Monday, October 19, 2015


So, I met this young man awhile back on FB and we have had a number of kool interactions, where drums are concerned. We connected and I have learned a lot about him and enjoy his video's that he post. Justin is a very talented musician and a kool kat, which is why he was in the first batch of "call-outs" to be a part of this. A humble spirit with a great feel for the craft.

It is my pleasure to introduce to you.... JUSTIN ABRAHAM and he's Talkin' Chop!

Name or Stage Name:  Justin Abraham

Where are you from?  North Augusta, South Carolina, but have been living in Nashville since 2011

How long have you been playing?  14yrs

What is or are your main genre of playing?  Funk, fusion, Gospel, Rock, R&B/Neo Soul

How did you get where you are now?  I moved to Tennessee for school and decided to stay since I was 30 minutes away from Nashville.

What are your goals, short & long term?  My goals in music are to become a performer and later move into music education.

Artists you would like to play for?  D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, Stanley Clark, Sting.

List some of your accomplishments: South Carolina Region band, South Carolina All county band, 2011 How Sweet the Sound Choir competition

Do you have your own band? genre? Details…I’m currently piecing together a band for a personal project I hope to release next year. The band will be a Jazz Fusion band consisting of 5 to 7 musicians.

Do you play any other instruments? level? I play keys a little bit. I’m a beginner, but I can play some stuff that would make you think differently.

What are your touring experiences, if any?  I haven’t had any extensive touring experience up to now. Most of my traveling have been one offs with various bands.

Justin w/ Tracy Champion "Daydreaming"

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks included and why you choose these items? I’m currently playing a Pearl Masters MCX kit.  The configuration of the kit are 10x8 and 12x9 rack toms, 14x14 and 16x16 floor toms with a 20x18 bass drum. I’m currently playing Zildjian cymbals. I’m playing a mix of the Zildjian’s new redesigned A series and the K series so that I can have a sonic blend of bright and dark cymbal tones. I’m currently playing Remo heads and Vic Firth sticks

Do you have multiple kits and snares? I have 4 acoustic kits and a set of V-drums. I also have about a dozen snares.

Which wood shells do you prefer? I prefer maple shells, because of their warmth and projection. However I'm looking to get others such as birch or bubinga.

What would be your ideal gear setup? list manufacturers and items.  My ideal gear setup be a 10x8 and12x9 rack toms, 14,x14 and 16x16 floor toms and a 22x20 kick drum along with a 14x6.5 snare and a 14x5.5 snares from either the Pearl Reference, Tama Star or DW Collectors line. I really dig what those companies are doing with these models. My cymbals setup would consist of various Zildjian A’s and K’s model and I would also use some kind of electric trigger pad in this setup depending on if the gig called for it.

How do you describe your drumming style?   I would describe my drumming style as musical and reserved, but explosive when asked or when the music calls for it.

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing?  If I wasn’t playing drums, I’d be doing something WACK!!! Hahaha, I’d probably being working in corporate America!

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown?  Drumming has been an outlet for me in so many ways. It has helped me support myself, express myself and taken me to some places I thought I’d never see. The music business at the moment is part of my career. I hope to make it my fulltime career soon.  I am involved in my local music scene, I gig around Nashville quite often.

How do feel playing in Nashville, a big, important musical city?    Playing in Nashville sometimes feels like a huge challenge and it's scary sometimes. Having so many people here in Nashville just to play music can also be intimidating, but it's also a great place to network and grow as a musician. 
What would the drummer you are now, tell the younger you, drummer?  I would tell my younger self to stay focused, work hard and aim high with your goals. Oh yeah, one more, don't worry about playing all those licks.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why?  Chris Coleman, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dennis Chambers, Justin Brown, Kendrick Scott. The reason Chris is one of my drumming influences is because he was the first “next level” guy I ever saw play. I remember being in the 7th grade watching him on the Israel and New Breed “Live from Another Level” DVD and being BLOWN away, especially during the musicians solo sections. After watching that DVD, I asked my mother “If people could make a living playing music” she told me “yes” and I never looked back. Vinnie and Dennis were the first guys that I learned about when I got into jazz fusion I loved their musicality on the drums and their grooves. Justin and Kendrick were my guys I started listening to when I got hip to contemporary jazz a few years ago. Their touch and approach on drums are phenomenal.

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? I was fortunate to get to see Stevie Wonder’s Song in the Key of Life earlier this year in April. The musicianship of the whole band was phenomenal! I also finally got to hear Stanley Randolph and Lil John Roberts on double drums that night. They were incredible!

How much time do you practice? I try and devote no less than 2 hours of practice a day, whether it’s on my kit, or on a practice pad.

Connect with Justin on YouTube - 

Are you involved in local Shedding sessions? What do you get out of those sessions?  Yes I am involved in my local shedding sessions. Some things I get out of those shed sessions are a chance to really stretch and experiment with my vocabulary on the drums and experiment. I also get to network and meet fellow musicians and make new friends.

Do you concentrate on Chops or Grooves? I like to make people in the audience dance, so I’m more of a grooves guy.

Are you a songwriter as well? Do you sing and play? I’ve just started songwriting this year. I really enjoy it, but I must admit it that it’s not an easy as most may think it is.  I do sing and play, I think it’s a nice skill to have.

Do you prefer studio sessions, local live gigs or touring? That’s a really tough questions. Each one of these have something special about them. I going to go with studio sessions. The reason I just love the whole process of it, from setting up to finishing a piece of work that will last a life time.

Justin w/ Robert Glasper "Worries" Alma Pura feat. Tracy Champion

Do you prefer being in a band (artist) or being a sideman?  I honestly don’t mind being a sideman. I feel like being an artist in the band is important if you want some kind of say so to how things are done.

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us?  The most interesting gig I ever played was a New Year’s party in a Brewery. The stage was actually on top of the kegs that they brewed the beer in.

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there?  My words of wisdom for my fellow drummers is to always to work hard, and to always believe in yourself even when others don’t.  We may not be where we want to be musically yet but never give up.

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s???  I just want to say thank you to everybody who’s ever believe in me and thanks D for let me be a part of all this.

I want to thank Justin for taking out time to do this great interview.
I believe he is well on his way to achieving any goal he sets for himself in the world of music.
Continued success  


No comments:

Post a Comment