There's no question that Donald Trump's presidential inauguration concert is an odd bag of performers. There's TV talent competition winners like Jackie Evancho, country singers Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood, rockers 3 Doors Down and then there's DJ Ravidrums. If the name DJ Ravidrums isn't instantly recognizable to you, don't worry, you're most certainly not the only one.
Who is this DJ Ravidrums guy? Where did he come from? What's the deal with the mohawk? Here's the skinny on the ONLY DJ ever tapped to perform at a presidential inauguration.
The Indian-American musician was born in New York City. Born Ravi Jakhotia, the musician began his music career playing drums and in 1991 became the new drummer for progressive metal band Crimson Glory, whom he played with until 1996. It wasn't until leaving his next band, The Last Goodnight, in 2008 that he would adopt the name DJ Ravidrums.
He did a stint in reality TV. In 2002, Ravi had an appearance on the reality TV competition show hosted by Brooke Burke, Dog Eat Dog. He would also work both behind and in front of the camera as the musical director for the 2009 NBC show Howie Do It. Howie Mandel, the show's host and producer, tapped Ravi for the gig after seeing him in action at a 2008 Super Bowl pregame show.
He's worked with brands like Nike, Nintendo and Gap. Ravi has lent his talents to red carpet events and expos for Nike, Ford and HBO, played the drums in a Gap commercial and performed everywhere from the Oscars to the Playboy mansion. In 2008 he performed at E3, promoting Nintendo's interactive game Wii Music.
His drum kit and dj rig was designed by specialists at NASA. What do you do if you're a NASA engineer with some downtime? Well, there's always the option of making drum kits. Ravi worked with the folks from NASA to develop his own drum kit/dj rig that allows the audience to see through the board as he's mixing. "I was like, 'why don't we just open it up and have something futuristic that looks like it's out of Minority Report'," said Ravi. The see-through drum kit and dj rig lights up when hit and basically looks just how you would imagine a NASA-made kit to look.
He's worked with a who's-who in music and entertainment. With musical influences reaching far beyond rock and into the house, funk, reggae, Latin and hip-hop genres, Ravi has worked such with musical artists ranging from Britney Speaks and Slash to Pitbull and The Black Eyed Peas. In 2015, he performed with Mariah Carey at her Caesar's Palace residency show in Las Vegas.
He's not sweating the critics. As with all of the other performers, Ravi has taken criticism for his acceptance to perform at the most controversial presidential inauguration in modern history. Ravi doesn't appear to be letting the critics bother him though, and backed up his decision to perform at Trump's pre-inauguration concert with this statement on his Facebook page.
As a first generation Indian American, I view my participation in the inauguration as a unique opportunity to bring visibility to others like me. With so much attention on bickering and hate, my goal is to spread peace and love thru music. My father came to America with 8 dollars ,a one way ticket and no shoes . He came for the pursuit of the American dream. My father and son will be standing next to me on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial while I perform for the American people .