Anika Nilles a former Hit Like A Girl contestant and Runner-up winner in 2014 has been awarded the DRUM! Magazine 2015 Drummies! Award for Best Up-And-Coming Drummer.
Anika is well known for a series of terrifically produced YouTube videos, most of which feature her playing her own compositions, either with a band or playing along to sequenced tracks. Her style as a drummer is powerful, with an excellent technical command of the instrument. In 2014, she was the Runner-up in the Over 18 competition, one of three winners with Riesha Fayson (US, overall winner), and Fernanda Fuentes (Chile, First runner-up). Read about the accomplishments of past contestants.
Hit Like A Girl Did you know you had won the award?
AnikaI saw that a voting was going on. My guys from Mapex and Meinl company told me that I'm on #1 a few days ago. There were such great drummers nominated in this category. I've never thought that this would happen to me.
Hit Like A Girl YouTube has driven your popularity. What's been your goal with the Youtube channel?
Anika The biggest goal is to share my music and playing with the people. All of my new songs will continue to be released on my YouTube channel in the future. But there will be different categories coming up on the channel this year, including a Live Drums playlist. Also there will be some special videos coming up.
Hit Like A Girl Are you most focused now on drumming or writing and producing?
Anikia Most of the time I'm focused on drumming. I've already started to write new songs for an upcoming album, which will be produced this year. This will take more time for writing and producing this year as usual.
Hit Like A Girl Did the Hit Like A Girl contest have a positive impact?
Anika I think the contest is a good way for female drummers to present their skills and musicality. The promotion around the contest creates a seriousness, which is very important for the audience. It's also a good sign that much more big sponsors like Vic Firth or Mapex support it. The contest looks like it's growing and getting more serious year by year.
It's not that easy as a female drummer to get recognized and to get serious attention. It's important for all the female drummers out there to have such a great opportunity to present themselves.
I'm not sure how positive or big the impact was in my case, because when the voting was still going on, I released my song "Alter Ego" on my youtube channel. Lots of things happened during this time. But for sure some very interesting interviews came up because of the contest and surely that was a positive impact.
Hit Like A Girl What would you say to other women and younger girls who are thinking about getting more involved in drumming?
Anika would say, stop thinking about it! Do it! Start today and have as much fun as possible! There is no obstacles on your way!
Pearl And Drumlite Announce Distribution Partnership
Nashville, TN – Pearl has partnered with Drumlite to begin sole distribution of its LED-banded drum set lighting systems in the USA. A business that began between college roommates and drummers Joey Nesbitt and Jeff Sevaldson, Drumlite’s innovative single drum and drum set lighting packages have garnered a strong following among players of all visibility levels.
Drumlite’s banded LED technology is easily adaptable to any shell interior without affecting the drum’s sound or performance. Each lighting package lets players customize existing set-ups with shock-mounted durability, multi-color and preset program lighting modes, and road-ready XLR connectors; all without drilling or soldering.
“Working with the Drumlite team on a number of artist drum sets -including Chad Smith’s ‘Big Game’ acrylic kit- really showed us some dramatic possibilities,” states Pearl Combo Marketing Manager, Kevin Packard. “Drumlites really allow drummers to make it a truly individual statement. Obviously, we are looking forward to a BRIGHT future together!”
Bass Drum Lighting packages start at suggested Street Price of only $99.00 MAP, with 4-pc. Shell Packs starting at $240.00. A full line of LED expansions, controllers, and accessories is also available. For more information visit Pearl's Drumlite page..
Who Owns Whom? The Industry's Acquisition Binge
This has been the year that the music products industry around the world plays musical chairs. After six years of recession in which sales of drum sets (and some other instrument categories) plummeted, the industry has undergone a wave of consolidations, company sales, and new partnerships.
DW Goes On A Last Minute Binge
In the fall, Sabian started snacking on smaller companies, buying accessory makers and then taking overCrescent Cymbals early in the new year. But the biggest news in January was DW's purchase of LP Music, Kat, Toca, Gibraltar, and other brands from Fender Music's KMC subsidiary. They also got the distribution rights to Gretsch drums in that deal. Most drummers and industry-watchers were blindsided by this deal, since there had been zero rumors about it beforehand. But Fender has been unloading assets (Takamine, Guild) since last year in an attempt to slim down and remake itself. This was just weeks before Fender spun off the rest of KMC's distribution business to Jam Industries, a large Canadian distributor.
Subsequently to the DW deal, the internet went wild with speculation. Would DW be good for Gretsch? Or was this the end of an historic brand? What happened to dealers? Artist endorsers? The mix of product lines? A pair of hilarious Hitler parody videos hit the web (with an unforgettable Fuhrer wondering what brand he can play jazz on if Gretsch were to ever disappear.)
