X Factor Contestant sings a totally original "Hit the Road Jack"

May 20th, 2019

The X Factor is notorious for bringing the world some interesting performers. Most are talented singers that go on to make albums and hit singles, but this performer can do more just sing.

Beau Monga was a contestant on X Factor New Zealand in 2015. The South Auckland artist stood out from the rest of the contestants from day one by using a loop pedal for his performance. For those that don’t know, a loop pedal allows the artist to record different sounds that will repeat while, they sing or play an instrument alongside it. For those that are well versed using loop pedals, the artist can create nearly all aspects of the song and make a simple beat sound much more complex.

This is how Beau stole the show. He introduced himself to the judges and said that he would be performing “Hit the Road Jack” originally by Ray Charles. The judges looked at little surprised at the song choice, since Beau looked more along the lines of a rapper, with his snapback and skinny camo pants. He joked with them a minute before he stepped onto the loop pedal and started beatboxing.

The audience and judges didn’t know what to think at first, the sound coming out of his mouth sounded nothing like “Hit the Road Jack” and he wasn’t even singing. Once he spit out the beat, his next move was imitating a trumpet, which if you were only listening and not watching, would lead you to believe he was indeed playing a trumpet. When that solo was over he, he hit his pedal and started into the chorus of the song. If you were paying attention, he hits the pedal again to stop the recording and soon the chorus of “Hit the Road Jack” is playing on repeat along with the original baseline.

He fills in with more beatboxing after the chorus and shows off more of his skills between the verses of the song. His voice is similar to Ray Charles, with a slightly less soulful sound, but still impressive nonetheless, and based on the audience and judges reactions, they’re impressed too. At first it’s unclear what the men are thinking of the performance, but the girls are loving it. At the end it’s clear that he had everyone in the room rooting for him, because after he finished, he was greeting with roaring applause and a standing ovation.

Beau goes on to win people over throughout the show by wooing them with renditions of “No Diggity” paired with a guitar, “The Roimata Song” paired with a ukulele, and more with his beatboxing skills thrown in. Though his original audition still remains his most popular with over a million views. Beau went on to win the show, being the only male winner of X Factor New Zealand.

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