Conrad Real |

Conrad Real

Conrad Real

Digable Planets/Down North

To watch Seattle percussionist, Conrad Real, work the drum kit is to experience your own eyes bulging. Real, who performs regularly with the Grammy-winning hip-hop trio, Digable Planets, as well as with the beloved Emerald City funk quartet, Down North, is known by many around his hometown as “Superman,” both for the sculpted physique under his blue t-shirt and for the locomotive-paced, laser beam-precise playing he brings to prominent shows.

Most drummers need every moment on stage to fit in their fills or cymbal crashes but Real, as if time slows for him, seemingly has extra. He twirls sticks, juggling them, tosses them off the wall all while his snare hits somehow double-timed. Real, who has traveled with his talents all over the world, from Los Angels to South Africa, and most places in between, got his start playing in church. He’d drum expressively so his family would notice and they, in turn, encouraged the musician to play in his high school jazz band. It’s been all green lights ever since.

Today, Real continues to collaborate with significant musical cats. He’s shared stages with Andrew Gouche, Federico Malaman, Hadrian Feraud, Tom Browne, The Temptations' G.C. Cameron, Lynn Sorensen, and many others. He’s a studio expert, hired often for gigs and sessions, and his features can be heard frequently on radio stations like the famed KEXP 90.3. But it’s the journey internally that truly fuels the artist. For Real, centering oneself on a craft is the bridge that connects to an audience. It’s the catalyst for the brief second when, because of Real, you don’t truly believe your eyes and ears.

Instagram: conradreal

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Gospel series 18" crash
Gospel series 16" crash
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Gospel series 13" hihats