Artists of Monta Vista: Senior Kevin Wang


Ashmita Chakraborty

Senior Kevin Wang has a slightly unconventional hobby: he uses pens to make music. That is, he makes songs by tapping out beats with pens.

Wang began pen-tapping in his sophomore year, after surfing videos on Youtube and stumbling across a video of pen-tapping that fascinated him. He tried it for fun, then practiced on his own to hone his skills.

“It took time and practice to be able to create the music that I do now,” Wang said. “Most people don’t know of pen-tapping as a type of music, but it is still music. And you need to practice music to sound good.”

Wang describes pen-tapping as a largely intuitive process, which makes it difficult for him to teach others. While he initially mimicked the styles of other pen-tappers on Youtube, he later began to modify what they played and gradually develop his own style. He now creates entirely original beats. However, the idea of making videos and publicizing his hobby had not occurred to Wang until recently, when he made his first video upon the insistence of his friends.

“I was shy at first, and didn’t share my pen-tapping with very many people, but a few weeks ago, when my friends heard me play, they urged me to make and post videos,” Wang said. “They’re really the main reason that I started making videos.”

Wang found the Internet community of pen-tappers to be much larger than he’d expected, although he knows of no other pen-tappers at MVHS. However, his unique music has since elicited an enormously positive response from the MVHS community. Wang credits the support of these friends and classmates for motivating him to continue and improve his pen-tapping.

“It was encouraging when classmates asked me to pen-tap for them, without any sort of objection from the teacher,” Wang said. “I think the teacher liked it too, actually.”

Wang has created a Youtube channel for his pen-tapping videos, and hopes to continue to entertain people with his music. He demonstrates pen-tapping in the video below, as an accompaniment to the popular song “Teach Me How To Dougie.”