Indigo Smith, percussionist, music lover and all around badass. We got to work with Indigo during our Afrovibe™ dance workout series and we still can’t get over how awesome she is!

At what age did you start drumming?

I started drumming when I was about four or five. My dad had a Djembe and bongos laying around the house that I would play, but I began to take it seriously at eleven years old when I joined band at school.

What do you love about drumming?

Drumming always feels like a home for me, and that’s probably what I love the most. It’s a part of me.

What is your favorite genre to drum for?

One of my favorite things about being a Percussionist is the versatility in the genres I get to play. I get to experience all different kinds of music; Afrobeat, Rock, Pop, R&B, Hip Hop, Cuban, Brazilian, West African, Orchestral, drumming on trash cans!! and they all call for different things which makes it exciting, I couldn’t pick just one!

Do you have a favorite beat?

It’s hard to pick a favorite beat! There’s so many different rhythms for different cultures and so many ways to apply them, I love it all. Our heart beats are probably the coolest though.

How do you inspire yourself to find new beats?

Music is everywhere, I can get inspired by the sounds of traffic, nature, anything really! Also the more I study different rhythms from different cultures that will also spark ideas.

Who are your role model/s?

Some of my percussion role models are: Naná Vasconcelos, Sheila E., Airto Moreira, as well as all of the teachers, students, and fellow band mates I’ve ever had!

Have you had any challenging moments as a female musician that you can share? If so, how did you overcome that challenge?

I’ve been lucky so far in that being a female has actually helped me to get more opportunities since we’re so rare. I’d like see us continue to take over even more! I feel like we bring something unique to rhythm and music.

I feel like we [women] bring something unique to rhythm and music.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?

Day off? Those exist? Haha…. If I’m not drumming I’m probably doing some artwork on my drums or composing music. Or if I’m near an ocean I’ll be in the water!

Any advice to kids or anyone who wants to drum but don’t know where to start?

My advice to anyone new to drumming or music would be to check out any classes or events you may have at school or in your community because making music with others is the best. And also to listen to a lot of music and play along on whatever you have, you can make music with anything!

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Drumming is very necessary for me, it helps keeps me balanced and makes me happy so it’s relatively easy to stay motivated. In terms of the professional aspect of being a percussionist the main thing that motivates me is the fact that I wanna keep playing for the rest of my life so that helps me put up with the mundane and cutthroat aspects of being a professional musician.

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Live drumming in Afrovibe™

We’re so honored to have Indigo’s beats guide our talented dancers in our Afrovibe™ dance workout. Dance to her infectious beats for 15 days free and get unlimited on demand dance workouts.