Drums have a rich historical grounding in communication, entertainment and even military applications. Today, the drums have transformed into a percussion instrument that is known worldwide, made distinctive by its cylindrical shape and energetic sounds. This may be the reason why the energetic 18-year-old, Nicholas Thomas has grown towards mastering the instrument. Thomas is known by his peers for being musically versatile, currently playing for Exodus Steel Band and the alternative rock band, Project Override. He primarily plays the trap set, however he has played the tenor pan before, and is known to pick up his sister’s guitar from time to time. The energetic young man started playing with Exocubs, the youth band of Exodus and with them he has had international experience competing in the World Championship of the Performing Arts in Los Angeles. “The experience was awesome!” said the drummer. While he enjoys playing with Exodus, rock music has always been a passion for this youngster. He disclosed to gieMAGAZINE that playing with Project Override has been an overwhelming experience for him. He indicated that his band mates are practically his brothers and spending time with members of the band has been just as enjoyable as playing with them.
When asked how he feels about both forms of music, the drummer stated, “I think I should be ashamed to be a Trinidadian. Picking up Rock music was actually easier than Soca, but I think there is still room for improvement in both genres”. What if he had to choose between the genres of soca and rock? Posed with this question he quickly responded, “That’s a no brainer....Rock music! I find it easier to express myself while playing this genre.” He then recollected: “I’m starting to believe I was meant to play drums, looking back I clearly remember always getting in trouble for beating the desk in school and when I was younger I would set up buckets in my yard and bang away.” His passion has always presented opportunities for him. Most recently, Thomas landed a drumming role with local R&B singer, Iziah Kanhai. “I can tell that Iziah, has a world of ideas just waiting to be transformed into our different instruments. The people in the band are far more musically experienced than I am so I’m expecting to learn lots and use it to improve on my playing” Thomas excitedly stated. The Information Technology student of COSTAATT has always had an affinity to extracurricular activities against his academic pursuits. He gave a very comical anecdote to gieMAGAZINE about his extracurricular life. Firstly, he started playing cricket, but dropped out to play football with Joe Public. He then proceeded to drop football, in order to allocate time to play drums. Asked if he was about to drop drums to randomly pick up gymnastics, the drummer simply laughed at the thought saying “I believe it’s safe to say that I will be playing drums for a very long while to come”. With respect to the local musical industry, the youngster indicated that there is a very strong focus on Soca music and that more emphasis should be placed on different genres in order for such artists to get the exposure that they deserve. “There’s always room to grow and we will with no doubt. We have lots of talented, young musicians who will aid in the growth of the industry.”So what advice does this all-rounder have to offer to other young musicians? “The best thing a young musician can do to make himself/herself better is practice! Practicing gives you a discipline to perfect what you do! Make practicing a nasty habit and success will soon be yours!”