Arin Ilejay has lived in the embrace of music since he was 10. His exposure to music came from all directions from being submerged in church worship culture to being surrounded by local gigging musicians while his dad played guitar. Since he started playing drums, Arin found many opportunities to join bands in his local town of Panorama City, LA. While not much of an educated drummer, his passion for excellence met his passion for fun and his musical career took off. He has experience in many genres such as indie music, r&b, funk, hardcore, metal and country.
The bands Arin has played with include Confide, Islander and Avenged Sevenfold.
Cassie Plunkett is a music educator, producer, songwriter, and artist. In 2019 she earned her degree in Songwriting at Berklee College of Music. After volunteering at Beats By Girlz Berklee workshops, she joined the BBG team as a Social Media Coordinator in early 2020. A year later, she is now the Communications Director at BBG.
In addition to her work in music education and activism Cassie performs as electro-pop artist Plunki. She is known for her bubbly production and inventive lyrics. Check out Cassie’s music as Plunki and keep up with her on social media!
Gnarly is a British Sri Lankan female producer, live performer, DJ and educator. Most known for her live finger drumming performances with her online content reaching a large following all over the world and a rapidly growing audience. You can find her performing a highly skilled and captivating live show using Native Instruments Maschine.
With a BA (Hons) in Sound Arts and Design from the University of the Arts London, Gnarly is talented in many areas of music tech. Creating genre-bending future beats you can vibe to in her music production and DJ sets as well as leading workshops, appearing on panels and radio shows to discuss online marketing, self promotion, music production and finger drumming techniques. She has also spent the last few years working with various well known brands on promotional content creation for social media.
Her debut label release in 2020 featured on new independent label 4NC¥ created by Foreign Beggars founding member Pavan Mukhi. Gnarly also featured on her first international compilation in 2020 with German label Dedicate and is set to appear on Amsterdam based label Anarkick Beats in 2021.
Gnarly is also the Lead Mix & Mastering Engineer for the UK Beatbox Championships post-production since 2015 and has worked with World Champions The Beatbox Collective on sync projects featured on national TV.
She has worked with organisations such as Native Instruments, ROLI, LUMI, Novation, BandLab, Sample Music Festival, Music Producer Convention, Secret Walls, Meeting of Styles, Stylefile, School of Bop, Wired4Music, Lyrix Organix and more.
David Frangioni, an award-winning veteran of the music industry, has expertise ranging from being a drummer and producer, to an artist development and label founder, audio consultant, music technologist, integrator, author and engineer. He built a ground-breaking music tech consulting business working with Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Sting, Bryan Adams, Journey, Styx, Phil Collins, Shakira, Pat Metheny, Rascal Flatts, Ozzy Osbourne, and Chick Corea and many more.
David has authored 3 best-selling books including Icon and Crash along with founding companies Frangioni Media, Audio One, All Access IDA and his non-profit, Frangioni Foundation. David is CEO/Publisher of Modern Drummer Magazine, the world’s #1 drum magazine.
The drums are Jessica’s (aka JBurd) absolute biggest passion in life and have allowed her incredible opportunities such as sitting in with the 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers, her own Drumeo episode, and playing with artists such as Naia Izumi, Rob Scallon, her bands City Mouth, GRP, and many more. Jessica is motivated to play as much as possible and collaborate with other passionate musicians.
Nic Kubes is an LA based, ambidextrous drummer who graduated with a degree in Drum Performance from the Los Angeles College of Music. After graduating High School a full year early at the age of 17, he moved to LA in 2018. For the past decade he has studied with drumming giants Dom Famularo, Billy Cobham, Dave Weckl, Joe Porcaro, Ralph Humphrey, Mike Mangini, and many others. This has allowed him to cultivate a deep understanding of the instrument, its techniques, and its history, which Nic has used to push his playing and his music forward.
Nic endorses Mapex Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Promark Drumsticks, Evans Drumheads, Offset Pedals, and Humes & Berg Cases.
Billy Amendola is a New York based, drummer, songwriter, studio musician, mentor, music industry consultant and producer, best known as a founding member of the seventies band, Mantus. The group released two albums, and three top ten Billboard dance singles. They achieved worldwide fame, touring the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Billy appeared on the 1987 debut album, of then teen sensation and eighties songstress, Debbie Gibson, Out of the Blue, combining the use of acoustic and electronic drums. The album spawned several international hits, including, “Only In My Dreams” and “Shake Your Love.” He received a triple platinum record award by the RIAA, for his contribution.
His musical credits include television commercials, movie soundtrack albums and hundreds of 12” remixes. Billy has also performed as a special guest percussionist with Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band on several occasions. He has been associated with Modern Drummer magazine for twenty-five years and is their Editor At Large.
2X Grammy Winner, Daru Jones is one of the most respected drummers of his generation who has recorded, performed, and toured with an eclectic mix of renowned artists and producers, including: Jack White, Pete Rock, Gloria Gaynor, Slum Village, Jamie Lidell, Talib Kweli, Dwight Yoakam, Nas, Pee Wee Ellis, Lorenzo Jovanotti, Queen Latifah, Black Milk, Salaam Remi, Pharoahe Monch, Liam Bailey, Rance Allen, Black Violin, Ski Beatz & The Sensei’s and Jon B.
A sought-after producer and boutique label owner (RusicRecords), Jones is currently touring with superband DMD the Vibes (with wunderkind Marcus Machado & legendary Living Colour bassist, Doug Wimbish) also currently performing with hip-hop producer, Pete Rock and a member also the music director for his new live band, The Soul Brothers as well as powerhouse Rock-Hop trio called, Th1rt3en with Pharoahe Monch.
When people ask me how I got started on the drums I always go through the same process in my head of trying to find memories of early an Emily Moon tearing through a kitchen and banging on pots and pans. That’s not how it played out for me though. To be honest, I can’t even remember picking up sticks. Drums have always been apart of me from before I can remember. Growing up, being a famous drummer wasn’t an aspiration of mine.
I played percussion in the school band and was never forced by my parents to practice – I just did because I enjoyed it. I joined my high school’s drumline becoming the only girl on snare, went to drum camp and won best snare drummer. It was all very normal to me, like this is just what people do. I didn’t sit behind a drum kit until I was 15 years old but already had all of the chops, technique and coordination from marching band – which I soon quit after feeling the energy of what a full kit had to offer and what jamming with friends felt like. From then on I was in bands.
Sure I grew up listening to the classics – AC/DC, Zeppelin, Queen, etc. – but those drum heroes didn’t inspire me until later on in my drum career. My inspiration came from within. I’ve always been a woman of few words but finally drums gave me something to say and I could say it LOUD. That is when drums became serious for me.
In 2016, I moved from my hometown Houston, TX to Atlanta, GA with only what I could fit into my truck – drums and clothes. Once settled, I reluctantly put an ad up on Craigslist looking for other musicians to play with and to my surprise ended up finding and joining the mischievous Starbenders. The sound we make is an alchemic blend of androgynous rock and roll power with stuck in your brain pop. Starbenders are the catalyst of my drum career. It’s with them that I truly felt my drumming style come to light. I get to exorcise my demons beating the shit out of the drums and have moments where I tap into more expressive playing.