Today we highlight Questlove from the group The Roots!
Ahmir Khalib Thompson (born January 20, 1971), known professionally as Questlove(also known as Questo, BROther ?uestion, Brother Question, Qlove, or Questlove Gomez), is an American percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, DJ, music journalist, record producer, and occasional actor. He is best known as the drummer and joint frontman (with Black Thought) for the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, serving since February 17, 2014, as the in-house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the same role he and the band served during the entire 969-episode run of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
He has produced for artists including Elvis Costello, Common, D’Angelo, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Bilal, Jay-Z, Nikka Costa, and more recently, Al Green, Amy Winehouse, and John Legend. He is a member of the production teams the Soulquarians, The Randy Watson Experience, The Soultronics, and The Grand Wizzards.
Ahmir Khalib Thompson was born in Philadelphia on January 20, 1971. His father was Lee Andrews of Lee Andrews & the Hearts, a 50s doo-wop group. His mother, Jacquelin Thompson, together with his father, was also part of the Philadelphia-based soul group Congress Alley. His parents did not want to leave him with babysitters, so they took him on tour with them. He grew up in backstages of doo-wop shows. By the age of seven, Thompson began drumming on stage at shows, and by 13, had become a musical director.
Questlove’s parents then enrolled him at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. By the time he graduated, he had founded a band called The Square Roots (later dropping the word “square”) with his friend Tariq Trotter (Black Thought). Questlove’s classmates at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts included Boyz II Men, jazz bassist Christian McBride, jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, and singer Amel Larrieux. He attended senior prom with Amel Larrieux. After graduating from high school, he took jazz and composition classes at Settlement Music School.
Thompson began performing on South Street in Philadelphia using drums, while Tariq rhymed over his beats and rhythms. Thompson and childhood friend, Jay Lonick, were known for improvisational “call and response” percussion battles with plastic buckets, crates, and shopping carts. This style translated into Thompson’s usual drumset arrangement, with most drums and cymbals positioned at waist level, emulating his original street setups
The Roots Drummer Questlove Shares His Music Obsession- Vanity Fair > Click Here