As things have quieted down and more news has trickled out, those who predicted a percussion apocalypse were a little hasty in reacting. The deal had been in the works for a year, but at some point DW backed out, and then late last year, the deal was on again. Don Lombardi, DW founder, and President Chris Lombardi both intend to keep Gretsch production in South Carolina. They anticipate no changes to Gretsch's product line for now, instead focusing on marketing, sales, and distribution strategies. Needless to say, they've got a lot on their plate but in talking with the company they are confidently moving ahead.
And Then There Was Sonor
The news from DW was so big that it swamped the announcement that KHS America, the distributor of Mapex and Majestic, took over Hohner America, which puts the Sonor drum brand under their control in the US. Sonor has been almost invisible in the US in recent years, so that might explain why that news didn't exercise fans to the degree that Gretsch's did.
The word on that deal is that Sonor has been a bit of an invalid, and KHS has high hopes for the brand. The drums they build in Germany are still great and there are a lot of Sonor fans worldwide. According to Marketing VP Mike Robinson, the company is taking its time integrating Hohner's many brands and product lines into the KHS operation. But once they do, he expects Sonor to have a much higher profile than it has had. KHS, founded in Taiwan in 1930, is a big player in the global music industry. They have a large stable of brands they distribute worldwide such as Altus flutes, Jupiter band instruments, Majestic concert percussion, and Walden guitars. They should have the know-how to pull this off and do a great job with Sonor.
This Is The End?
Just in case that was not enough excitement for the young year, in early February, the industry had a new topic on its mind: whether or not Guitar Center was headed for bankruptcy. Analyst Eric Garland, in a post ominously titled, "The End Of Guitar Center" laid out the case that Guitar Center will never be able to fully service the debt it was saddled with by previous owners Bain & Company (yes, that Bain). And, because of that, new owners Ares & Co. will sooner or later need an orderly bankruptcy process to shed debts and slim down the firm. Fuel was added to these fiery thoughts when GC laid off more than 100 managers at the end of January. [Several longtime friends of DRUM! departed the company at that time—we're glad that many of them have already landed in new positions.] A visit to Guitar Center in February yielded a little insight. The company is working hard on its current plans, and several new executives have been brought in to turbocharge areas such as e-commerce. They have lots of new products and even store openings in the pipeline. And, they have a deep reservoir of talent on their staff. Despite the difficulties the company may have experienced, Garland has made similar predictions in recent years. He hasn't been right yet.
What will the future hold? Our crystal ball is no better than yours. For now, we're just enjoying the show.
DRUM! Announces Led Zeppelin Quiz & Giveaway
Test Your Bonham Knowledge To Celebrate The Re-Release Of Physical Graffiti
Led Zeppelin recorded eight albums, and Jimmy Page has been meticulously re-releasing them one by one over the last 18 months. This week the ambitious double album Physical Graffiti was re-released forty years to the day after it came out. The album didn't feature much in the way of hits but it had plenty of songs that left an indelible mark in rock history, including important Bonham tunes such as "In My Time Of Dying" "Night Flight", to name but two. National Public Radio in the US interviewed Jimmy Page about it earlier this week.
DRUM! has partnered with the record company to give away dozens of pieces of Led Zeppelin triviana and collectibles, including turntable slipmats, pins, badges, coasters, reissued CDs, T-shirts, children's mobiles, postcards, plastic bags, and more.
Take The Quiz
Think you know your John Bonham trivia? To enter, just answer the 3-question quiz put together by our crack team of "Stairway To Heaven" fanatics and you could be one of ten lucky winners.
Billy Cobham Webcast Live From Ronnie Scott's
Ronnie Scott's, the legendary London jazz club, is bringing live HD video of Billy Cobham to the world this Thursday. They have announced the live streaming of global drum legend Billy Cobham's full performance on Friday 27th February 23.15 PM. This is a chance to experience one of the jazz in one of the world’s most iconic venues, all in stunning HD.
The live web stream of Cobham follows Ronnie Scott’s highly successful debut live stream of jazz legend WyntonMarsalis in 2013, when a worldwide audience of over 25,000 tuned in and follows on from last year’s highly successful streams of sold-out shows from Cécile McLorin Salvant, rising-soul star Jarrod Lawson and the Gala 55th Ronnie Scott’s Anniversary with Dianne Reeves concert in October.
With his matchless, dazzling, ambidextrous skills, Billy Cobham has applied the same insistent passion to his monumental achievements including his classic album Spectrum and his stint in the original Mahavishnu Orchestra. Access to the broadcast is free. Viewers will simply need to log onto the club’s website http://www.ronniescotts.co.uk at 11pm British Standard Time on Friday February 27th.