Anika Nilles is a German drummer, songwriter and producer. She wrote, recorded and released her first EP titled ‘Alter Ego’ in 2014. Stylistically her songs are a mix of pop/rock/fusion whereas the most important aspect for Anika is the groove. She doesn’t only use the drums for playing a beat or keeping time, but much more as an independent instrument. She avoids putting the artistic focus on herself and leaves room for extravagance. With her newly formed band ‘Nevell’ she will present her songs live on stage soon. Her fine technique, the distinctiveness of her sound and her strong groove characterize her songs and her way of playing. Recent activities also include working as an author for international drum magazines and producing her debut album.
She had me at Alter Ego
I first came across Anika by chance on social media. Someone had posted a video of her Alter Ego video and I was absolutely mesmerized. Her groove, chops, precision were all on point and from that day on I've followed her journey towards stardom. I've also had the honor and privilege to have a few Skype lessons with her and it's no surprise that she's an amazing person. I often joke around with her during our lessons when she makes a mistake I tell her "you are human afterall!" hahaha! I think sometimes we forget the drummers we admire and try to imitate work just as hard as everyone else in their craft. Her passion for music, the vision she has for the future is inspiring and if you step back and look how much she's done in the past couple years it is only evident that she will be very successful in her future endeavors.
Queen of Quintuplets
What really sets Anika apart is the fact that she has taken quintuplets to the drum kit and has made them modern, practical, creative, interesting and fun to learn. Even though it's not a common subdivision in western music she has taken it to whole new level. In her recent live lesson on Drumeo she shares some insight, grooves and ideas regarding quintuplets. she makes it very applicable to musical situations. You can check out her YouTube video called "Queenz" which was made all in quintuplets. My personal favourite part of Queenz is at about 1:30 of the video where she does a halftime shuffle kind of groove but in qunituplets...so awesome!
Anika endorses Meinl Cymbals, Mapex Drums, Vic Firth, Evans Drumheads, Ahead Armor Cases, Tuner Fish Lug Locks and Slapklatz Damper Gels. It's obvious these companies believe in Anika and what she can bring to the table.
There is no question that we are huge fans and we are even more excited to see what else is in store for her. So far her journey has been a busy but exciting one and we are excited to see where else her music takes her.
Artist like Anika is the reason why we support brands like Meinl and Mapex. For her, they are a deadly combination. From her inspired Mapex Black Panther White Widow kit to her selection of Meinl Cymbals, her sound works and it sounds unique and fabulous! The White Widow is a traditional thin maple shell combined with a centered bearing edge produces a classic full-bodied and warm tone, but it’s the custom white finish that makes the White Widow the deadliest of the species.
Although we've seen her cymbal set up change from time to time, she typically plays with 15" Byzance Extra Dry Dual Hihat, 18" Byzance Extra Dry Dual Crash, 6" Byzance Traditional Splash, 10" Byzance Extra Dry Splash, 22" Byzance Extra Dry Medium Ride, 20" Byzance Extra Dry Thin Crash, 14" Generation X Jingle Filter China, 12" Byzance Traditional Splash, 18" Byzance Jazz Thin Crash, 18" Byzance Vintage Trash Crash.