On the Beat

Nikki Glaspie plays with Beyonce, and beyond

Nikki Glaspie, working the sticks.
Nikki Glaspie, working the sticks. Courtesy of Nth Power

Nikki Glaspie, who was part of Southeast Raleigh High School’s first start-to-finish graduating class in 2001, is a drummer whose credits include five years in Beyonce’s band. Being a female drummer is not quite as much of a rarity as it used to be, but it’s still unusual for a woman in the music industry. Glaspie has encountered her fair share of sexism going back to church choir rehearsals with her mom, but it tends to be short-lived.

“I’d say I was the drummer and people would look at me and go, ‘Really?,’” Glaspie recalls. “But then I’d sit down and play and it was, ‘I guess she is the drummer.’ After almost every show, a lot of females come up to thank me for what I’m doing, playing in a male-dominated world. I’m here doing it because it’s what I love, not to prove a point. But that’s what happens in the process.”

For more, including details on Glaspie’s upcoming Raleigh performance with her band Nth Power, see the preview in Friday’s paper.