The Grammy Awards are both a festival and a battlefield for musicians around the world. The 2005 Grammys made history by having Usher, the then 23-year-old pop star, and James Brown, the legendary musician dubbed the “Godfather of Soul,” perform on the stage together to celebrate the event.
On Friday, the Dong-A Ilbo had an interview with Aaron Spears, a 44-year-old drummer who combined Usher’s “Caught Up” and James Brown’s “Get Up” with impeccable rhythm on that stage, offering a real funk music to the audience of 2005 Grammy Awards. Spears is a “rhythm machine” and a veteran drummer who worked with a legend of popstars from Backstreet Boys to Lady Gaga.
Aaron Spears recalled the 2005 Grammys as the “most palm-sweating experience” ever. “Some of the best musicians, labels, and producers in the world were watching the show, with Usher and James Brown dancing and singing to my drums,” recalled Spears about that historic night. “The pressure was beyond my head. I am just grateful that it was finished without a hitch.”
“As a kid, I fell in love with the drums at church at first sight,” said the veteran drummer. The little boy was captivated by the ways they looked and sounded.
“I tried to absorb the various genres and styles of some of the best drummers such as Dennis Chambers and Billy Cobham,” he said.
“The essence of pop music has not changed. My job is to create something powerful by combining virtual performance with actual one,” commented Spears about the trend of pop music where the share of virtual music instruments is increasing.
On Friday, Spears met with some 200 Korean would-be drummers at KT&G Sangsangmadang in downtown Mapo, Seoul. In the masterclass, Spears demonstrated powerful drum performance to various musicians such as Usher and DJ Shadow, answering questions from his students.
“A blind pursuit of success is in vain. What matters the most is the feeling that you’re enjoying what you do,” Spears said. You’ve got to love your life, and then you will learn to love your music properly.”