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

crime-British Columbia

Three arrested after Surrey RCMP-involved shooting in Newton

AMY REID SURREY NOW NEWTON — Three people are in custody following a police-involved shooting in Newton Friday afternoon. Shortly after noon, plainclothes officers attempted to…
Continue Reading »

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

India-Kashmir-Obama

Pakistani PM Sharif asks Obama to play role for resolution of Kashmir issue

MUNIR AHMED THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD — Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday asked the U.S. President Barack Obama to play a role in…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

crime-British Columbia

Three arrested after Surrey RCMP-involved shooting in Newton

AMY REID SURREY NOW NEWTON — Three people are in custody following a police-involved shooting in Newton Friday afternoon. Shortly after noon, plainclothes officers attempted to…
Continue Reading »

Whitecaps2

Spice Sports: Whitecaps announce new USL PRO team!

GOPI AND THE GORA FOR VANCOUVER DESI An exciting announcement was made this morning at UBC’s Gerald McGavin Rugby Centre. Soccer fans in Vancouver will…
Continue Reading »

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

desi bride loaded in gold

Indian bride draws flak for wearing $700,000 jewellery at her wedding

CEN AGENCY An Indian sweet maker made sure his daughter was the golden girl at her upcoming wedding by covering her in gold jewellery worth…
Continue Reading »

India

Video: Bear mauls Indian farmer to death, injures second man (Warning: Graphic Content)

VANCOUVER DESI An Indian farmer was mauled to death and another left seriously injured after a terrifying and unusual bear attack in Karnataka on Monday,…
Continue Reading »

Spiderman

Video: India’s real-life Spiderman scales buildings with bare hands

VANCOUVER DESI A 27-year-old man in India who is nicknamed the “real-life Spiderman” has become one of Karnataka’s leading tourist attractions for his ability to effortlessly…
Continue Reading »

desi victim

Victim of ski accident to open spinal-cord recovery centre in Richmond (w/video)

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI Dhruv Kapoor realized he was in deep trouble as he barrelled down a ski run in Russell, Man., on an icy…
Continue Reading »

op-ed

Aziza Sindhu: How do you grieve for a tyrant father?

AZIZA SINDHU CALGARY HERALD My father, Salim M. Sindhu, passed away on Nov. 10. As a child, I wished he smiled at me, as a…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone the next hit Bollywood couple?

HINDUSTAN TIMES Bollywood actors Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone are known to deliver hits on their shoulders alone. Now, audiences may be in for a…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex video

I can’t take nonsense: Sonakshi Sinha on why she lashed out at KRK on Twitter (w/gallery)

HINDUSTAN TIMES Some Bollywood stars tend to be diplomatic about controversies, and choose not to react. Sonakshi Sinha isn’t one of them. Last month, she…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood wedding reception

Photos: Khan-tastic wedding reception for Salman’s sister Arpita

VANCOUVER DESI While celebrities have reached the wedding reception for Salman Khans sister Arpita and businessman Aayush Sharma to wish them their best, photos have…
Continue Reading »