Nicole Paris and her father Ed Cage have traveled around the world together, performing and inspiring others with their enormous talent. In the 1980s, Cage immersed himself in St. Louis’s hip-hop scene. He developed a passion for beatboxing that has endured to this day, a passion that he even passed down to his daughter. The bond over a shared passion is something many parents hope to have with their kids, but very few take it to the impressive level of this beatboxing duo.
After finding out he was going to become a father for the second time at just 19 years old, Ed Cage wanted to share his love of beatboxing with his future child. “When mom was pregnant with you, I would get right up on her stomach and beatbox to mom’s belly and you would feel the vibration,” Ed explains to Nicole during a StoryCorps conversation. “And when I did that, you would just shake.”
When Nicole was growing up, Ed worked four jobs, and desperately wanted to find a way to connect with his daughter during his limited free time. After realizing how much Nicole loved hearing him beatbox, that’s exactly what he did with her whenever he got the opportunity. Over the years, Nicole went from bobbing her head to the beat as she sat on her dad’s lap to becoming a master beatboxer herself.
After sharing a video of a father vs. daughter beatboxing face-off, the impressive duo quickly went viral. Nicole absolutely slayed, undeniably winning their first-ever public challenge – and Ed could not have been more proud. Nicole and Ed went on to create a series of YouTube videos, adorably titling them “Mentor vs. Apprentice.”
The father-daughter duo gained a massive following, with multiple videos racking up over a million views each. Nicole has performed both with her mentor dad and on her own, gaining national recognition for her incredible skills. But even with the world taking notice, the most important support came from home.
“You go to sleep beatboxing, when you wake up we’re beatboxing, when we’re cooking, when we’re driving — so when you and I communicate with each other, we can do it by beats,” Ed proudly told Nicole. “It’s something, Nicky, to see you go out into the world continually trying to be the best that you can be, I just absolutely love that about you. And as a father that’s all I can ask for.”