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Watch This Beatboxer-Turned-Opera Singer Perform a Full Symphony Solo

Michele Debczak
Mohamed Belkhir, a.k.a. MB14, at "Tenor" premiere.
Mohamed Belkhir, a.k.a. MB14, at "Tenor" premiere. / Pascal Le Segretain/GettyImages
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The audio from the video below sounds impressive on its own. Close your eyes and you’ll hear the operatic tones of a soprano, accompanied by a haunting chorus and atmospheric strings. The music becomes even more astounding when you see who’s behind it. Using just a loop machine and his voice, famed beat-boxer Mohamed Belkhir is able to recreate the performance of an entire orchestra by himself.

According to My Modern Met, the 28-year-old French musician—who goes by the stage name MB14—received national attention in his home country when he performed on The Voice France in 2016. He advanced to second place in the competition, and he’s since appeared on The Voice: All Stars (France) and starred in the film Tenor (2022) as a rapper turned opera singer.

Like his character in the movie, Belkhir comes from a humble background. He’s a self-taught beatboxer and vocalist who’s comfortable moving between different genres not normally associated with beatboxing. In preparation for his movie performance, he took weekly operatic singing lessons for six weeks. The song in the video below is a perfect example of the range of his talents.

“I love music (all sorts and genres, as long as it’s real and touching),” he writes in the About section of his YouTube page. “My art is based on the human voice: [I] basically mix up singing, beatboxing and rapping into a musical cocktail, with the help of my loopstation. My ultimate dream is to one day become a great singer and [vocal] player, and maybe even to create a vocal band, like Naturally 7 or Pentatonix!”

You can listen to more of MB14’s one-man symphonies by subscribing to his YouTube channel here.

[h/t My Modern Met]

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