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Drummers, On the Beat

Chris Johnson — Touring With Rihanna


Chris Johnson : Modern DrummerYo, 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.

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.

For more on Chris go to www.myspace.com/cjdrumdotcom.


Posted in Drummers, On the Beat Tagged Anastacia, Beverly Crawford, Chris, Chris Johnson, Fantasia, Johnson, Maze, Modern Drummer, Modern Drummer Magazine, Mya, Norman Hutchins, Patti LaBelle, Rihanna, Seal, Stevie Wonder, blog, blogs, for hire, jazz, tour, touring, vlogs


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