Sudbury's Emilie Carrey, A.K.A. Sparx, is well on her way to changing that, starting with the Canadian beat box landscape, when she takes the stage in Toronto on Nov. 6 for the Canadian Beatbox Championship.
Carrey is the first female competitor in the 16-person head-to-head tournament, in this, the sixth year of its existence.
The format and competition are nothing new to Sparx, who claimed silver in the females category at the Beatbox World Championships in May in Berlin, Germany.
“I've competed against the guys in tag team battles before but never solo,” said Carrey. “It's awesome to be the first female to compete and to break ground for girls who beat box.”
To the casual listener, beatboxing may sound like a mish mash of noises performed in a very random fashion, but Carrey says that there is a ton of preparation and rehearsal time that goes into getting ready for a competition of this magnitude.
“Right now I'm practicing about an hour a day, but when it gets closer to the competition I'll be practicing my routine for about three or four hours a day,” said Carrey.
And it is just that, a routine. Making beats with your mouth may sound like something that can just be freestyled on the spot, but Carrey says that she has a set routine in mind before she even takes the stage with different prepared material depending on who she faces off against.
“The beat-boxing community is a close group and I'm really good friends with all of these guys,” said Carrey. “You kind of set up your stuff based on who you're up against and what style will match up best.”
More than 50 beatboxers submitted video auditions to get into the competition, with just 16 being selected. Each of those 16 will perform a showcase for the judges in a non-battle setting in order to determine seeding.
The competitors will then be seeded one through 16 with the first seed taking on the bottom seed, second seed taking on the second from the bottom, and so on.
“The showcase is really important to get yourself a good seeding and to impress the judges early on,” said Carrey.
“I'm looking to prove myself in Canada and see how I stack up against the guys and just see where I'm at skill wise.”
For more on Sparx, check out her Facebook page.
To check out her competition at the Canadian Beatbox Championship visit their website.