Sunday, August 28, 2016

Volume 47 - Emanuel Harrold

Emanuel Harrold

Hello Talkin' Chop fam,
It is another beautiful day, so let's have seat, get a kool drink and talk to another great drummer. Once again I have to thank Andre Boyd for introducing me to this kat. Emanuel is a brother that I only heard about maybe two yrs ago, when I started listening to Gregory Porter. I gotta tell ya' I really dig this kats playing and the fact that he gets to ride a spectrum of genres in his work on the Porter gig. His playing is always appropriate to the song and the vibe and it feels so good.
For me, he's one of those guys you don't know how good he is until you just sit and listen to him play. I believe that's a good sign because that means you are paying attention to the music and the song and not one individual. That's making music! 
Now he's taking time out to share with us a little of what he's all about and his very busy gig. I hope you all enjoy Emanuel Harrold Talkin' Chop.

*make sure you put on Gregory Porter's Take Me To The Alley album while reading this interview.


Name or Stage Name: 
Emanuel Harrold aka, E Rokit, aka Emanuel Harrold FM or Forward Motion aka E, aka BoomBoom, aka the glue.. 

Where are you from? 
I am from Ferguson, MO
A city in St. Louis, MO

How do you like it in New York? 
New York was great. In terms of music, culture and being the melting pot where a lot of people gravitates towards.

Are there any big differences between St. Louis and NY music scenes? 
Yes! NYC blends the entire worlds of music globally. St. Louis music scene when u came up was gospel, rap, blues, traditional jazz and country music.. 

There are some pretty incredible katz who come out of St. Louis. Do you feel you're keeping that banner flying high and representing your home town well? 
St. Louis has so many tremendously talented people and artist. I say yes, my path has me keeping the level pretty high. Being, the success and level of doing what I am doing musically now..

So, How long have you been playing? 
I've been around music my entire life. I got serious playing drums in my late teens. I wasn't really in any high school bands are camps ect. I just dug in and hit the ground running.. Church was a big catalyst for me. 

What got you into playing drums? 
I always felt the rhythms. My grandfather, Lancers drum and bugle corp and attending church sparked deeper interest.

What is or are your main genre of playing? 
I play music. So if that music has a pulse I'm your guy. Learning nuances is the key. 

What are your goals, short & long term? 
Short term goal is to find time to practice and work on projects with various artist and purposes. Long term goal would be to eventually tour with my own projects.

You play for Gregory Porter, a great R&B, Soul, Jazz artist. How did that gig come about for you?
That gig happened, Myself and piano player Chip Crawford where mainstays at a club St.Nicks Pub. Gregory would come on as a special guest. Long story short, 4 albums, multiple awards, Grammy nominations and A Grammy later,We became a what the world knows as Gregory Porter. No auditions that's the sound we created over years ago.. 

Emanuel w/ Gregory

Gregory Porter - Take Me To The Alley

His music has depth to it, so what has been your approach to playing Gregory's music? 
Being sensitive to dynamics, all styles of music, sticks, mallets, brushes and breaking a groove are beat done to its rawest element is how I approach this music.. 

Gregory Porter performs "Holding On" on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Are you guys touring a lot?
         Just a little. We tour close to 260 days yearly..

Ok, 260 days on the road, what a grind?! How do you manage that type of lifestyle? 
being on the road 260 days a year is always I grind. To the airport, transport, 4am pick up's, 3hr drives, skyping and what's apping family. One day at a time to try to keep your mental physical conditions in tact..

Do you like touring in general? 
Touring is great. Touring less for more funds is ideal.. 👌🏾

So, what projects are you into, when you're not on the road? 
The projects I'm working on is my own EP and desires in working with artist and remixes that want something not cookie cutter, meaning just like the next person.. 

List some of your accomplishments so far: 
Too many to name. Graduated of the New School University NYC, Numerous Grammy nominations, Grammy award winner, gold and platinum plaques, consistent touring and endorsed musician and artist. 

You guys did Later with Jools Holland. How is it, doing that show, with that format?
Jools Holland was good! Cool vibes. Jool's is a musician and enjoys the authenticity of the artist and musicians. For that episode he just said to me after his introduction, "I'll point to and that's your que into a 
count off into a Prince groove with all the bands that day." That's trust. He didn't know me like that, but he trusted me as a professional to get it done live one time.. 

