Nandi Bushell is a young British musician and actress that is best known for her drumming covers of popular alternative rock and metal songs.
Date of birth
She is 9 years old as of 2020, however her date of birth is not yet known.
Nandi’s mother, Lungi, hails from Esikhawini in KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal South African province. Her father, John, is British. The two met when Lungi took a gap year in London, and the rest was history.
She is a student and currently attends St. Margaret’s Primary School.
The Ellen Show
Nandi has appeared on The Ellen Show. She was a guest on a December 2019 episode. In the interview, Nandi reveals it was her first time in the United States. She also names her inspiration for playing the drums, which all started with weekend mornings eating pancakes and listening to The Beatles.
"And I saw the drum kit and Ringo Starr and he just inspired me to play the drums because I love seeing him play the drums."
When asked why she sometimes screams when she plays the drums, Nandi commented,
"Well I can be free, and I can just let everything out. Then I get really tired and I just lay down. Then I go back to screaming and let it all out if I'm angry. Then I lay down."
At the end of the interview segment of the program, Nandi played drums to the Nirvana hit "In Bloom". Ellen concluded the show by presenting miss Bushell with a bass guitar.
In The News
She was featured in a BBC News Online segment where she talked about the evolution of her experience, from meeting popular musicians to acting in her first advertisement. In the 2019, interview she stated,
"I met Lenny Kravitz. That was the first famous person I've met and he was really friendly."
When asked who she wanted to jam with most, Nandi said,
"So, Dave Grohl and I think I wanna jam with The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Foo Fighters."
Bushell has appeared in a Christmas holiday commercial for Argo, where she is featured drumming to the Simple Minds new wave classic 'Don't You (Forget About Me)'
Nandi was invited to perform at the 02 Shepherds Bush Empire in London with David Bowie's band in late January of 2020. The pianist Mike Garson of Bowie and Nine Inch Nails fame had invited young Nandi to play at the show.
My Rock and Roll
On January 17, 2020 Nandi uploaded her first original song to her YouTube channel. She not only produced the song, but also plays every instrument on the track, including the guitar, drums, bass guitar, and vocals. Nandi described the tune in a caption that read,
My song is about being free to be myself and rock out!
Rage Against The Machine Cover
The pre-recorded performance of the 1999 Rage Against the Machine's "Guerrilla Radio" was shared to Bushell's Twitter page on March 31st, and shows her performing song on bass, guitar, and drums. The inspiration for Bushell’s viral cover was fueled by the Black Lives Matter movement: "Solidarity in the Fight to End Racism!" Bushell said with the video upload.
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello sent her one of his guitars after watching her cover. "Hey Nandi, this is Tom Morello. I'd like you to have this guitar as a gift from me to you because you rock so great and to see someone rocking so great who is so young really gives me hope for the future," Morello said in a video to the young rock prodigy. "I look forward to hearing a lot more of your music in the future. You've got a lot of soul and here's a little soul power to go with it."
In an Instagram post, Bushell wrote: "Dear @tommorello, thank you so so so much! I can’t believe this is real and you actually sent me a message and your signature guitar, it is so beautiful! AMAZING! I hope we get to jam one day! Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!!!!! Thank you so much for supporting me on my musical journey. With love and respect Nandi. Soul Power ✊🏽"
John Bushell, Nandi's father, called the situation unreal and said the family is still "in shock and overwhelmed by Morello's generosity. "It was an honor to receive a guitar from one of the greatest guitarists of all time," Nandi told CNN. "I am so happy to help raise awareness for Black Lives Matter and help end racism! With love and respect, equality for all."
On July 3, 2020, Bushell uploaded a cover of Muse's "Hysteria" on drums. "I discovered @muse this week! Yes! So so so good! I really love the rocking bass and disco beats! Loving ‘Hysteria’" she captioned a video on Instagram, which got the attention of Muse's drummer Dominic Howard. "Yes!! Excellent work @nandi_bushell⚡️" he commented on the post. "You’ve made me realise I really need to work on my stick spinning chops!! 🤘🏼🥁🤘🏼" The band also shared her cover on their own page, calling the performance "Incredible!!"
On Instagram, Nandi has amassed over 482,000 followers as of July 2020. On the account, she posts videos of her rocking out to popular songs in solo performances as well as with family. She has been seen on the account jamming to songs by bands including Led Zeppelin, Rage Against the Machine, and Queens of the Stone Age.
Her Twitter account is ran by her parents and has over 81,700 followers. She uses her Twitter account to promote her latest ventures and share videos of herself playing music.
Nandi also has a YouTube channel that has over 68,000 subscribers. The most-viewed video on the platform is her drum performance of Nirvana's "In Bloom" with over 1.2 million views since it was first uploaded on November 11, 2019.