On My Pinboard: Drummer Gopi

On My Pinboard: Drummer Gopi


Kulandaivelu Mohan Gopinath, better known as Drummer Gopi, is a familiar name in Bollywood, though he was born and brought up in Bengaluru. Starting off with playing at clubs and jamming with DJs, he went on to collaborate with musicians Adnan Sami, RD Burman's saxophone maestro the Late Manori Singh, composers like Anu Malik, Sajid-Wajid and so on.

He has appeared on the reality show Indian Idol 3 as a guest and has also worked in Bollywood movies like the Salman Khan-starrer 'Hello Brother' among others. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Meera Burman award.

He is currently working on his own project, untitled as of now. The world music project will see him collaborating with musicians in Spain. He has also composed 2-3 songs for Bollywood that will be recorded soon.  



I like all varieties of seafood, like lobster, shrimp, crab and so on. I am also a big fan of mutton dishes. I like to cook my food myself; many artistes love to cook actually. I also like to feed people. When musician friends come from distant cities, I get them over to my house for an evening of conversation and good food. 

Travel destination


I love to travel to Africa; the entire country resonates with rhythms. I frequently go there to teach drums to and train poor children. Apart from that, I like to go to Sri Lanka.

Within India, my favourite place is Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. There, I visit the Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple on every full moon day; it is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. One has to trek for around 14-15 km uphill and I undertake this journey in the middle of the night. The place has a lovely vibe at that time.


MG Ramachandran

I am a huge fan of MGR; have been one since my childhood. His movies have a lot of social messages which tell us how to be better versions of ourselves. In Bollywood, I love 'Mother India', starring Nargis and Sunil Dutt.



My inspiration is my father, K Mohan, who was a great musician. He used to play the mridangam, tabla and the harmonium. During my growing up years, I was fascinated by the artistes who played drums on the streets, during festivals and special occasions. I would try out the patterns on my school desks, causing the teacher to throw me out of class (laughs). I think I got into drumming because of those performers. 


Trilok Gurtu

I am a fan of all good musicians, I don't have a particular favourite as such. If I had to pick one, it would be percussionist and composer Trilok Gurtu. I would say he is my mentor. 

In the Bollywood film industry, I have worked with many big names like Nadeem–Shravan, Anu Malik and Sajid–Wajid. Sajid is a very close friend who gave me a break in Bollywood.

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