Yahli - "They were very harsh on us & our performance quality in the military, so that only made my standards higher when working on new projects or concerts.  " - Stereo Stickman

Yahli “They were very harsh on us & our performance quality in the military, so that only made my standards higher when working on new projects or concerts.  “


From childhood drumming to performing across Israel as part of a multitude of ensembles and shows for TV and even political events – Yahli has built up a unique and unrivalled reputation as a contemporary drummer.

We sat down with the esteemed performer, to dig into that journey and to find out what inspires her as a rising drummer and artist. Here’s how it went.

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Hi Yahli – excited to talk music with you, hope you’re doing well! To set things up, where are you based, and what have you been busy with this year?  

Hey! Thank you for having me! I’m based in Israel and have been busy performing with UV and Shaked Miller, recording remotely from my home studio, developing my mixing and engineering abilities and doing a bunch of different projects.  

Who’ve been the main drummers to inspire you over time?  

Nate Smith is a huge inspiration for me. His playing style and technique are different from what I’ve seen from other drummers. He has this unique combination of Funk and Jazz music and that’s really something that I’ve been trying to combine into my playing.  

You recently joined Meinl cymbals – what does this collaboration mean for you and your future opportunities as a drummer?  

Joining Meinl was truly a dream come true. I knew I wanted to join this company since I was 16 and came across one of their cymbals, I just never thought it would happen so fast. I think Meinl makes the most unique, versatile and diverse cymbals out there, and they do it in the most beautiful way and with the kindest team. Joining Meinl opened a lot of doors for me in terms of getting my name out there. All of a sudden my drum heroes know my name or have seen my videos, this is such an insane feeling for me.  

What was the best thing about playing live in Kuli Alma, Tel-Aviv?  

The Kuli Alma is a strange place. It has a very unique design that makes you feel like you’re on some sort of drug without you taking any. It gets the most crowded there at around 01:00 AM, so the show usually starts at 11:00PM when it’s starting to get busy, and usually by the middle of the show its already very crowded. So the best thing about this place must be the crowd. There’s always a bunch of people and all they want to do is dance and have fun.  

Given your background performing at political events, how important is the bigger picture to you as a musician – do you strive to intertwine your art with global and topical affairs, and does your passion for these issues play into your performances?  

I can’t say I find myself politicly involved very often. I had the opportunity to play at political events and I’ll do it again but don’t think I’ll push to make it happen. I like keeping my art far from the political scene since it’s not always the prettiest place, especially in Israel.  

You’ve also completed military service – was there much opportunity to play the drums during this, and did the experience impact your perspective as a creative artist and performer?  

My service was in the military band, so I was playing drums almost every day. Since it was the military, I still had to do a lot of the military stuff and I guess that kind of changed my perspective on a lot of things. The military makes you deal with difficulties that you wouldn’t have to deal with in any other place. In terms of art and performance, it has made me more stubborn and perfectionist (which I already was).

They were very harsh on us and our performance quality in the military so that only made my standards higher when working on new projects or concerts.  

What’s been your most memorable experience so far as a drummer?  

That’s a difficult question. It’s got to be either signing with Meinl or playing at a really big show when I was about 16. It was a warmup show to one of my favourite artists and it was not only the first time I played on a proper stage with a real stage crew and lighting, but it was also in from of 3,000 people. It was a very special experience for me at the time and I guess it still is.  

What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?  

To just keep pushing. Be confident and do everything I can to get to where I want to be.  

What’s next for you?  

I’m going to be performing a lot and pushing for more gigs and projects, like I always do. I have a lot of ideas in mind for new things, just need to get them going.  

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Find Yahli on Instagram.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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