Brampton 'drummer boy' gives Justin Bieber, Calvin Harris the tabla treatment
'I'm always putting an Indian touch to it in my head,' Brampton native says
Brampton "drummer boy" Shobhit Banwait threw on a beat and went with the flow — no plan, no practice — to record a Facebook cover video now nearing two million views.
Banwait plays the tabla, a pair of drums native to South Asia, and often uses the traditional instrument to accompany popular radio hits.
"The tabla matched it so well," he told CBC News. "It just blended so well and people loved it."
Banwait did not expect the cover, recorded in one take, to be shared so widely.
I'm always putting an Indian touch to it in my head.- Shobhit Banwait
"People loved the Calvin Harris [cover] because it was more upbeat, it was faster," the 25-year-old said.
Banwait started to play the tabla by ear as a kid before starting to take classes at the age of 13.
His love of music was spurred by his father who used to sing in a band and play the dholak, a two-sided hand drum, he said.
"I used to watch him play all the time. I caught interest that way," Banwait said.
He started to record 15-second covers for Instagram in late 2012.
But soon, "people started asking for the full version."
"It's crazy. I just posted on Instagram for the love of music," Banwait said of the increasing interest in his covers.
He selects songs that are getting a lot of radio play or those that would mesh well with the tabla.
"Every time I'm sitting in the car, the radio's on. I'm always listening to various types of beats," Banwait said.
"I'm always putting an Indian touch to it in my head."
Justin Bieber - Sorry <a href="https://t.co/Zn42gHjpHc">pic.twitter.com/Zn42gHjpHc</a>—@Shobiz14
His father, the first source of inspiration for Banwait, had little idea of his son's flourishing Facebook fame until recently.
"He's pretty proud," Banwait said.
"He actually made a Facebook account now just to follow my page and like my videos."