Artist Spotlight: James "StickNasty" Small - The Grammy-Nominated Drummer, Actor, and Community Uplifter


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| Posted:

August 27, 2023

Artist Spotlight: James "StickNasty" Small: The Grammy-Nominated Drummer, Actor, and Community Uplifter

In the vast landscape of music, there are artists who not only captivate audiences with their performances but also use their talents to make a positive impact on their communities. James "StickNasty" Small is one such extraordinary individual. A Grammy-nominated drummer, producer, and actor, James Small's journey from a young drummer in Berkeley, CA, to sharing the stage with renowned artists and uplifting his community is nothing short of inspiring.

Early Roots and Musical:

Awakening:Born and raised in Berkeley, CA, James Small's passion for music was ignited at an incredibly young age. At the tender age of two, he discovered his love for drumming and embarked on a lifelong musical journey. Growing up in the church, gospel music played a pivotal role in shaping his understanding and love for the art of music.

The Berklee Experience and Early Career:

As he progressed in his musical pursuits, Small's exceptional talent led him to Willard Middle School, where he was exposed to diverse musical genres. However, it was during his time at Berkeley High School that he truly honed his skills as a drummer. Playing with the prestigious Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble, Small's exceptional performances earned him numerous outstanding musicianship awards, setting the stage for his future success.

After being accepted into Berklee College of Music in Boston, Small decided to seize an exciting opportunity and joined the up-and-coming Hip-Hop group called Bedroc. This bold move marked the beginning of his illustrious career, and he hasn't looked back since.

Taking the World Stage:
James Small's rise to fame was meteoric, as he graced some of the world's most prestigious stages. From the iconic Radio City Music Hall and Red Rocks to the majestic Boston Symphony Hall and The Greek Theaters in Los Angeles and Berkeley, CA, his performances left audiences in awe.

His drumming prowess and musical genius caught the attention of late-night TV show producers, and he made memorable appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Throughout his career, he has shared the stage with illustrious artists such as Train, Montell Jordan, Lyrics Born, Taj Mahal, Rexx Life Raj, and Ari Afsar, to name just a few.

Venturing into Acting and Community Uplifting:

In 2022, James Small's artistic talents extended beyond music when he was cast in the starring role alongside his fiancé, Sahra Brubeck, in Fantastic Negrito's visual album "White Jesus Black Problems." This marked a significant milestone in his acting career, adding another dimension to his already multi-faceted artistic portfolio.

But Small's success hasn't led him to forget his roots. In an effort to give back to the community, he became an after-school teacher at Emerson Elementary School, where he imparts his knowledge of drama and dance classes while writing musicals for the students. This commitment to uplifting the younger generation through music and arts showcases his genuine dedication to empowering his community.

Continuing the Journey:

Even with an impressive list of accomplishments, James "StickNasty" Small shows no signs of slowing down. He remains an integral part of 3x Grammy Winner, Fantastic Negrito's band, touring the world and delighting audiences with his exceptional drumming skills. Additionally, he collaborates with various artists as a studio musician and performer, perpetuating his musical influence on a global scale.

James "StickNasty" Small's journey from a young prodigy in Berkeley to a Grammy-nominated drummer, actor, and community uplifter is a testament to his unparalleled dedication to music and his passion for uplifting those around him. With an unwavering commitment to sharing his talents with the world and empowering the next generation, Small's legacy serves as an inspiration to aspiring musicians and community leaders alike. As he continues to make waves in the music industry and beyond, we can only anticipate even greater accomplishments from this remarkable artist in the years to come.

A Universal Love Language:

James "StickNasty" Small's inaugural album, "A Universal Love Language," is a heartwarming representation of music's universal power to express love and gratitude. Inspired by gospel, hip-hop, and pop, the album showcases a collaborative voice of Bay Area musicians, fostering a sense of community and upliftment. Developed during the pandemic, the tracks embody evolving emotions, from blossoming love to the rise of social movements. With its warm and uplifting essence, "A Universal Love Language" aims to inspire listeners to connect, dance, and find hope in the face of adversity.

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