name?

Lian Johnson: This question always makes me laugh because my stage name was just a spur of the moment and it was also because I was influence by the mainstream beatboxers who always had cool stage names so I copied them basically but now, I feel like my birth name LIAN suites me more instead of Matt Lia.

Eastern Mirror: With the arrival of beatboxing in Nagaland, Social Media has received amazing talents. Can you share with us the tremendous response you have received and the first stage you received?

Lian Johnson: My first initial start where people really responded to my art form would be when I won the first Kohima beatbox battle and the first Dimapur beatbox battle in the same year which was back in 2017 and the second instance would be when I was featured in a song ‘each one, teach one’ while being able to work with happening artists like Moko koza, LC- sekhose and Aloza I was able to get very good response from people.

 The first stage I ever received would be ‘The monsoon’ concert which was hosted at Ura academy back in 2016.

Eastern Mirror: How would you rate Nagaland in the beatbox world?

Lian Johnson: I would say that the beatboxers from Nagaland are doing a very fine job by coming up to the top 8 beatboxers in the first Indian Beatbox Battle and also the Nagaland Beatbox Community (NBC) has also been hosting and promoting beatbox battles every year which are really bringing out good quality beatboxers. In future it wouldn’t surprise me if someone from Nagaland wins the Indian Beatbox championship.

Eastern Mirror: Are you willing to make beatboxing your full-time job? If No, why?

Lian Johnson: If I’m being honest out here I don’t think I will be able to make beatboxing my full-time job as it takes lots of effort, time and consistency to keep winning battles and also the competition is becoming fiercer each year, keeping this in mind I will surely continue to craft this art form to comprehend it into new slots of initiatives but I will surely not depend on it to suffice me for my future.

Even though this is not in the picture, I would like to thank Eastern Mirror for this opportunity and I also hope that I did justice to the questions asked.

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Jan 16, 2020 9:11:51 pm