Nandi Bushell is a rock star.
If you’ve seen the 10-year-old’s animated drum renditions while scrolling your Twitter timeline, you know exactly who I’m talking about. Nandi’s dad John Bushell (also a musician) bonds with his daughter over their shared love for acts such as Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles, the latter of which inspired Nandi to become a drummer at the age of 5.
“I’d always look on Ringo Starr’s drum kit on YouTube, and I’d always love it,” Nandi told the LA Times in a recent interview. “And I did really well in this maths club, so I got to ... get a toy drum kit. ... I’d just start practicing it. We got a teacher for a couple of months and then we started doing grades and jam with my dad. And then we took it to the next level!”
Nandi’s dope drum skills started to gain a bunch of attention in August, when she posted a video rockin’ out to the Foo Fighters’ 1997 song, “Everlong,” challenging Dave Grohl to a drum battle.
“I would love to have a drum battle with you! I LOVE ‘Everlong,’ it’s really hard to play as it’s so fast but so much FUN!,” she tweeted along with this adorably hype and engaging video.
Fun fact: It only took her three days to learn it—you know, because she’s dope! Needless to say, it got Grohl’s attention, too. Thanks to the beauty of virtual events, Grohl was able to quickly set up a battle with the young drummer. In fact, her epic battle with Grohl amassed over 1.7 million views on YouTube—and counting!
In round 2 of their highly entertaining drum battle, Grohl dedicated a song to the young musician dubbing Nandi, “the No. 1 supergirl.”
“That was epic,” Nandi exclaimed. “He wrote a song about me...I thought he was just going to play some jazz—some technical beats. But no. He wrote a song about me. That’s crazy!”
Of course, Nandi being a Black girl drummer and the impact of this representation isn’t lost on us.
“Some boys say, ‘Oh, women can’t play the drums because they’re girls,’” Nandi noted. “But girls can do just as much as boys can...Lots of people like music, and...it’s important that people get treated fairly and equally.”
Nandi is providing the soundtrack to Black Girl Magic. Get into her videos, ASAP!