Nuge Bird: Human Instrument

Growing up surrounded by gangs and violence, Nuge Bird learned to recreate the noise around him as a form of self-soothing. The sounds that surrounded him were those of anger: cars speeding off, breaking glass, and gunfire. To Nuge, these sounds were normal. On a field trip in grade 7, Nuge learned of a capella, a unique way of creating music using only your vocal cords. Familiar with vocal expression, Nuge decided to practice these unique and creative sounds, dreaming that if other people could do it, why couldn’t he? He already had everything that he needed within him, a rare position in his poverty-stricken neighborhood. Nuge Bird started practicing tirelessly. He refused to listen to those that told him it was annoying, that he would never be anything. What Nuge didn’t realize was how crucial this new activity would become.



Beatboxing grew to be his outlet. When he was faced with ridicule and bullying, he had a way to express himself. He turned the hateful sounds around him into something beautiful. It was this positivity and drive that took him out of an environment engulfed in negativity and crime and into a place where he was able to discover his identity and true self-worth. Nuge’s confidence began to grow. With every new sound, new rhythm and new beat, he became more comfortable in who he was. This confidence radiated and he began to attract positivity. He met friends who saw his talent, appreciated his creativity, and encouraged his progress. Nuge began to enter into beatbox battles, perform at open mic nights and share his gift with his newfound community. Today, Nuge draws strength from what he has overcome, is proud of where he is, and is optimistic towards his future.

Creative Team

Pamela Tomlinson

Producer/ Editor

Having stumbled into a summer job at a media company while studying finance at UBC, I quickly realized my passion for creating meaningful stories that forces to question stereotypes that surround them. I launched my own production company and have had the privilege of sharing the diverse stories of incredible people in the last eight years.

Deon Nel

Director of Photography

I am a Kelowna-based camera operator. I was born in South Africa in 1990, and immigrated to Alberta, Canada in 2004 with my family. My passion for seeing and capturing light from different perspectives has grown and evolved over the years. I am stoked to make a living doing what I love.

MORE stories

Yoga for Jocks

Jana Webb is an entrepreneur who started JOGA, a.k.a. yoga for jocks. While her business has thrived and she has helped it grow brick by brick, Jana has had a tumultuous personal journey that includes two car crashes that almost took her life.

How This Kitten Rescue Volunteer Found Her Passion

Robyn Coquelle started volunteering at Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA). Little did she know that she would end up quitting her job to study to become a veterinary technician—through volunteering, she had found the one thing she truly wants to do.

Share This