Interview with Courtney ‘Bam’ Diedrick – Grammy Drummer touring the World with Damian Marley

(Cover Photo credit: @radiantsun9)

Courtney Diedrick, also known as “Bamdrumz”, is the official drummer for Damian Marley. We meet him in O2 Academy Leeds (Uk) during Stony Hill European Tour 2018. Straight from Jamaica, and exactly from Brown’s Town (Saint Ann), “Bam” informs us about the legendary drummers who inspired him during his journey: Carlton Barrett from Bob Marley & The Wailers, Sly from Sly and Robbie, Squidly Cole from Stephen Marley, Deleon White also known as Jubba from Dubtonic Kru and many more. He feels good to inspire the new generations today, especially in his community, because he believes this is the meaning of playing music.

Secondly, he underlines the attachment with his family and to the brothers John, Rayon and Sean. All his siblings are musicians and they helped in molding his career prior to furthering his studies at Edna Manley College of Music in Kingston. His older brother John met Damian in Montego Bay and later introduced Sean aka “Young Pow” for the audition as keyboardplayer, who surprisingly saw that drummers were also being auditioned, so he passed on the news to “Bam”. His history began much earlier when he started playing in church at age of 16, later on in Hotels, teaching music in high school and now touring the world with “Jr Gong”. He still remembers his level of anxiety when he went to audition to play and he could see a long line of drummers from around the world waiting for their turn. Despite the insecurities of the moment, Courtney “did his thing” and reached the goal. He discussed the importance of never forgetting that positive vibration that musicians should feel when playing their instruments. He tries to treat every opportunity he gets to play with passion as if it was his first time playing the drums: “Playing with Damian is a great feeling that will never leave me because the moment you lose that feeling, you lose everything”. 

Then we talk about the most beautiful memories of his tours in the world: “We have a lot of highlights and many other stuffs that have happened on the road, but to visit the Mother Land Africa was a huge deal for me, it was always my dream even before I started touring.”. “Bam” tells us how much his origins have influenced even his style of playing. Reggae is a music full of feelings that reminds us of the past, for example slavery: “You can feel emotions in reggae – he continued – and my playing has a lot to do with my roots and my culture”.

Courtney is the Grammy Drummer of this year with “Stony Hill” Album. Nicely, he gives thanks to all the fans for it sharing with them his happiness about this result:“I rememeber all the nights that we spent in the studio with my crew without getting any sleep and now this great joy finally pays off”.

  (Photo Credit: @itseltonbrown)

He didn’t work only with Damian Marley but with several international artists as Mick Jagger, Nas, Kieth Richards, Eric Clapton, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Playing for Change P.F.C., I-Taweh, Jah Cure and many more. Playing for Change is a project between street musicians and mainstream ones from all over the World. This group is the perfect example to show people we are more alike than different and it doesn’t matter our culture or the color of our skin. Reggae music is a universal language.

One of Courtney’s future projects is to give more light to the jamaican drummers featuring them on a documentary. Another project is about his productions that are in a pause right now, but will be out soon.

Passion, talent, determination, attitude, gratitude and humbleness are just some of the features that makes Diedrick so popular and respected in the actual worldwide musical scene. We are waiting to hear his riddims and to appreciate him in the role of producer as well.

Eugenia Conti


ADDIO PRODIGY / A soli 42 anni muore l’anima dei Mobb Deep, stella dell’hip hop americano


Muore oggi a soli 42 anni la stella dell’hip hop Prodigy, storico membro del duo Mobb Deep.

Soltanto qualche giorno fa Prodigy, al secolo Albert Johnson, era stato in tour a Las Vegas esibendosi in “Art of Rap” insieme a mostri della scena internazionale come Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One e Ice-T.

Purtroppo l’anemia di cui Prodigy soffriva da anni gli è stata letale provocandogli un blocco sanguigno. Era una malattia con cui combatteva fin dalla nascita.

“È con estrema tristezza e incredulità che confermiamo la morte del nostro caro amico Albert, meglio conosciuto da milioni di fan come Prodigy del leggendario NY rap duo Mobb Deep”, ha dichiarato il suo pubblicitario ai più.

Anche Prodigy al pari di Tupac e Biggie costituisce un pezzo di storia del rap degli anni ’90 che se ne va.

La musica dei Mobb Deep è stata descritta dalla rivista settoriale Rolling Stone come una “distillazione cruda, viva e viziosa del gangsta rap della costa orientale”.

Il famosissimo album del 1995 “The Infamous” ha venduto oltre 500.000 copie nei primi due mesi successivi al rilascio. Dopodiché è stato pubblicato l’album “Hell on Earth” un anno e mezzo più tardi, che pure ha ricevuto un ampissimo riconoscimento critico.

Tante le collaborazioni che hanno dato a Prodigy e ai Mobb Deep visibilità come quella col rapper Nas.

Figlio d’arte e con influenze musicali tendenti al jazz, Prodigy ha lanciato una carriera solista nel 2000, rilasciando mixtapes in collaborazione con una gamma di produttori tra cui Un Pacino, Big Twins e The Alchemist. Ha pubblicato il suo ultimo album, “Hegelian Dialectic”, nel mese di gennaio.

Ci mancherà questo grande artista che per anni ha saputo regalare lezioni di stile a tutti segnando indelebilmente la storia dell’hip hop mondiale. Per fortuna le tue rime ti hanno reso immortale.

Eugenia Conti