I love to expand my artistic horizons: Naitik Nagda

The drummer has introduced a 360-degree wheel of drumming in India, which is a set of eight drums placed in a circular form

Celebrity drummer Naitik Nagda is credited with introducing a 360-degree wheel of drumming in India , the second in the world to do so, after Australian percussionist Ben Walsh.

The ‘Wheel of Drums’ has eight drums placed in a circular motion, which give rise to thunderous, mesmerising beats, combined with a mix of of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and folksy dhols that leave a lasting impression.

Naitik started his musical journey with Kalyanji Anandji’s musical troupe ‘Little Wonders’, at the age of seven. He has performed with musicians like Kailas Kher, Farhan Akhtar, Hard Kaur and was featured on MTV Coke Studio with the music composer Sachin and Jigar. He worked with A R Rahman for the Common Wealth Games theme song and has also brought out singles with T-Series.

In a chat, Metrolife finds out about his inspiration and more...

How did you come up with the concept of a 360-degree wheel of drums? 

I love to expand my artistic horizons, especially when it comes different percussive instruments. Surfing the Internet for different instruments and music pieces is something I love to do. One day I came across a video of percussionist Ben Walsh playing a wheel drum. I thought of making something similar in India. I researched about it -- the materials needed, the process and so on — and made a customised ‘Wheel Of Drums’.

Wouldn’t playing it, that too standing, tire you out faster? What is the longest you have played the set?

Standing and performing gives you a different kind of energy. When I am on stage, I feel a different vibe and energy; coupled with a determination to entertain the audience, it makes me feel more energetic and passionate. In fact, I love to jump around and dance while performing. The longest I have played the set till now is around five hours. 

What kind of music can be supplemented by such beats?

Any kind of music, irrespective of beat or genre, will go with this. It all depends on the formation; the way one wants to graph or craft the music, and what kind of music one wishes to deliver to the audience. 

Who are you influenced by, musically?

I have been influenced by each and every artiste/musician around me and whom I have worked with. I get to learn something from all of them.  My gurus and the music director duo Kalyanji Anandji have been with me and guided me through my journey right from when I was seven years old.

Most memorable moment in your musical career till now?

When I won a reality show on national television in 2009; ‘Rock On’ on MTV. The second such moment happened in 2019 when my four-year-old son Hiyaan Nagda performed with me on stage. It was in front of a 25,000-strong crowd and both the audience and my family members were cheering for my son rather than me; the memory remains a very special and dear one. 

What do you listen to in your spare time?

I listen to all kinds of music depending on my mood and desire — from popular Bollywood/Hollywood numbers to romantic melodies to ghazals and even regional hits. 

Advice for aspiring drummers?

To all aspiring musicians, I would like to say do not stop hustling. Channelise your positive energy and have an organised and idea-oriented work style. These traits lead to the path of success. 

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