'I'd get kicked out of the music room'

Reality bites

'I'd get kicked out of the music room'

Jovol Bell, the drummer of US-based band ‘Reality’, hails from the city of Angleton in Texas. In the City recently, he spoke about his journey as a musician.

“It all started when I would watch this lady play the tambourine at church as a kid. She would play with so much enthusiasm that it seemed like the skin of the tambourine would come off. That’s when I thought to myself ‘I could play that!’”

Jovol started playing the drums at the age of five. “I would play hours at a stretch in school even though there would always be someone who would tell me to stop. I would get kicked out of the music room nine times a day but I never gave up, and soon, I got thrown out less as I got better,” says Jovol, who is also a faculty member at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music.

He continues, “I got my first opportunity to perform at a church — the pastor was the organist and a band called ‘The Vision’ would perform regularly there. The drummer of the band, Josh, was very talented and I’d sit under his cymbals observing everything he did, and I’d tell him I needed an opportunity to play. One day, Josh went up to the mic and introduced me as a drummer. As soon as I started playing, the pastor was in awe.

After the performance, he drove all the way to my house and told my parents that I needed drums!” Currently, Jovol has his own band called ‘Reality’ and is working on a record project to be released next spring. “‘Reality’ is a band I started with my friends from college, but because of their talent, we all had our own projects to tend to, and many people left the band. So I kept bringing in more people and the current version of ‘Reality’ is actually the eighth! The band is now more like a network for all the best talent to connect and relate; in the end, it’s all a big family,” he says.

On his moniker ‘Bam Bam’, he says, “After a performance (at Berklee College of Music), Nadine, who was the singer for the show, complimented on my drumming by saying that I was just like Bam Bam from ‘The Flintstones’. Soon after, the name stuck on and everyone started to recognise me as ‘Bam Bam’.” What does he have to say to aspiring drummers? “As a musician, if you’d like to move forward, practice and play everyday. Your progression and your talent are the only things that can move you through,” he sums up.  

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