Nandi Bushell – A Great Talented Young Drummer

Nandi Bushell is a British-Zulu musician of South African descent and social media celebrity. She is best known for her drumming skill, performing covers of popular rock songs. She was born on 28 April 2010.

She had drawn the attention of several musicians including Questlove, Lenny Kravitz, Dave Grohl, and Matt Bellamy for her drumming skills. Bushell was born in Durban, South Africa of Zulu descent. Her videos soon drew attention both online and in local media, including for an advertisement for John Lewis & Partners department stores in 2018.

Nandi Bushell
Nandi Bushell

Amazing Drum Skills

Questlove had seen her videos, and impressed with her ability for some tricky rhythm sections, sent her a custom child-sized drumkit as well as circulated her videos to his friends in the music community. One of the songs that Bushell had covered in 2019 was Nirvana‘s “In Bloom”, which she posted in November 2019. The video became a viral hit, gaining over 10 million views via Twitter within a week.

One day, her family moved shortly thereafter to Ipswich, United Kingdom, where she currently lives with her parents John and Lungile, and her younger brother. Her parents are both avid fans of music, her father showed her and her brother the video for The Beatles “Hey Jude” when she was around the age of five. 

After that, Nandi Bushell had become fascinated by Ringo Starr‘s performance on drums from the video. A few weeks later, as a reward for good grades at school, her parents got her her first drum kit. She began to learn how to play the drums alongside John, and John saw that she had strong skills at keeping a beat.

Nandi Bushell Challenged Dave Grohl

She first gained public attention when her video of drumming to the Foo Fighters song “The Pretender” went viral on YouTube. She was praised by Dave Grohl for her performance. Her videos also caught the attention of other musicians like Dave Matthews, who invited Bushell to open one of his concerts in South Africa. Bushell, who lives in Ipswich, England, challenged Grohl to a drum-off, a battle that culminated with Bushell appearing onstage with the Foo Fighters during a Los Angeles concert. Bushell has also performed with internationally acclaimed acts such as Manthe Ribane and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. She was also invited to open for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s concert in South Africa. 

Nandi Bushell Drummer
Nandi Bushell performing

As of 2017, she has signed under Adam Levine‘s record label 222 Records. She released her first single titled “Magic Drum” in November 2017. Nandi currently lives between Johannesburg and London, where she attends school.  By December 2019, she was invited to the United States to be a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, with DeGeneres presenting her with a bass guitar after learning she was interested in picking up that instrument as well.

Since the end of 2020, Bushell had also learned both lead and bass guitar, and through both video synchronization or the use of a loop station, has recorded covers of rock songs with herself performing all parts. She wants to continue to be a musician and start her own band called the Titans, inspired by the animated show Teen Titans and the meaning of “titans” as “gods”. In addition to her covers, she is writing her own songs in hopes to be able to produce an album.