Hey #180Family! My name is EMAN. I am a musician based in LA who makes a living playing drums and occasionally singing (more on that later). When Jake from 180 Drums first approached me about writing for 180, I wasn’t sure how to go about it – mostly because I never write.
However, during a series of flights, the right topic popped into my head. I am fascinated with the saying, “You Never Know”. So what do I mean by that? Hopefully in the next couple of stories I can draw a timeline of two completely unforeseen events that happened in my life, leading to my current place in my career having. This is my story on becoming an in-demand LA Drummer.
Becoming An La Drummer – Eman
I play drums for Andy Grammer. He has had multiple number one hits like, “Keep Your Head Up” and, most recently, “Honey I’m Good” in 2015. The story of how I got on this gig is long – about 14 or so years long. I’ll try my best to be brief, the story goes like this. When I was 13, I met Zach Rudolph (Andy Grammer’s current Musical Director).
He had just moved to Southern California to study music at Azusa Pacific University. We first met at a church gig and we instantly locked. The vibe and groove just felt good! Through the years growing up, we began playing gigs outside the church around Los Angeles. We never had the opportunity to play together outside of church.
We always knew we would have that chemistry if the chance arrived. Flash forward to the summer of 2013: Andy’s former drummer, Mike Baker, recommended me to sub for an artist he was playing for named Cody Simpson. It was a lot of music last minute without any rehearsals. I flew up to Canada well prepared and killed it (this is an important part of getting a gig anywhere with anyone – you must kill it).
Then, in mid 2014 Mike needed a sub for a couple of weeks with Andy. It was a similar situation where I had to fly out, learn a lot of music quickly without any rehearsals aside from soundcheck. Again, I did a really good job (the follow up matters – just always crush it, after all, it’s your job – hopefully). Little did I know, Zach had told Mike of me and had been fueling the fire. In late 2014, Mike got the call and decided to work with Gavin DeGraw.
I had no idea how much things would change for me because of that. On Christmas day, Andy called me and offered a full time gig. This was it, I was ecstatic. Over the past year we’ve played on most of the major U.S. Television shows and toured throughout the States several times. Financially, my life has changed. Mentally, my life has changed. I’m changed. So the story here is, 13 year old EMAN never knew how all this would connect.
Prior to playing drums full time with Andy Grammer, I played various gigs around LA (hotel dinner music, cover bands, big bands, church gigs, session work, etc.) You name it…. and I would say yes (this word is magic, I promise). In 2013, I started working with a group of folks that are all unbelievably amazing, with resumes to back them up.
We eventually formed a band led by Cameron Rafferty on vocals, Doug Showalter on guitar, Bana Haffar on bass/synths and Peter Dyer on Keys/Synths. (Check them out!) We started writing and recording with producer, Tyler Johnson, and played some shows around LA. Honestly we weren’t sure where it would lead but I stayed with the project, even to this day.
During the recording process we all would hang out and throw around ideas. Sometimes, I would even sing backgrounds, It was really the hang that we were looking for. Though the music was never released, and some of it is still being mixed and mastered, it has actually made its way into millions of ears.
Last summer the song, ”Apple Pie” was used for all the commercials advertising Apple’s new iPhone 6s and 6sPlus. APPLE. Again, financially, it changed my life. Mentally, it changed my life. But more importantly – the commercial put that (our) music in front of millions of people who might have never been able to hear it.
Those are just two simple stories of how “never knowing” can take you down a rabbit hole of outcomes you could never anticipate. Outcomes that have changed my life.
Through building relationships, playing great, and occasionally singing backgrounds—I’ve found myself making a career, and in LA of all places. If you have any questions, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to meeting all of you while I’m on the road with Andy Grammer this year.
Crystal Beat Ruby Red Acrylic Drums
Reference Series Drums
12×8 Rack Tom
16×15 Floor Tom
22×15 Bass/Kick Drum
Meinl Byzance Series Cymbals
Clear Pinstripe Drum heads
Signature 5B Select Hickory Drum Sticks
14×5 Sensitone Elite Snare Drums
14×6.5 George Way Snare Drum
Pearl Eliminator Hardware (stands) and pedals
Pearl Speed Demon Single Pedal
DW 5000 and DW 9000