I'm imagining a kool energy in the room...
The Vibe was off the charts.. that evening on Jool's was memorable.

Do you play any other instruments?
I produce, at minimum I play at piano enough to tell you're not in A but Eb Minor. Drums are my forte.. but I will tell you if you missed your notes, rhythm is off, your in the wrong key or your idea is kinda Wack.. Things I know. lol

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks...ect?
My basic set up is, A 4 piece kit. 12 tom , 14 floor tm, 20 bass drum, 14x5 main snare, 14x6.5 ballad snare. Sakae Drums trilogy series. Cymbals , 15 in hihats, 20 in crash , 21 in lyric ride, 18 in crash dark pearl series. Bosphorus. Minutes tamb, shaker, and smaller tamb. Vic firth beater, 7a sticks, red brushes, mallets and wire brushes. This set up is the sound of Gregory Porter.

Which wood shells do you prefer? 
I prefer Keller or the way the old drums where made from the 60's and 70's.

Do you have a “Dream Kit”?
No dream kit yet. I used to want what we called a monster set but now in my musical world, that's just to much to hit. 

How do you describe your drumming style?
My drum style is versatile, organic and chameleon. I try to be apart of my musical situation. 

Black Nile - Drum Solo  w/ Gregory Porter

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing?
Mentoring, Teaching of some sort.

How has drumming impacted or changed your life?
No real impact, just it's been my life style for more than 15years.. 

Name 5 of your drumming influences? 
Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Bernard Purdie
Why? Between those 5 musicians, All the drums you'll ever hear has already been done 5 ways. 

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? 
Watching Billy Higgens play. He smiled the entire time. Only thing moved on him was his hands. He played more drums in one hand then a lot of cats we rave over today.

How much time do you practice? 
While touring, there is no time to practice other than on a pillow are book In your hotel or dressing room. So the last 8 years, practicing other than on off time is on unheard of. As a touring musician the gig is traveling.. 

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions? Hand and feet coordination away from the drums. Playing rudiments and patterns that make since the music you are directly playing.

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you? 
Not really, but the camera is on when you hit he big stage so it's good and bad stuff out there. 

Do you prefer studio sessions, local live gigs or touring? At this point I just prefer to have a good night so that I can get to my thing and the band sounds great. 

Gregory Porter Live "Papa Was A Rolling Stone"

Do you prefer being in the "sideman" role or would you like to have your own project? 
I've had my own thing before Gregory Porter took off. Side man is cool. But being a leader is cool too. So I take it as it comes. Beggars can't be choosy and end sitting, shedding in the basement.. 

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? 
 When Stevie Wonder walked on stage 5 years ago and played 'Free' with us in Denmark.. Also when I was out with HBE Rocking with Prince was a good memory. 

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? 
Drummers, I say, love what you do, it's not about how much chops or who you think your better than. It's about supporting and leading music into the next level. That's how you shine.. 

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s???
I like to say thanks to my homeboy Dre Energy Boyd for the intro.. #Sakaedrum, #Bosphoruscymbal, #Vicfirth, #drumdial, #protectionracket, #lukeroper1977 and all the rhythm and drum lovers in the world.



What a kool thing to have someone like Emanuel take the time to share with us, a little of his drum life.
This kat is WORKING! To be on such a great gig with some great musicians has to be very rewarding.
Emanuel, Thanks 4 taking the time my brother. We really appreciate it.
I want to wish you continued success with all of your endeavors. 

See, Sometimes those nice gigs just come to you...By working hard and making relationships and being professional, these seemingly, 'once in a lifetime" situations do come around. It's now up to you to make it happen and grow it from there.

Thx all of you who read Talkin' Chop. I'm glad you're diggin' what I'm trying to do.
So, let's keep it going!
For anyone interested or know a drummer who could use some attention and add to their bio/epk.
Or maybe you just want to do it for fun, that's kool too!
Contact me:
DeHaven -

#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife


DeHaven is sponsored by
Soultone Cymbals, SilverFox Drumsticks, Cympad, Cymbag and Phatfoot drum Harness