North Vancouver drummer off to international competition making his own beat

Published: December 4, 2012

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

As a drummer, Issah Contractor won’t easily fade into the background.

“You are kind of painted into a corner,” the Vancouver-based musician said from a studio he shares with another local drummer.

“You spend all this time trying to get your craft together and you find that there’s not a whole lot of other avenues … aside from ones that help facilitate other people’s dreams.”

But Contractor has managed to break through that mold and venture his music career down a number of paths.

His latest feat is being named the Roland Canada V-Drums winner this past October. In April he’s off to Germany to represent Canada in the international competition.

“It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of,” he said. “(And) it could probably lead on to things that you might not have available to you if you weren’t to enter into something like that.”

While the competition and title certainly come with the much-sought-after “notoriety,” it means more to Contractor, like playing alongside the renowned musicians.

“Backstage a lot of these guys are idols for drummers — it’s like the NBA for drummers. My Michael Jordan was performing there that night,” he said.

Contractor can’t seem to peg what it is that made him win — but just sitting in on a short studio session with him, it’s pretty clear.

Within a few seconds he picks an upbeat track from his electric drum kit and improvises an entire score that seems to mesh perfectly. He knows the exact moments to throw in a deafening solo or drop a heart-pounding bass drumroll.

It’s the improvisation that drives him.

“Some people have a knack for really following routine — I’ve never been that sort of guy,” he said. “I’ve always thought it would be great to sit down with your instrument and create.”

A lot of it stems from his love of fusion jazz — growing up he was inspired by musicians such as Chick Corea and Dennis Chambers.

“These guys … are entrenched in jazz and fusion jazz and all styles, but at the core of all of them they are very much improvisational,” he said.

And, of course, his talents go beyond percussion: He recently set up a gig through Erikson Canada and Warwick Bass posting instructional videos to YouTube.

But his instrumental talents aren’t enough — he still felt the need to be more expressive.

Naturally, he went about it in a unique way, deciding to create a sci-fi genre animated film narrated against a score he composed.

“I always wanted to talk about things that you can’t really through instrumental music,” he said.

“Somebody in my position — who doesn’t sing, other than putting out instrumental music, which you kind of can only reach a certain demographic — maybe it was a way to kind of tug at more people’s strings and have it be my project, not be at the mercy of a singer,” he said.

Contractor hopes to raise some money and release the film next year.

“It’s just another way within music for me to kind of maybe be in control of the canvas and hopefully build a life upon an original endeavour, which is a dream,” he said.






Featured

preserving-food-culture-india

Pink Chai Living: Preserving the food culture of India with traditional cooking

RAJ THANDHI VANCOUVER DESI This week I’m bringing back ‘ghar ka khana’ (homemade food). Let’s make cooking traditional foods cool again. For the last few…
Continue Reading »

peter

23-year-old Indian soccer player dies after goal celebration goes horribly wrong

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI – The Mizoram Football Association says a 23-year-old Indian soccer player has died after injuring his spine while celebrating a…
Continue Reading »

nepal

Nepal end rescue operation on popular trekking route where 39 died in blizzards, avalanches

BINAJ GURUBACHARYA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KATMANDU, Nepal – Nepal wrapped up rescue operations in its northern mountains Monday, saying all the hikers believed to have…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Today in History – Oct. 20

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Oct. 20: On this date: In 1632, Sir Christopher Wren, British astronomer and architect, was born. He…
Continue Reading »

Nepal closes popular trekking route where 38 died in snowstorms after new climbers set out

By Binaj Gurubacharya THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KATMANDU, Nepal – Nepalese officials closed a section of a popular Himalayan trekking route Sunday after rescuers, overwhelmed with…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Oct. 19

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Oct. 19: On this date: In 1216, King John of England died after consuming what was described…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

MINOR ATACKED

False confession leads police to arrest new suspect in sexual assault of 9-year-old Surrey girl

FRANK LUBA VANCOUVER DESI A man who confessed to the sexual assault of a nine-year-old girl in Surrey has been released and a 28-year-old man…
Continue Reading »

Dilwali Fest

Diwali Fest kicks off with IndiGlam fashion-fusion show (w/ video)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI It was a classic mother-daughter argument that propelled Surrey’s Raji Khaira into a career of fashion design. Khaira, 25, grew up…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Desi

Canada Place caught the eye of man who builds models in chalk (w/gallery)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Jagdeep Singh Bihal moved to Vancouver from India two years ago and did some sightseeing around the city,  it was…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-VANCOUVER-MUMBAI

Diwali organizer inspired by memories of Mumbai revelry

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver’s Rohit Chokhani can still recall his childhood in Mumbai when Indian streets would light up with fireworks and life would…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-PIRATE RADIO

Surrey’s unlicensed Radio India to cease broadcasting in 120 days

PETER O’NEIL POSTMEDIA NEWS GATINEAU, Que. — One of B.C.’s “Pirate Radio” broadcasters boasted earlier this month of his powerful political connections, a vast public…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Gallery: 20 Bollywood celebrities in their best and worst avatars

VANCOUVER DESI Every Bollywood star has come under fire for their style choices at  some point in their careers. Here we’ve taken a quick look…
Continue Reading »

reality TV

Himesh Reshammiya to record songs with reality show ‘India’s Raw Star’ contestants

IANS Mumbai – Composer Himesh Reshammiya, who made an appearance on the reality TV show “India’s Raw Star” as a guest mentor, was so moved…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Bollywood role came without any effort: Jennifer Winget

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Mumbai – Like many of her peers from television, Jennifer Winget is ready to move to the big screen. However, unlike…
Continue Reading »