Nandi Bushell: The 11-year-old drummer from Ipswich who stole the nation’s heart
She got her first drum kit aged five and by nine she was being interviewed on The Ellen Show, which is pretty impressive to have achieved by age 11.
Nandi Bushell came onto our screens in December 2019 in the Argos Christmas advert which revealed her extraordinary talent on a drum kit far beyond her years.
With cheeky charm and a rock and roll attitude she quickly became a national treasure and it turned out she’d already made best friends with some pretty famous celebs.
Born in Durban, South Africa, in 2010 Nandi moved to Ipswich with her family and soon became fascinated with drumming when she watched a video of Ringo Starr performing with The Beatles.
The Zulu-Brit began sharing videos of her music on YouTube and that’s how she caught the eye of John Lewis, which featured her in a short ad in 2018.
Like another Suffolk-grown superstar Ed Sheeran, she has spent years playing in local pubs alongside her dad John honing her talent.
Next it was American singer-songwriter Lenny Kravtiz who saw her drumming online and invited her to perform with him at The O2 Arena in June 2019. He also gifted her a custom drum kit.
It was December 2019 that she was invited onto the cult-hit Ellen Show in the states and from there it was the iconic Argos Christmas ad.
Since her rise to fame Nandi has made friends with more rock stars, such as Dave Grohl who she formed a special relationship with after covering Nirvana’s ‘In Bloom’.
The Foo Fighters founder is Nandi’s favourite drummer and when she challenged him to a drum-off he jumped right in, eventually conceding defeat and writing her a song.
A virtual drum battle between the two saw millions tune in and in August 2021 the pair finally met in person when she joined the Foo Fighters on stage for their closing performance in Los Angeles.
Both the virtual battles and streams of the live gig went viral and shot the Suffolk girl straight into the realm of celebrity.
Cartoon Network named her their first ‘kid-musician-in-residence’ in February 2021 and in June she was featured on the cover of Modern Drummer.
Rolling Stone also featured her in their Women Shaping the Future edition in March.
She’s come a long way from Ipswich and now our very own drummer girl is planning her own band called the Titans and is writing songs in the hopes of producing her own album.
Ellen DeGeneres gifted her a bass guitar when she first hosted her on the show and now Nandi has learnt to play it so she can cover songs by herself.
She has a bright future ahead of her and we think she could become one of the most famous drummers of all time.