Nik Hughes

Session Drummer/Percussionist

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108 Reviews (96 Verified)
Nik Hughes on SoundBetter

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.

Send me a note through the contact button above.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Nik Hughes
  • Bush
  • Bush
  • Bishop Briggs
  • Bishop Briggs
  • Youngblood Hawke
  • Youngblood Hawke
  • Youngblood Hawke
  • Margot MacDonald
  • Youngblood Hawke
  • Youngblood Hawke
  • Youngblood Hawke
  • Bush
  • Kevin Miso
  • Kevin Miso
  • Margot MacDonald

108 Reviews - 15 Repeat Clients

Endorse Nik Hughes
  1. Review by David
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    by David
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    Nik is super awesome! Amazing talent, great to work with, and really explores creatively what will work best for the song! So rad! I had a chance to meet him in person, when on tour and was rocking; as he is in session! Highly recommended!

  2. Review by Xander
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    by Xander
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    I highly recommend Nik! He's a great drummer and writes excellent drum parts. He really has a feel for the music to be able to write compelling drums that are in line with both the music and my vision!

  3. Review by Kyle Tripp
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    Nik consistently provides intuitive insight into every track we provide him and passionately delivers end results every time. Nik is the best! Thank you Nik!

  4. Review by Kyle T.
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    Nik has consistently provided intuitive insight into each track we provided him and passionately delivers end results every time. Nik is the best!

  5. Review by Zachary L.
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    Over the past couple of years I’ve worked with Nik on nearly 20 songs. He is a fantastic drummer who nails it every time! He’s the best!

  6. Review by Keenen K.
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    Nik is really awesome! It’s a pleasure to work with him. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for great playing and energy. He’s able to give your song exactly what it needs! He made it very easy for my first time using this website. Hit up Nik for your next track!

  7. Review by Zachary L.
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    Nik is an incredibly talented drummer with a knack for finding the perfect sound to complement the song. His playing is precise and recorded with excellent fidelity. On top of all that he’s a great guy and very easy to work with.

  8. Review by Kyle T.
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    We worked with Nik on 9 songs so far this year, can’t wait
    to get him more material. His versatility was incredible, he totally got the vibe of each song and took all our ideas to heart when putting together his parts, and gave us way more than we hoped for. Communication is always great, he’s always on top of it. We recommend him to the extreme, wouldn’t want to work with anyone else. Nik rules!

  9. Review by Kyle T.
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    Nik's process is great, he composes his drum work to the style of the tune and will rock your world! Highly highly recommended!!

  10. Review by Brent L.
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    great working with Nik, pro experience all the way from the communication to the killer tracks..

  11. Review by Nanna Julia Viola
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    It was so great to work with Nik! He did an amazing job, and is very friendly too! I really recommend working with him!
    Thank you Nik! // Nanna

  12. Review by Younghoon Kang
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    I love his drum!
    He is the Best!
    With Nik, no worry about drums.

  13. Review by Kyle Tripp
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    Nik is a talented, nay gifted drummer. We are working on a 14 song album and he's worked on 4 tracks so far, they are all incredibly proficient. I want to keep him for ourselves but I can't, you'll be lucky to get to work with him.

  14. Review by Zachary L.
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    Nik's drumming is incredible. He always finds the perfect feel to compliment the song. I've worked with him on many songs, and he nails it every time across a variety of styles!

  15. Review by Sophie M.
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    Nik was super professional and communicative. He understood the creative vision behind the song and delivered a superb performance. Will definitely work with Nik again in the future.

  16. Review by Stonesilk
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    10 new songs...and better than great!
    Even the sound is fantastic!

  17. Review by Adam D.
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    Nik is the best. He’s fast, easy to work with and comes up with great parts

  18. Review by David
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    by David
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    Wow such an honor working with Nik! Puts heart, soul and fire into the work! Look forward to it again!

  19. Review by Derek H.
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    Nik is outstanding!!! (stick drop)

  20. Review by Derek H.
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    Nik is a fantastic drummer who "gets it". Highly recommend and will definitely work with again!

Interview with Nik Hughes

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. 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.

  3. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  4. 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.

  5. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  6. A: I'm not done until you absolutely love the track!

  7. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  8. 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.

  9. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  10. 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.

  11. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  12. 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.

  13. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  14. A: More Rock of late, but I have done a bunch of Indie-rock dance stuff, and a lot of work with singer-songwriters.

  15. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  16. 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.

  17. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  18. 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.

  19. Q: What's your typical work process?

  20. 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.

  21. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  22. 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.

  23. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  24. 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.

  25. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  26. 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.

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Terms Of Service

Revisions are accepted within reason, I won't make a specific number because I want each artist to be happy.

GenresSounds Like
  • Josh Freese
  • Matt Chamberlain
  • Dave Grohl
Gear Highlights
  • DW & Ludwig Drums (various series and sizes)
  • Zildjian Cymbals (plenty of options/wide range of sounds)
  • LP Matador Congas & Bongos
  • Vintage API Pre's
  • BAE Pre's
  • Avedis MA5 Pres
  • High End Microphones including AKG-Shure-Sennheiser-and more.
More Photos
SoundBetter Deal

Discount for multiple tracks, contact for more info.