Does Nick Cannon Play The Drum?
Nick Cannon, who makes his motion picture starring appearance in Fox’s just-released ‘Drumline‘ is well-known as the star (as well as the director and executive producer) of his own Nickelodeon series, ‘The Nick Cannon Show,’ now in its first year on the popular cable network.
The multi-faceted Cannon began performing as a youngster, dabbling in drums, harmonica, and synthesizers at the age of eight. He soon mastered song-making and recorded his first child-inspired compositions on his boom box. Before hitting his teen years, Cannon began performing his music and comedy routines on the stage. He then founded his San Diego-based rap duo, Da Bomb Squad.
Cannon headed to Hollywood at age sixteen and quickly settled plum assignments at such famous venues as The Improv, The Laugh Factory, and The Comedy Store – performing beside the likes of Chris Tucker, Chris Rock, and Damon Wayans. The production took notice of this rising new talent, with Cannon winning the gig as a warm-up act for Nickelodeon’s long-running hit series, ‘All That.’ The show’s producers recognize that Cannon’s talent belonged in front of the cameras and soon made him a series regular and co-host of the cable network’s “All That Musical Festival and More” 47-city tour. His later work as co-host of Nickelodeon’s ‘Snick House’ and the host of its music-based “TEENick” programming block catapulted his career, leading to the making of his new, eponymous series.
Nick Cannon (‘Drumline’)
Sitting down, face-to-face with the talented young man, I first asked him why he had chosen ‘Drumline’ to be his first leading role? “When I read the script, it was an excellent script for whoever the person was to get the point. You get to be sad, happy, ecstatic, every emotion that I could play in this film. And the actual topic a lot of people don’t know about, you know, this so-called miracle. I thought it would be an honor for me to shed light on it. It wasn’t like all the other films I was reading. I HAD TO DO IT!” he certainly raises his voice.
You’ve played the drums before “Yeah, I think my playing drums on a regular drum set helped a little bit. But this was something different. You have to be an athlete to play in the marching band. You have 40 pounds of drums on you moving up the field. You have to count your steps and the dance moves. It’s a lot various than just sitting down and playing the drums.”
Is there a lot of excellent preparation?”Yes, there is a lot of training before the film started. About a month and a half before I was preparing four hours every day and then going home and preparing on the script for two hours. And once we started, I still had to make because I had to look better than all these professionals out there. The guy who was training me, I wouldn’t let him leave. He was with me 24 /7 making me happy!”
Rumour has it that you slept with your drumsticks tied to your hands !? “Oh yeah, when I first got down there. There’s a positive way when you’re in the marching band that you have to hold your drumsticks. I was holding it like two sticks, but when you’re playing the snare drum, you have to hold it between your two fingers and have them control it. It wouldn’t stay. One night I took the drumsticks and tied them to my hand and just went to sleep. When I woke up, I felt like I could get it. I had to get in that rut where I got used to it. We have battle wounds too. It wasn’t easy, but it paid off.”
Are the close-ups of just ‘hands’ still yours drumming? “Most of them, yeah. There was a view in the bedroom, that wasn’t me. I don’t think that’s because I couldn’t do it. I think it was too severe. I was trying to make it as much as I could without needing the extra guy. Well, the sound of the drum may not be me, but the look of it was me. They made sure every hit was accurate, and they moved it all around. For the film, we had pads on our drums so it wouldn’t make noise. But I had every takedown, and they added a lot.”