Published on May 19th, 2016 | by Shar Bates0
The Illest Drummer in the Game… Kwik Stiks
Recently, Shar Bates aka “The Red Carpet Slayer” sat down with the Celeb Drummer Leon “Kwik Stiks” Kittrell.. And his story is just simply DOPE!!!
Most often times.. When you think of a 2 year old kid from Tucson, Arizona playing drums you think of pots and pans banging in the kitchen with a wooden ladle! But not when it comes to Kwik Stiks, because he had a full drum set! Being that his mother and father are drummers, and his father is one of the Funk Brothers… Mediocrity even for a 2 year old is unacceptable!
So from the tender toddler age of 2, Kwik Stiks has been sharing his gifts with the world. Being so talented, Kwik Stiks found himself playing at popular Jazz Clubs at the age of 9 years old!
He started taking it serious at the age of 15-16.. He caught himself in a bit of a debacle as to whether he was going to be in the jazz band, or play football!! Which being a former Drum Major, that’s almost impossible! Being that practice times are normally the same in high school! He found himself wishing to be at band practice instead of football.. But his love for the game was strong as well!
He always had dreams of Football and Touring! So that’s exactly what he did… He went on to continue playing the drums, as well as College Football. He even tried out for the NFL and went on to have a career in Computer Engineering (Bachelor’s Degree) for a few years. But his love for music always brought him back to the stage!
He ended up being apart of a group that was signed under Upfront and Devyne Stephens (Mogul with Konvict) but things didn’t work out! Him and 5 other band members all moved down from Indiana to pursue their dreams. But trying to keep everyone together and humble was too great of a task! The band was formed around him and Nate Davis. They started to get noticed around the city and that’s how they were discovered. The band was VERY unique.. They were diverse by having 2 white guys, a Venezuelan guitar player, a black bass player and drummer, and a DJ. Which also included a rapper/singer, which gave a Jay-Z/Lincoln Park/Limp Bizkit type of feel.
He left the band in 2009 to pursue his solo group. He played all around town to get noticed. Then he finagled his way into a studio where Travis Porter was. Once he was there, one of there producers noticed him playing in the next room. Being that he had already heard about him through a mutual friend, it was the perfect mix! As destiny would have it, he left the next week to go on tour with them!
When he was on the road with Travis Porter he built a relationship Mac Miller, which he then turned into his tour Drummer! Being that Travis Porter is on the label Street Execs, he then grew more popular and was brought on as a Drummer for the infamous 2 Chains!!
After playing for 2 Chains, he was poppin!!! From there he started playing for Monica, TLC, 2 Short, Mac Miller, Too Short and a plethora of other artists including Roman GianArthur, Jidenna, Lyric Jones and more!
His work ethic sets him apart from others! Being that he came from corporate America, he understands the importance of hard work, being on time, and sustaining relationships! He’s more valuable than the average drummer. He is also a Producer, as well as a Music Director! So he has a unique ability to arrange shows. He credits Adam Blackstone as someone he admires, because of his work ethic and reputation of always being on point and putting together a perfect show!
He dove into Producing after being inspired by his brother, who is a longtime producer. Who always kept a lil machine called the Boss DR5, which is a little sampling machine. After playing with so many artists, he found himself saying “I can make that beat.” From there he downloaded his first software, Fruity Loops, and went on from there!
He eventually became the Music Director for Roman GianArthur, who is one of Wonderland’s Artist! He eventually played for Jidenna. That led him to become the official Music Director for the Eephus Tour with Wondaland (Which was headed by (Janelle Monáe, Jidenna, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, and Roman Gianarthur)!!! He credits being on tour with Wondaland as a musical inspiration!!
Kwik Stiks’ signature is putting LIVE DRUMS back into music!!! When you listen to Kwik Stiks music, he wants you to walk away with your head nodding… Which is a clear indication you feeling the music!!!
Kwik Stiks – Catch him on stage with your favorite artists in a city near you.. Or in ATL at Negril Village every Friday night after 8pm.. Or on Sundays from 1-4pm!!!
His goals for this year is major placement… As if Entourage wasn’t enough.. Lol! Keep up with him on Social Media:
He’s nothing short of DOPE on the Kit… So call him Kwik Stiks !!!!!
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