The beatboxer shouts out his favorite local eateries and performers in advance of this weekend's Midwest Beatbox Battle in Chicago

Ludovic G. Nicolaidis, better known as LethalFX, is a Columbus-based professional beatboxer and producer. After being crowned the Ohio Beatbox Champion in 2017, he more recently formed the electro/acoustic loop-jam duo Squirple with local singer, songwriter and guitartist Blair Lehmkuhl. Here are a few things he loves.

Food!

Since moving to Columbus from my hometown of Youngstown, I've been more than thrilled to try out as many craft restaurants, Columbus staples, food trucks, etc. as I can handle. I'm such a foodie and Columbus is a great city for food culture. I am always excited to show my out of town friends some of my favorite spots: Ray-Ray's, The Crest, Press Grill, Bareburger, Nancy's, Old Skool, just to name a few. I could go on forever here.

My cats

I have two beautiful, healthy, spoiled cats at home, who are basically my children. Sass, 6 years old, is a fluffy grey tabby full of love and affection, but who requires basically all of the attention. Sid, 5, is a very large orange tabby who's quite timid for his size. He's also quite affectionate once relaxed, just don't move too quickly around him or try to pick him up or you might need a Band-Aid or two. Be sure to visit them on Instagram: @sassandsid

Collaborative music and arts events

I love seeing and being a part of great local events like What? Music Festival, 2x2 Hip-Hop Festival, Urban Scrawl, Trauma, Otherworld (where I got the privilege of performing in in July), Cloud City and so many more. We've got a fantastic community of artists and musicians, and events like these are crucial for city.

Watching my friends crush it

I have made some wonderful, talented friends in my seven years in Columbus. Happy Tooth & Dug is about to release a new album and is headlining its own shows. My comedian friends such as Wonder Doug are steadily maintaining, booking and organizing great events. Zoo Trippin' is about to go on a major tour. Even my friends in the the EDM scene, such as Risik, Harok, GVNR, Ghost Gardens and Bass Cult are constantly booking huge shows in the area. It's so inspiring.

Gear

I've recently been diagnosed by Phil Effingham of HT&D with a condition called G.A.S., better known as Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Over the years, I've been adding to a loop station setup I call "The Spacestation," adding more Kaoss Pads, synthesizers, a keytar and more drum pads than any one person knows what to do with. It's really been keeping me busy and keeping my mind focused on music instead of wasting time at bars or watching TV. Although I've collected more than I can even hook up at one time, I don't regret any of it! It's almost therapeutic. Make sure you check out squirple.xyz to see what a beatboxer can do with a ton of electronic looping gear and a great singer/guitarist at his side!

Bonus: Beatbox battles

With the upcoming Midwest Beatbox Battle going down in Chicago Friday-Sunday, Oct. 11-13, a lot of my focus has been dedicated to the organization and promotion of beatbox events. We've taken a little hiatus from shows to focus on this, and also to work on some new Squirple tracks. This is our eighth year holding MBB and our second year hosting the event in Chicago. The Midwest Battle began in my hometown, Youngstown, in 2012, and then moved to Columbus from 2013 through 2017. I do have intentions of bringing the event back to Columbus soon. If not next year, definitely for our 10th anniversary in 2021. A lot of beatboxers have mentioned recently that they miss the event going down in Columbus because of the culture here. We have a great beatbox scene in Ohio.