She has met legendary drummer Questlove and jammed with Lenny Kravitz, and now SA-born nine-year-old musician Nandi Bushell has drummed her way on to the biggest US talk show.
Bushell made her US debut on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she spoke about her first experience on a rollercoaster.
“I love Los Angeles. It’s very, very big and everyone is really friendly. I went on my first proper rollercoaster,” said Bushell.
Bushell, who was born in Westville, near Durban, got hooked on percussion at the age of five when her parents bought her a toy drum set. Her mom, Lungi, who hails from Esikhawini in northern KwaZulu-Natal, and British father, John, met when Lungi took a gap year in London.
Last month, the youngster drummed her way into the Christmas ad of one of the biggest department stores in the UK, Argos. In it, she and Fightstar band member Omar Abidi rocked out to Don’t You (Forget About Me) by 1980s Scottish band Simple Minds. In her videos, she can be seen screaming her lungs out.
“Well, I can be free and just let everything out. Then I get really tired. Then I just lie down. Then I go back to screaming and let it all out if I am angry. Then I lie down,” she said.
“Wow, I think a lot of us should start playing the drums. That’s fantastic,” joked Ellen.
Bushell performed In Bloom by Nirvana, which got her more than a million views when she shared it on social media. In the crowd were her proud parents, who jammed with the Ellen crowd.
At the end of her performance, DeGeneres gave Bushell a bass guitar, which drove the nine year old ecstatic.