I am currently the drummer for Bush, but I have toured and recorded with Andy Grammer, Bishop Briggs, Youngblood Hawke, Puddle of Mudd, Emily Osment, Iglu & Hartly, Ty Taylor and many more. I love tracking drums at my studio, doing what is needed for each song, with high quality tones and sounds crafted specifically for each track.
I am originally from Virginia, but I currently reside in Los Angeles where I have been a full time studio and touring drummer for the last ten years.
I began studying drums at the age of six, and went on to perform in orchestras, marching bands, and jazz bands all throughout school. He has a degree in music from George Mason University with a focus in orchestral and jazz music. He has also studied Congas and Bata in Cuba with Cutumba folklorico de Santiago.
Since moving to LA, I have been fortunate enough to perform countless tours across the world. I have performed on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel, The Conan O’Brian Show, The View, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and countless festivals including Coachella, Lollapalooza, Governors Ball, Austin City Limits, Reading & Leeds, and more.
I endorse DW Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vater Drumsticks, and Evans drumheads, although for sessions I have a wide variety of kits, snares and cymbals to create the right sound for each track.
My studio features NEVE, API, BAE, Neve, Avedis MA5 Pre's. A wide variety of AKG, Shure, Sennheiser, and Audix microphones. I use a Universal Audio x16 Interface.
I love the process of creating, and connecting with new musicians. I always try to serve the song, and put every once of energy and emotion into whatever music I'm making. I look forward to working on your tracks.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
134 Reviews - 17 Repeat ClientsEndorse Nik Hughes
Nik continues to deliver professional, high quality and timely tracks for each project. I look forward to continuing my collaboration with him.
Nik continues to deliver high quality drum tracks in a timely manner. He is extremely professional and collaborative!
Excellent working with Nik! Professional, excellent, timely, great musical style!! Will definitely engage for more projects going forward.
He made the drum tracks I was looking for.
I just finished the last song on another album with Nik. You will not find a better drummer for your project!
Nik is hands-down the best drummer for your project. He's incredibly talented and a great guy.
Guys…Nik is the best. This has been the 3rd or 4th project I’ve used Nik on and he is a consummate pro. On this heavy project Nik brought the technicality!! Amazing how well he read and interpreted my riff. Nik can do anything…I highly recommend him!!! Thanks Nik!!🤟🏼🎶👊🏼
Another fantastic experience with Nik. He’s the best! His drumming elevates every song.
Awesome communication, playing, deliverables, and turnaround! Highly recommended! Many thanks, Nik!
Nik is such a skilled and creative drummer! Always a great experience working with him.
Another 3 tracks down. Thanks Nik. As always, you get it done in a timely manner and do a pro job. Enjoy the next leg of your Spring/Summer tour!!
Another great project with Nik. Across all different styles and sounds this guy is the best!
Nik was great to work with! Sounded great and gave me exactly what I was looking for. Highly recommend!
Nik is an absolute professional. Great feel and timing! Really appreciate how much work he puts in up front so that his first pass is almost perfect and you can use the revisions for small tweaks instead of fixing major issues. Can't wait to work with him again!
I totally dig this guy! I'm blessed that I've found him available on SB! Comes across as a class act, professional and obviously very talented. Thank you Nik!!!
I've worked with Nik dozens of times now. He elevates every song with his drumming. He's the best!
I am so excited to have the first three songs of my next project with Nik on the skins!! Once again he has proven that he can groove, add detail and stay in the pocket. Now on like our 3rd or 4th project together, I know exactly what I'm going to get and I'm never disappointed! Not to mention the high quality recordings/stems he provides, which make mixing so much easier. Cheers Nik Hughes!!!
Nik is awesome! He's responsive, accommodating, and of course, his playing and production are outstanding. I will absolutely turn to Nik for more work in the future!
Nik really digs in and ensures your track gets just what it needs...high energy, great sounding drums that perfectly serve the song! I will definitely be working with him again in the future, and you should, too!
What are you waiting for? Hire Nik yesterday!
