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Local drummer recalls Beyonce and all girl band


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Published on: Thursday, May 16, 2013

By Donna Broadway

GERMANTOWN-If you’re on tour with one of the biggest artists in the world, say Beyonce, your week may look something like this: a video shoot, rehearsal, a BET Award performance, and relentless promotional appearance. The year is 2006 and Beyonce has just released her sophomore album, B’Day, and as a member of the all girl band, Suga Mama, your job is to work as hard as Beyonce does.

As Nikki Glaspie reflects on her time as one of two drummers in the band, all she can say is it was fun. The Female musicians are a rarity but Glaspie said playing in a band with all women was no different than playing with men.

“It was definitely a learning experience. I learned so much from it, I grew from it and I gained a lot from going on tour with the biggest pop star in the world I learned a lot from Beyonce, if you want to talk about work ethic she has a huge work ethic always striving to get better and that’s what I learned from her,” said Glaspie.

Glaspie, 29, said she knew she wanted to be a drummer since she was two.  At the House of the Lord church in D.C., Glaspie learned to play the drums by sitting next to the drummer and imitating his movements. By age eight, armed with her own drum set, Glaspie took over drumming duties at the church. After graduating high school in 2001, Glaspie attended Berklee College of Music. In Boston, Glaspie was a regular at Boston’s Wally’s Club and Café 939 she launched her own production company. Elegant Child Productions with the Adam Joseph, also a student at Berklee, releasing his first album with production by Glaspie in 2003.

“The music leads me wherever it leads me and it also opens doors to places I am able to go and I am grateful that God allows me to do what I do because there are so many people who don’t do what they love to do or a lot of people who have day jobs and hate their work and it doesn’t make them happy or the people around them happy. I am happy I get to do what I love. I love what I do,” said Glaspie.

Glaspie estimates she has played in at least 20 bands and calls herself a fill in drummer, stating she can learn a song by hearing it once.

“Music is a language. If you can understand and speak it, you can speak it with other people, it doesn’t matter what it is. I can play rock, I can play funk, I can jazz, I can play whatever I need to play. This is my motto: if it’s playing, I’m playing,” said Glaspie.

Glaspie is a member of three band and her band Anti-power released an EP in April 2013, but finding the time to tour in support of the album is difficult since all four members are apart of other bands. Glaspie also played on 4, Beyonce’s latest album and is still a member of Suga Mama, as well as Dumpstaphunk. Glaspie is currently producing Adam Joseph’s sophomore album, which will be released in the latter part of 2013.

Glaspie said she would like to teach one day but has no intentions of hanging up her drumsticks until she dies.

“I had the pleasure of seeing Alvin Jones play the drums at 85 and he sounded like he was 35. He has full of vigor and life at 31 and I was like oh my gosh!, he was touring for 60. Look at the Rolling Stones, they have been touring for a long time as well. So I feel like there is longevity in music because you never stop learning, so I plan on learning till I die,” said Glaspie.

For more information on Nikki Glaspie or to book her for an upcoming event, visit her website at www.nikkiglaspie.com.

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