North Vancouver musician conjures up world drumming championship

Published: April 16, 2013
Issah Contractor

North Vancouver’s Issah Contractor has just returned from Frankfurt, Germany, where he won the Roland V-Drums World Championship over 16 other international drummers. Jenelle Schneider/PNG



Even after being named an international drumming champion, North Vancouver musician Issah Contractor chalks it up to luck.

“Other than just feelings of gratitude and feeling like, ‘OK, you lucked out this time’ — it’s encouraging,” Contractor told Vancouver Desi from his North Vancouver home.

Contractor returned from Frankfurt, Germany Friday, where he was competing in the Roland V-Drums World Championship, competing against 16 international and “deadly” drummers.

After each musician performed on Thursday, Contractor was ultimately named the winner.

“All 16 of those guys were those types of individuals (that) if they were living here I would easily let them into my heart as close friends,” he said. “Sixteen honest, down to earth individuals and we’re all competing against each other.”

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Contractor, still in disbelief, initially had the winner pegged as the contestant from Holland as he waited on stage for the winner to be announced Thursday night, he said.

“And the next thing you know, they called my name,” he said.

According to Contractor, his “luck” came from months of practice and preparation.

“Back to back sessions on drums … each day I had sticks in my hand so I was really prepared,” he said, adding that instead of going in with his trademark improv, he had “a couple of functions figured out.”

“It means a lot only because at that moment in time there were 16 amazing drummers and for some reason I got to grab that prize,” he said. “It was sort of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

But aside from the title and prizes, it was worthwhile for the experience, he said — not only playing alongside amazing musicians, but listening to and being inspired by their creations on the electric drum kits.

“Everybody’s coming out there with the type of sounds that you would associate with a full band — it’s a complete performance,” he said. “A complete musical experience.”


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