Name: Nicole Pompei
Location: Allston, Massachusetts, United States
Hello there! My name is Nicole Pompei, (informally Pompy), and I am a Boston based musician. I graduated (Summa Cum Laude) from Berklee College of Music in May 2016 with a degree in Music Business Management and a minor in Music Technology. I am most notably spotted playing around with my indie psychedelic math rock band Bat House.
The unbound nature of free form expression cultivated in Boston’s underground DIY community pulled Bat House together. Underground shows are where I developed my voice and began to flourish as a creative. There is no standard, no set of rules. There are no boxes in which you must play within the confines of. It’s raw, honest, free, and, most importantly of all, incredibly supportive.
Growing up, I struggled with my voice and my validity as a female percussionist and drum set player. Everyone around me, albeit my family (shout out to my mom and dad for always being the most supportive parents a girl could wish for!) including higher ups in the schools I attended, were telling me that ‘girls could not possibly play drums’ and that ‘pursuing a career in the arts would be a waste of my time and talents.’ Music, playing drums in particular, struck a very essential chord within me. It’s that thing that makes me tick; that passion that drives me.
Early on in my musical career, I had a very troubling experience with a music teacher at the elementary school I attended. She continuously tried to persuade me away from playing drums. Instead of encouraging me to keep practicing and working hard, she found a constant sense of belittlement to be appropriate. If it hadn’t been for the guidance of support of my drum mentor and my parents, I likely would have stopped playing all because of an incessant and nagging sense of inferiority to my male counterparts.
I find it incrementally important to inspire and champion young women to be involved with music. My experience of being surrounded with negative thoughts and a ‘no you can’t attitude’ drove me to prove that sentiment as incorrect; however, it is completely unacceptable to feed these false notions to young minds. Young minds should be cultivated and encouraged to explore; not dismissed, brushed off, and made to feel inferior. Human expression is a fundamental part of our existence. We need to support one another and inspire and encourage the next generation that they have a voice that is valid and important.
My mentors Denny Rosatti, Richard Wilson, and Brian Tychinski were three of the best educators I could have ever asked for. They pushed me, allowed me to ask loads of questions, and always encouraged me to keep making noise. I have a handful of students in Boston that I teach drums to and they range in ages from 5-20. I firmly believe in instilling a sense of determination and curiosity in my students; no matter their skill level.
My performance for Hit Like A Girl is influenced by momentary based expression and improvisation. The video has been shot in one take and, aside from a loose structure with the fundamental grooves, has been improvised. The piece is a collaboration with Matthew Kniffin (bass, Soundscape) and Shane Blank (guitar, synth, audio engineering and mixing, Bat House). The visual projection is a collaboration with Emmet Hayes (Bat House). (If you’re curious, I’d love to talk about how we made them!). I’m not one for contests, but I profoundly believe in cultivating a community that supports and inspires one another. I hope you’ve enjoyed my video and that you’ll check out my work with Bat House. Cheers! –Pompy