Chris Johnson — Touring With Rihanna

Yo, what up, MD? This is ya boy Chris Johnson from Los Angeles, California. Like many others in this field, I started playing in church—my dad’s church, to be exact. So I was always there to play, practice, and everything. Needless to say, I was born in the church. Due to the lack of musicians in a small church, I had to play something, and I think I made the right choice!

A little about me: I attended Bellflower High School in Bellflower, California, where I played in the jazz and marching bands. I also sang in the school ensemble. Singing is what I credit my musicality at the drums to. I learned to listen to the other parts and approached the music as such. While growing up in a church background I was only allowed to listen to gospel music—John P. Kee, Hawkins Family, Fred Hammond, and drummers like Mike Nueble, Marvin McQuitty, Joel Smith, and Calvin Napper. It wasn’t until I got older and out on my own that I learned about bands and musicians like Tower of Power, Led Zeppelin, Sting, Steely Dan, and Phil Collins and drummers like Vinny Colaiuta, Steve Smith, Dave Weckl, and John “JR” Robinson. I love having this great balance of inspiration. At the end of it all I play drums with all these influences but always from my heart.

With God’s help I have been blessed to play and tour with Seal, Mya, Patti LaBelle, Anastacia, Fantasia, Beverly Crawford, Norman Hutchins, Stevie Wonder, and Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly. I am currently touring with Rihanna. Advertisement

I hope this blog has touched, inspired, or blessed someone. I truly love what I do and know that I wouldn’t be me without the love and support of friends, family, and my peers in this drum business. “Keep sticking,” and God bless.

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