Dornik Leigh

Dornik Leigh Drum Set Up

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Here is an interview with Dornik Leigh, drummer for Jessie Ware, he invited us to his Somerset House gig in London, where we got to meet in a sunny bar over looking South Bank and the Thames … work doesn’t get much tougher than this.

INTERVIEWER: Hello, please introduce yourself and tell us what’s happening tonight.

DORNIK LEIGH: “Hi I’m Dornik Leigh and I play drums for Jessie Ware and tonight we are performing at Somerset House on South Bank LONDON.”

I: Talk us gear geeks through your set up tonight.

DL: “I’ll be playing with my Maple Custom Absolute, 22” kick, 12” Tom, 14” and 16” Floor toms, with the Steve Gadd signature snare which was the last one in the UK and I love it!”

I: How long have you played the drums?

DL: “For about 13 years now, about 8 years professionally! My first professional paid gig would have been at a wedding with my uncle. I’d say my first professional gig with an artist was with Donae’o, live on air at the BBC Madivale sessions in 2008!”

I: So Dornik, why choose Yamaha Drums?

DL: “Easy, I mean you get great sound, a beautiful look, they are easy to use, for exampke the ease of angling the toms is great and I love the hardware, very stable, they are just beautiful kits and my Maple Custom brings out the best in me. I’ve loved them since day one! The kit I’m playing on tonight I’ve had for about a year now, so it’s still fresh!”

I: Who would be your biggest drum influence and idol?

DL: “I’d have to say my cousin Nathan Allen, who’s also a Yamaha Endorsee, he’s my main influence and the reason why I started playing in the first place! He plays a Birch Custom Absolute to my Maple!”

I: Other than tonight’s performance with Jessie, what would be your dream gig?

DL: “God rest his soul Michael Jackson if he was alive, for sure, but I’d have to say PRINCE.”

I: During your professional career, what would be your stand out moment to date on stage?

DL: “My stand out moment to date I would say, was the last tour in Bristol, when Jessie got me to sing on stage with her for the first time, we do a duet now which you we see tonight! One I’ll be singing whilst drumming and the other I’ll be standing next to her up front with drum pads! I write my own material which Jessie heard and then made me join her on stage; she’s the boss I couldn’t say no!”

I: What piece of advice would you give to young drummers just starting out wanting to follow in your foot steps!

DL: “I’d say make sure you practice everyday, even if it’s for 15 minutes. Just to love what you do, play the music you enjoy playing and remember why you want to do this in the first place, that’s my advice!”

I: What’s your best ‘Drummer Joke’?

DL: “It’s not a joke, but someone in the studio once said to me when we were doing a recording, and told me to turn my high hats down, which is funny! Whatever!”

Dornik is also writing and producing his own material so expect to see much more of him soon!

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