Gerald Heyward talks to BeatIt
Gerald Heyward is one of top gospel and R&B drummers. By some, he is hailed as the “godfather” and icon of this drumming style. His C.V. includes collaborations with the most prominent artists from this genre in history: Blackstreet, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Puff Daddy, Coolio, Missy Elliot, Destiny’s Child, Beyonce. Currently, he is playing in Chris Brown’s band.
In the fall of last year, Gerald conducted two drum clinics in Poland – in Wrocław and Warsaw. We met up with him in connection with the former event, at the muzyczny.pl store. That’s where this interview was shot.
In the first part of this conversation, our guest talks about the impact of flying on his ears, Hug a Drummer Day and, first and foremost, his approach to drum clinics, i.e. questions such as choice of topics to be discussed, audience participation, main message to be conveyed, etc.
“I want people to ask questions. People see me do stuff on the Internet and everything but, now, I’m here face to face. Ask me either what you learned from me on the Internet or what you want to know.”
“I’m here to tell the kids that you gotta be a good person. You gotta be someone that the rest of the band can live with. You can’t be stuck up. You can’t be about you. It’s way past that. I’m here to give that message out.”
“It’s balance. You can’t work on your chops more than you work on the knowledge of the business. You gotta know the business.”
“You have to be a good and upstanding person. When they say your name, they say your resume. Gerald Heyward. He’s good. He knows the music, he comes on time, he don’t miss flights. He do what he has to do. If you’re not a good person, they’re gonna say that after your name. I want to tell all the young guys to be good people. Don’t be divas, man! I ain’t no diva!”
Drummers and Drummerettes! Exclusively for BeatIt viewers! Gerald Heyward in the first episode of an interview for our channel! Enjoy!Share