For Balu, the nuances of expression are what matters most. Art is void if not for the obscure elements that detail the core of an artist’s creative DNA and the journey to establishing it. And for the Toronto-based creative, understanding his interlaced musical identity meant grasping the complexities of himself.

After gaining international notoriety as one of Canada’s most established beatboxers for the past decade, Balu underwent a major creative shift recently, while tapping into the real power of his voice by fusing his own blend of eclectic diasporic R&B. Though beatboxing may have originally offered the vehicle to share the emotional depth that words couldn’t reach, Balu is ready to rise to the surface and share the personal story that no other artist could speak to. The unapologetic rise of a Toronto-raised South Asian brown mondem, whose cultural influence spans from Little Jaffna to Little Jamaica.

“I found that singing was my expression and R&B was my genre, because I felt like that was the only genre where I could be completely emotional in my lyrics,” he said. “People get to see what I’m really thinking and they get to listen and connect to it.”

Watch Balu's new video for debut single 'Missing In Action,' which was directed by Dukey Dukez and produced by Nithya Thayaal, using samples of Balu's beatboxing skills.