Interview with Jerry Martins, A Nigerian Drummer and Musician

Jerry-Xtix

Jeremiah Martins (also known as Jerry-Xtix) is a drummer, musician and CEO of Jerrex Empire & Music Planet. I stumbled across his Instagram page and was blown away by the passion with which he drummed. He really puts his all into his performances, and it’s amazing to watch. Read on to learn more about the man behind the drum.

Tell me about yourself

I am from Abia state in Nigeria. I also host an award-winning Drum Prophesy Concert in Abia State, attended by over 3500 people every year.

When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

Back then, in my church, after the children’s sunday school, I used to run to the main church straight to the bandstand to watch the drummers perform. Then, when I got home, I practised the same routine with plates and spoons and even on chairs.

Right from when I was a child, I had a special love for drumming. I used to drum with everything my hand could touch. My dad used to get annoyed because I used to break chairs, plates, spoons, all in the name of drumming. Haha.

Back then, in my church, after the children Sunday school, I used to run to the main church straight to the bandstand to watch the drummers perform. Then, when I got home, I practised the same routine with plates and spoons and even on chairs.

I finally got the opportunity to play the drum in December 2007, when my church drummer travelled for Christmas, and there was nobody else to play. And that is how I became a drummer.

Jerry-Xtix Drummer
Jerry-Xtix Drummer

Are there any other instruments you learned to play outside of the drum?

I started playing the bass guitar in 2014. Back then, the bass guitarist at my church couldn’t play at every service because he was a university student and only came to church during the holidays.

Yes, sure. I also play the bass guitar.

I started playing the bass guitar in 2014. Back then, the bass guitarist at my church couldn’t play at every service because he was a university student and only came to church during the holidays.

So, I decided to learn it, to cover for him in his absence. I was glad that the opportunity presented itself, and I was able to fill the void.

Are there any musicians that inspire you?

There are quite a few musicians that I admire and draw inspiration from. But my top two are Jerome Osang and Abraham Nwobodo. These two musicians have both inspired me. Their music has exposed me to a new and higher dimension of drumming, which changed everything for me musically, mentally, physically and spiritually.

How important is networking conferences for you as a musician?

..In 2015, I organized my first ever Drum Clinic in Aba, my state. After attending other conferences, I knew how to go about it.

It’s actually very important for me to attend drum conferences and clinics because that’s where I get the opportunity to meet and make new friends and share ideas. Also, by attending these events, I develop my skills further.

I used to travel all the way from Aba to Lagos and sometimes to Uyo or Portharcourt just to attend the drumming conferences there. Even though it was a long-distance to travel, there were no drumming conferences in my state back then. So I travelled to all the different drumming conferences and learned a great deal.

Then in 2015, I organized my first ever Drum Clinic in Aba, my state. Finally, after attending other conferences, I knew how to go about it. No matter what it cost me, I am glad I could get that knowledge and bring it home.

Jerry-Xtix Drummer
Jerry-Xtix Drummer set

What kind of gigs do you play?

I play with my band at all kinds of gigs, including weddings, birthday parties and concerts. I also perform my solo drum routine on stage at parties and concerts.

How important is social media for your music business?

Social media is vital for me because it’s one of the easiest ways to interact with my audience. With the help of social media, I have been able to build up a solid fan base.

The social media sites I currently used are Instagram and Facebook. I have connected with people who attended my performances and then later found me online. It is always a pleasure to connect with people who are love music like I do.

What advice will you give to other aspiring drummers who are just starting out?

This is what I would say to anyone who wants to be a drummer;

  • In all you do, put God first.
  • Have passion and zeal.
  • Be focused
  • Never overlook or jump the process because the little thing you overlook today might turn out to be a big challenge to you tomorrow.
  • Never joke with your practice time.
  • Be consistent.
  • Stay humble no matter the level you feel you’ve attained.

Jerry can be found on Instagram and Facebook.

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