Interview with Nik Hughes
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I have been a part of two platinum selling records, which feels insane to type. "We Come Running" by Youngblood Hawke of which I am a band member, and "River" by Bishop Briggs which I was her Musical Director and drummer. I make music because it is what I love to do, but enjoying these moments is important, and it also fuels my drive and my belief that all the long drives in the van, or all those hours spent practicing rudiments was worth it.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: There are so many amazing drummers on Soundbetter....if you are reading my profile I'm honored. I would check out Randy Cooke and Billy Hawn who are both amazing drummers and are on the platform. For mixing I can't recommend Travis Ference enough. Corey Britz is one of the most talented producers and musicians I have ever worked with as well....hit him up for Bass, Guitar, Keys, programming, almost everything.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'm not done until you absolutely love the track!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been playing professionally for just over 20 years. My father and grandmother were musicians, and so I was exposed to instruments early on. I studied at the age of 6, going through school band, marching band, jazz band, all the way through college at George Mason University where I received a degree in Jazz and Orchestral percussion. I moved to LA in 2007 and have performed/toured/recorded with Bush, Bishop Briggs, Youngblood Hawke, Andy Grammer, Emily Osment/Bluebiird, Puddle of Mudd, Ty Taylor (Singer for Vintage Trouble), Iglu&Hartly (Mercury), Brightside, and Kevin Miso.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with Dua Lipa, James Blake, Childish Gambino, or Lana del Rey. I love artists who are original, but who have songs that are catchy and accessible.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Less is more. Spend a little time getting great sounds on the way in, and you won't need to add a bunch of samples/sound replace later. Also snare and hi hat choices are very personal to a song....do not make those decisions lightly. Make sure the drums fit the track, and the tuning of those drums match the track.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: More Rock of late, but I have done a bunch of Indie-rock dance stuff, and a lot of work with singer-songwriters.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I think I provide a lot of versatility. In addition to performing a bunch of styles on the kit, I also have a lot of experience integrating electronic elements into the kit....which is important in todays music. Also my capability to add percussion to a track helps me to be a one stop shop for percussion needs.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring a lot of energy. My goal is to always serve the song, whatever is needed. If the energy is how the song "lays back" than that is what I bring. If the songs needs to build and get big, I can bring that. I'd like to think that when you listen to my playing, you hear my love and passion and enjoyment for playing drums.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I chart the tune when I receive it. Then I listen through to any references the artist might have sent through. When it is time to start recording, I try to give myself a few run throughs where I am exploring...I'll record it, but it is not a "thought out take." I want to allow myself the freedom to stumble upon something cool. Not all music calls for this, if the artist is very clear with the direction, I'll track more or less right away. I always try to give options though. I send multiple comps whenever possible, and allow them to make a choice in spots between takes.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a home studio, in which the room is medium size, about 20' x 15' x 10.' I have some great mics from AKG 414's, Sennheiser 421's, Audix D6, Beta 52, Sm57's, Yamaha Subkick, Sm91, Sm7 among others. I also have some great Pre's including Vintage API, Avedis MA5's, and Bae. I have quite a bit of drums including DW as my main kit (I endorse them currently), but I also have a Mapex, 1960 solid shell Ludwig, Sonor jazz kit, and a Maryland drum company kit (no longer active, but they sound great). I have almost every option in terms of snares, and Zildjian cymbals.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: There are so many amazing drummers getting great sounds, in addition to playing super well. I love Ash Soan, and Aaron Sterling for drum tracking. I also love Darren King. In terms of pure drumming, I have always loved John Bonham, Stewart Copeland, Steve Jordan, Dave Grohl, Jimmy Chamberlain, Anika Niles, Max Roach, Billy Cobham, Tony Williams, Vinny Colaiuta and many more.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Clients normally come to me based on the artists I've played with, which has a lot of variety. I have done a good amount of full drumset rock tracks recently because someone has seen me play with Bush. Before that I toured with Bishop Briggs and my rig was almost all electronic, so clients would come to me looking for a way to integrate electronic sounds with a "live" feel. But I also have studied percussion in Cuba, so when people hear I play congas, bongos, cajon, they almost always ask me to layer some percussion on top of the drumset.