Legendary Drummer Gorden Campbell Interview

March 15, 2022

Gorden Campbell has worked with a wide variety of artist including, Earth, Wind & Fire, George Duke, Neyo, American Idol Tour, Daughtry, Phillip Phillips, Jessica Simpson, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Whitney Houston, Gerald Albright, Eric Benet, Brandy, Rahsaan Patterson, Tyrese, Faith Evans, Lalah Hathaway & God’s Property to name a few…. He can also be heard on movie soundtracks such as: Dreamgirls, Be Cool, The Wiz & Semi-Pro.

Born in New Haven Conn., Gorden was raised in Newburgh, N.Y. where he began playing at the age of 5 at his grandfather’s church.

From 4th grade thru college Gorden Campbell took formal lessons with some great teachers including jazz great Grady Tate. Performing in marching bands, jazz bands, orchestras, Gospel groups and even singing in chorus, Gorden was able to hone his skills in a variety of musical styles.
While keeping busy doing gigs and sessions, Gorden is also working as a producer producing music from R&B/Pop and gospel to hip hop.

Q: Where do you find inspiration nowadays? Who is your go-to drummer?

A: I get inspiration from a bunch of different things. My daughter inspires me. She’s an artist/songwriter and producer. She’s so focused that she makes me focus even harder.  

I’m still inspired by all of the great musicians that came before me (I’m still trying to get to their level). I’m always inspired by watching younger drummers/musicians. They are definitely pushing the envelope. 

Go-to drummer? Hmmm… There are so many… here are a few that I love listening to: Chris Johnson, Calvin Rodgers, Josiah Maddox, Larnell Lewis, Robert Sput Searight to name a few.

Q: What projects you are currently involved in?

A: I’m finishing my debut album “Conversations” On the Ropeadope label. It features, Kamasi Washington, Sheila E. Terrace Martin, PJ Morton, BJ The Chicago Kid, B. Slade, Morgen Campbell, and a few other special guests. 

I’ve also been working on “The Masked Singer” tv show and I’ve been recording for the Aretha Franklin tv docuseries also.  I’m still doing a lot of recording with Smooth Jazz artist and producing some new artists.

Q: Since you played with many big names in the industry, is there somebody with whom you didn’t get a chance to play but you would love to?

A: I would LOVE to play with Sting!

Q: What you prefer the most: touring and playing live, doing sessions, record movie music, playing in church, producing?

A: I love it all! I like variety, so I would probably go crazy if I had to only do one. lol!

Q: What is your advice to young drummers who want to succeed in the music business and get acknowledged by fellow drummers?

A: I would tell them to really study your craft. Really learn the history of music (as many styles as possible). Being versatile also helped me greatly. It keeps me working.  And Practice Practice Practice!

Q: Why do you play open-handed? Is it because you are a lefty or is it something that you developed over time?

A: I’m actually ambidextrous. I’ve always played left-handed. I didn’t realize that it was different for a long time. I actually need to work on playing right-handed! hahaha!

Q: What is the next goal in your carrier after all the great things you have achieved?

A: My next goal is to be a successful artist. I’ve always been a sideman so it’s time to step out and be the frontman. Hopefully, you guys will see me and my band soon!

Q: If you were not a drummer what would you be?

A: WHOA! Never thought of that! I’ve been playing drums my entire life. I have no clue.

Q: Among all the great artists you performed with, there are some musicians who are giants in this business like George Duke, Stevie Wonder, Gerald Albright. Can you remember the moment when you feel most fearful or grateful due to a chance to sit down with these legends? 

A: Always a tad bit of nervousness when playing with my heroes, but more grateful than anything! It’s a blessing being able to work with such musical giants. 

There was a moment when I was on stage with Earth, Wind & Fire when it hit me… I’m actually playing with these guys that I grew up listening to! MIND BLOWN!

Q: As a drummer did you ever got depressed or frustrated due to a fact that you are not making enough progress in your playing? Do you have any advice on how can we overcome that?

A: I STILL get depressed sometimes. hahaha! But yes, I did get frustrated. What I’ve learned is the importance of sticking to it and keep pushing. If it’s a certain song, groove or lick that I had trouble with. 

I would just slow it down and work on it at a very slow tempo until I got it and then I would speed it up to the correct tempo. We all learn at different rates so don’t compare yourself to other people. take your time and stay with it until you get it.

Big Thanks To Gorden Campbell!

Except being an extraordinary drummer and an all-around great person he is also a producer. Check out Gorden Campbell new song here. In case you want to find out more about Gorden Campbell or get in touch regarding cooperation check out his profile on soundbetter.com

Find Gorden Campbell discography here

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Denis Loncaric
Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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