Teachers said it over and over when I pounded on desks, lockers, books: That's not a drum. Years later at Savannah College of Art and Design, my vocal coach caught me tapping out a beat in class and handed me his djembe. Another student who worked at a techno club recruited me to play, but I still didn't own an actual drums so I took the professor's djembe to the job. After that I started collecting percussion instruments and eventually started making my own. Using a piano, I tune hard wood by making it vibrate in the correct frequency to create the notes of a scale and finish the drums with natural oils.