We’ve been big fans of Berlin-based classically trained percussionist Eilis Frawley for some time now, especially since she took our breath away playing live for us at Notting Hill Arts Club last year. With recent single ‘Stats’, she offered arresting beats set against bold, Krautrock-infused spoken word, as the lyrics addressed hard-hitting stats, highlighting the everyday injustices facing women today. Tackling issues such as period poverty, FGM, domestic violence and other vital issues, it’s a beautifully striking and necessary listen. As is the entirety of her just released EP Adult Life.
We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. So, we caught up with Eilis to discuss the five (well, six, actually!) drummers that inspire her the most.
Here are 6 of my favourite drummers/percussionists, all from different scenes with totally different playing styles but all 100% owning what they do.
Fleur Green was my first percussion teacher, when I was 16. She was tough, in the best way. I spent just one year learning from her before she moved abroad, but I’ll never forget her discipline, especially to her own artistic practice. She led by example and was highly committed with a no bullshit attitude. From the very beginning she instilled in me a diligence towards music I’ve carried through the years. She’s such an inspiration. She’s back in Adelaide now and performs under Fleur Green.
Chi Fukami Taylor
Chi Fukami Taylor was the first female drummer I saw perform on a big stage – and she completely nailed it. It was 2007 and she played with The Go! Team at Falls festival in Victoria. She had so much groove, and it was the first time I witnessed someone playing drums and singing. I’m still shocked people can sing in tune and play drums, that’s alot of brain power.
Seol Kim – Known as Snow is one half of Oh Chill (57) from Seoul. I had the pleasure of sharing the bill with her multiple times in Seoul and also in Berlin. Snow does not mess around. Another singing drummer, she’s a hard hitter, her timing is impeccable and her grooves always leaving you wanting more. She’ll keep you on your toes.
Sara is a Berlin drummer. We share the same practice space, and no-one sounds like her. You always know when she’s in the building. Her fills are outta control. She’s fast, dynamic and playful. She’s involved in scenes I’m not too familiar with but hearing her play alone is already a treat! Aptera is one of her projects I’ve seen live, and wow the skill! Highly recommend looking into what she’s doing, especially if you’re into heavier music.
Valentina Magaletti is the only person on this list who I haven’t met, or seen play live, BUT I’m so impressed by her playing, she crosses over so perfectly from pop drummer to experimental percussion wizard. She’s behind so many great projects but I recently discovered Tomaga and it’s a total stand out! Go listen to them.
Mindy Abovitz has to be on this list as well, for not only pursuing drums as a self taught drummer, but for creating TomTom Mag, connecting female* drummers all over the world and changing the media representation of drummers. She’s outstanding.
Massive thanks to Eilis for sharing her choices with us!
Adult Life, the new EP from Eilis Frawley, is out now via Reckless Yes. Listen now. And watch the recent video for the poignant ‘Stats’ here:
Photo Credit: Janina Gallert