Johnnie Hicks: An Intimate Portrait.

Church Raised and Funky, dynamically versed in many genres of music, Bethune-Cookman University attendee and lifelong music lover Johnnie Hicks has been drumming since he was seven. Speaking to him was delightful, because you can feel the electricity and passion. Johnnie is currently Drummer at Hope Fellowship Church, LUVU Band,’first call’ fill-in for some of Central Florida’s hottest artists, about to embark on ‘A Taste of Motown Soul Revue’ and Band Leader of his own Band “The Johnnie Hicks Band”. He’s sure enough busy, but we’re going to talk to him about his love for music!
You can check them out here!

Bethune Cookman University attendee and lifelong music lover Johnnie Hicks has been drumming since he was seven.

Studio Uncut sat down with him today, and we asked a few questions to get to know the man behind the stick. First questions: What inspires you?

The ability to entertain, influence and to positively shape someone’s musical experience is a powerful thing. Preparation is key in making sure that I give the best of myself every time in any musical situation I’m involved in. The ‘sharing’ of myself; thoughts, feelings, emotions, and to have people receive me in an encouraging way inspires me the most. 

Who do you consider to be some of the greatest musicians of all times?

I’m my humble opinion, notables such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Prince, Michael Jackson and other persons are some of my greatest of all time.

What’s one piece of advice you wish you had before you became a musician?

One piece of advice I wish I’d heard early in my development is to listen to everything. I painted myself in a corner early into my development by listening only to one genre of music. It was a great friend of mine, Leon Martin, that helped me open up my ears and influences in correspondence to my approach and execution of music.

When did you know you wanted to pursue music?

College was a turning point for me. I attended Bethune-Cookman University. For all that I thought I knew, I was afforded the opportunity. While I learned greater nuances in my own development, so I can entertain audiences domestic and abroad. It was then that I decided to make music one of my major career paths.

What message do you want your music to send?

LOVE. The love of all moving at the same motion. If Secular, that God is the central focus and all that He is IS love. If Sacred, building healthy relationships, being welcoming of others and their perspectives. Respect is at the base of this love. You won’t ever go wrong with that.

What keeps you motivated?

The ever evolving thing that music is keeps me motivated and inspired. Musicians of all ethnicities and backgrounds; to see them on social media doing their things unashamed and with reckless abandon not only motivates me, but keeps me on my toes, as well as to be my absolute best at all times.

What’s one thing you didn’t know about the music business when you started?

One thing I didn’t know about the business is and can be seen as a bad thing but, to me, a learning experience. And that is to get everything in writing. Disappointment is a great teacher. But, getting things in writing, contracts is the MOVE ! Always get it in writing. Words can be fleeting. Ink on paper is ‘solid and on the one.

When you look back on your career, what is something you’re the most proud of?

I am proud to be regarded and revered as a great musician in all things that I’ve put my hands to. To have folks still years after remember something that you may have even forgotten about is amazing. Having a good rapport, camaraderie and friendships with folks of all ages, colors and backgrounds is awesome. Humbling.

-Ashley Sanders
Associate Contributor
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