Reginald Lucien Frank Roger “Reggie” Watts (born March 23, 1972) is an American musician, singer, beatboxer, actor, and comedian. His improvised musical sets are created using only his voice, a keyboard, and a looping machine. Watts refers to himself as a “disinformationist”, aiming to disorient his audiences. He appeared on the IFC series Comedy Bang! Bang!, which began airing in 2012. He currently leads the house band for The Late Late Show with James Corden.
Watts was born in Stuttgart, the only child of Christiane and Charles Alphonso Watts. His mother is French and his father is African American. His father was an officer in the United States Air Force and the family lived in Germany and Spain before relocating to Great Falls, Montana, where Watts was raised and graduated from Great Falls High School in the class of 1990. Watts also took piano and violin lessons from the age of five until he was 16, and has said his love for music started as a young child when he saw Ray Charles playing the piano on television.
Watts moved to Seattle, Washington in 1990 at the age of 18 to study music. He briefly attended the Art Institute of Seattle before studying jazz at Cornish College of the Arts. While in Seattle, he played in a number of Seattle bands of wildly varying genres, including Hit Explosion, Swampdweller, Action Buddy, Chiarrscuro, Clementine, Smell No Taste, Wayne Horvitz 4+1 Ensemble, Das Rut, Synthclub, Elemental, Eyvand Kang Seven Nades, and Free Space, amongst others.
In 2004, after recording five albums over eight years, Watts moved to the Lower East Side, New York City. In 2005, he recorded his first solo single, “So Beautiful”. Inspired by The State and Wet Hot American Summer, he began infusing spontaneous comedic material with the beat-box-driven musical compositions. He shot comedic web shorts for Superdeluxe, Vimeo and CollegeHumor.