“A drummer is the backbone of a band!” says the twenty year old Hanujeet Singh from Khalsa College, DU as we ask him about his role in the field of music. Since we share the same hometown, I’ve seen him roll his drums enthusiastically in school competitions, back in Jamshedpur. However, Delhi’s music circuit has helped him grow as an artist in general, and a drummer in particular. He has played approximately one hundred and ten gigs so far – in Delhi itself! He has also been an assistant judge for a music competition at SGGS College in IP University. For him, every day is a new journey. There hasn’t been a single day when you wouldn’t find him practising his drums.
So what is your first memory about music?
“My Dad being a navy officer has spent half of his life’s time travelling to different countries around the world. He used to bring cassettes, CDs and VCR tapes of different artists from around the world. When I was a kid, my dad would put on Santana, Michael Jackson and I’d start dancing. I loved Santana’s music even when I was a kid. Dennis Chambers, one of the world’s greatest drummers played with Santana. One can say that I really have pretty cool parents who introduced me to good decent music. So yeah, I grew up listening to Michel Jackson, Santana and even great metal bands like Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and Survivor.” he laughs.
This initiated my next question- Why drums?
“Well, honestly this actually has something to do with me being a Punjabi kid”, he smirks. “We had dholkis in our house. We usually use it at our family weddings in an event called ‘ladies sangeet’. When my eldest cousin was getting married, my dad bought a new dholki, thus we had two of them in my house. During that time the movie Rock On released. As soon as I watched that film, the musician inside me woke up. Post that, whenever my parents would go out, I’d lock myself up in my room and setup those two dholaks and a few plates in the form of a drum set and blast all the rock on songs. Pretending as if I was playing in front of a crowd of 10,000 people, just like the last concert in the movie where Joe (played by Arjun Rampal) enters the stage with his guitar to play the band’s last biggest gig. That’s how the drummer inside me grew up! And one fine day my mom saw me playing the dholkis and bought me a drumset from Kolkata.”
And look what an incredible drummer he is now!
As I continued penning down his experiences, he further tells me about his journey as a drummer.
After I got the drum set, life became a lot more interesting. The first song that I ever played on my drumset was ‘Lift’ by the band ‘Poets of the Fall’. I never got any formal training in Jamshedpur. It being a small town, there is a lack of knowledge about this instrument. Delhi is a better place for a musician. Jamshedpur being a very small place for opportunities has less scope for growth.
What are your plans in the future as a musician?
I have started taking lessons from one of the best and the busiest drummers out here in the scene. In addition to that, I’ve applied to Rockschool, Trinity for my grade exams. The amount of training that I already have directly put me through the fifth grade. There are eight grades in total. Getting that certificate of recognition is a big deal. Apart from playing drums I am also learning how to play the bass guitar. It kind of fascinates me. I do it just for myself. More of a self-taught guy, you see! I would later move to Mumbai, after establishing myself in Delhi to a better platform.
“Music for me is a form of art and mode through which we can express love. And love is absent most of the times in our daily life. The idea and meaning of love and music are intertwined in one another. When you see people dancing enjoying listening to our music, it’s the best feeling.”
His last answer was something like a ray of hope, which unknowingly most of us look for.
We are sure that Hanujeet has a long way to go in his arena of music. After all, Tony Williams rightly said, “Playing fast around the drums is one thing. But to play to music, to play with people for others to listen to, that’s something else. That’s a whole other world.”
Written by Lipi Bag.
For the ATKT.in Editorial Team.