Today we’d like to introduce you to Bo Lamar.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Bo. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up as a kid in St. Louis Missouri, I knew that I had a deep passion and love for music. I studied and explored all styles of music as a drummer, through the genres of jazz, gospel, funk, and even classical. I was able to leave a lasting print on my high school by being named the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award winner two consecutive years. Till this day, I am the only one to do so.
I continued my education through college. And through deep focus and commitment, I performed in all top ensembles (Orchestra, Jazz, Percussion Ensemble, etc.) and completed a Bachelor’s in Music Education, as well as a Masters of Arts. After teaching in Missouri for some time, while at the same time performing as a full-time musician, I had to make a decision. Teaching and playing was a toll. I had no time to breath or even think about sleep. So I decided to make the move and leave St. Louis and head to the West Coast to expand my music career in Los Angeles, California.
After moving to LA, I was head down, hungry and focused. I started to meet people, make friends and began to play a lot of shows around town. Over the years, I’ve been blessed to build my career to the point that now I travel the world and perform with some of the world’s favorite and Grammy-winning Artists. The life I am living is one that I dreamed of, and now that it has become my reality, I have learned to dream even BIGGER!
Grammy Winning Artists such as Melanie Fiona, MAGIC!, Billy Porter, and Billy Davis Jr & Marilyn McCoo of the 5th Dimension.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It surely has not been a smooth road. I was new to town in the beginning, so I had to go through the stages of “building my name.” Which in the musicians world translates to “not so many gigs coming in.” I remember being excited that I had been hired for a summer tour, then to find out weeks later that the tour was canceled, not only was I hurt, but my pockets were lol. Of course the obvious obstacles were financial, but along with that was the fact that I was so far away from my family. I missed them a lot and I had no family here in Los Angeles.
So at one point, I began to work part-time jobs as I still played many shows around town and out of town. I did that for about a year and half until my schedule began to fill up enough to where I could still afford my lifestyle, and part of my was still trying to live (safe) instead of trusting God and allowing him to provide.
One night on stage, I was playing a jazz show with a jazz saxophonist, and God told me very loud and clear, “It’s Time! Let it go!” It was crazy how loud he spoke to me, I mean my hands and feet kept moving, but I definitely froze in the middle of the song for a long moment while my body went on autopilot and finished the song strong for me. That moment changed my career and I gave up the crutch of holding on to my part-time job. I haven’t looked back since.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Right now I am recording live drums and drum programming for a lot of different Artists. One of the newest released is a song by Cooper Phillip entitled, “Exceptional Feelings” which I had the pleasure of recording drums on. It was a really fun session and I think it’s one of those songs that everyone can relate too. It just feels GOOD! On the live side of things I’ve recently returned from touring India and Japan as well as a few US dates with the band MAGIC. I am also happy to say that I am working on my own album, which will be released in the next few months to come. I am always being asked if I’m available to record drums for albums and singles, and the answer is always yes. I’m always working every angle possible to make people dance.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood….wow that’s a hard one for me because I have a severe overload of those lol. My childhood was spectacular. Although I can’t just pick out one memory, I can tell you that a lot of my memories are during those “schooless” (yes, I made that word up) summers. Both of my Grandmothers stayed on the same street. So myself and my litter brother would wake up, eat a delicious breakfast at one Granny’s house. Walk down or up the other Granny’s house and play basketball or whatever we chose, then choose a Granny to go eat with again lol. Ohhhhh the joy of the options lol.
My Granny Roberta was great with making homemade vanilla custard. She had the authentic hand freezer machine that you had to turn the wheel with the rock salt and ice on the sides. It tasted like a creamy drop of heaven on a spoon, fed to you by God himself! One time we made the custard, and I ate so much ice cream that I cried all night in agony of a stomach ache. It wasn’t funny then, but it is definitely something to look back on and laugh about now.
- Live Drums Recording (Single Song) $200
- Live Drums Recording (Three Songs) $500
- Live Drums Recording (Day Rate) $600-$900 (Based upon project)
- Website: www.bolamardrums.com
- Email: Bo@BoLamarDrums.com