Nicole Paris and Ed Cage: A beatboxing lesson from a father-daughter duo | TED | Summary and Q&A

January 12, 2016
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Nicole Paris and Ed Cage: A beatboxing lesson from a father-daughter duo | TED


Nicole Paris and Ed Cage entertain the TEDYouth audience with an energetic beatboxing performance and share the history of beatboxing.

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Key Insights

  • 🎤 Beatboxing originated in New York as a way to emulate the beats produced by DJs at parties when there was no electricity.
  • 💡 Simple beats were used in the early days of beatboxing, but now beatboxers can create more complex sounds and rhythms.
  • 🎶 Beatboxing can be a family activity and a form of bonding, as demonstrated by the father-daughter duo in the performance.
  • 🌍 Beatboxing has gained popularity worldwide, with beatboxers and enthusiasts participating in jam sessions in various settings like in church or during road trips.
  • 📢 The power and energy of beatboxing can engage and entertain audiences, as evidenced by the positive crowd reactions during the performance.
  • 😊 The father-daughter duo's performance showcases the intergenerational transfer of beatboxing skills and the love and support they have for each other.
  • 💪 Beatboxing allows for creative expression, pushing the boundaries of what can be done with the human voice and rhythm.
  • 🎉 The performance at TEDYouth highlights the importance of embracing and celebrating diverse talents and art forms.


Nicole Paris: TEDYouth, make some noise! (Beatboxing) TEDYouth, make some -- (Beatboxing) (Beatboxing ends) Are you ready? (Cheers and applause) Are you ready? Ed Cage: Yeah, yeah, yeah! (Beatboxing) (Laughter) EC: Y'all like that? Let me show you how we used to do it -- NP: Get it pops, go ahead. EC: ... when I was growing up in the '90s. (Beatbox... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is beatboxing?

Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion where performers use their mouths, lips, and vocal cords to create rhythmic beats, sounds, and melodies, imitating instruments and creating music entirely through their voices.

Q: Where did beatboxing originate?

Beatboxing originated in New York City, but the speakers in the video, Nicole Paris and Ed Cage, are from St. Louis.

Q: How did beatboxing develop?

In the early days of beatboxing, when DJs and rappers performed at parties, beatboxers would emulate the beats created by the DJ since they didn't have electricity to produce music themselves. Beatboxers would create simple beats to accompany the rapper's performance. However, nowadays, beatboxers have evolved to create more complex rhythms and sounds.

Q: Do Nicole Paris and Ed Cage perform beatboxing together?

Yes, Nicole Paris and Ed Cage have jam sessions together where they perform beatboxing. They have jam sessions in various locations, including church, the kitchen, road trips, and even airports. They enjoy creating music and beats together as a form of bonding and creative expression.


In this video, beatboxers Nicole Paris and her father Ed Cage share their talent and discuss the history and evolution of beatboxing. They also demonstrate their incredible skills through an energetic jam session.

Questions & Answers

Q: Where did beatboxing originate from?

Beatboxing originated in New York City.

Q: How did beatboxers emulate the beats when they didn't have electricity?

Since beatboxers didn't have electricity, they had to create sounds that mimicked the beats produced by DJs and rappers. They would stand to the side and produce simple beats like (Beatboxing) or (Beatboxing).

Q: How have beats evolved over time?

Beats have become more complex and beatboxers now incorporate various techniques and sounds into their performances.

Q: Why does Ed Cage mention feeling humiliated?

Ed Cage mentions feeling humiliated because many people called him "the loser" in response to a video.

Q: What do Nicole and Ed do during their jam sessions?

Nicole and Ed have jam sessions where they beatbox together in various locations such as church, while cooking in the kitchen, during road trips, and even at airports.

Q: How do Nicole and Ed communicate beats to each other during their jam sessions?

During jam sessions, Nicole and Ed text beats to each other or use gestures to convey the rhythm and sound they want to create.

Q: Can we get a glimpse of Nicole and Ed's jam session?

Nicole and Ed treat the audience to a brief jam session where they showcase their beatboxing skills with great enthusiasm and energy.

Q: Where does the video come to an end?

The video concludes with Nicole and Ed receiving much applause and cheers from the audience.

Q: How does the video conclude?

The video ends with Nicole and Ed expressing gratitude and encouraging the audience to make some noise.

Q: What is the overall message of the video?

The video highlights the rich history and artistry of beatboxing while showcasing the impressive skills of Nicole Paris and Ed Cage. It serves as a reminder that beatboxing is not just a form of entertainment but also a powerful means of self-expression and connection.


Nicole Paris and Ed Cage's performance and discussion on beatboxing showcase the evolution of this art form from its origins in New York City to its present-day complexity. Their jam sessions demonstrate the power of beatboxing to create rhythm and energy in various settings, proving that this art form is not limited to stages but can be enjoyed anywhere. Through their talents and enthusiasm, they invite us to appreciate the artistry and creativity behind beatboxing.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Nicole Paris and Ed Cage engage in a beatboxing performance during a TEDYouth event.

  • Nicole's father, Ed, demonstrates old-school beatboxing techniques while Nicole challenges him to a beatboxing battle.

  • The duo discusses the history of beatboxing, its origins in New York, and their own jam sessions, which they often perform in church and during everyday activities.

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