Drummer Wesley “Wes” Watkins has carved his place in the musical landscape of the DMV area by playing for legendary Go-Go bands, R&B, Gospel Groups, Rock Bands, Jazz and Neo Soul Artist.
Watkins, current Drummer at i5 Church in Odenton Maryland, got his start in the church by watching and imitating the awe-inspiring dexterity of his father’s drum style. He recalls playing round drum rolls and tossing his drumsticks in the air,perfecting his performance as well as his sound. By age 7, Watkins was noticed by Richard Smallwood and asked to play for his Gospel choir and music workshops. At this time, Watkins realized music was passion and what he wants to spend his life doing.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Annapolis/ Severn Md., Watkins was heavily influenced by Go-Go-- a style of music established in Washington, D.C., and heavy in percussion where the drummer drives the beat with the conga player. At 9, the enterprising young drummer organized his first band. By creating his own experience, he began performing locally and gigging with the area’s top acts sharing the stage with likes of Raheem DeVaughn,Lissen Band, Sugar Bear (Experience Unlimited, 1988’s Da Butt), Northeast Groovers, and Backyard Band with founding member,HBO’s The Wire star Anwan “Big G” Glover.
He has also played for Ten Commandments Band, Suttle Thoughts, Vybe, Occupation, Familiar Faces, and Faycez You Know. Currently, Watkins serves as Music Director of Walker Redds Project, drummer for National Recording Artist Marcus Johnson, and also currently the drummer and MD for the Grammy Nominated Carolyn Malachi.
In October of 2013 Watkins did his first International Drum Clinic in Amsterdam at the Drumland Music Store. With over 100 in attendance to watch him take to the stage to perform, speak and answer questions. During this time Wes Watkins was also interviewed by Slagwerkkrant ( one of the biggest drum magazines in Europe). Wes Watkins would make the front cover with Mike Mangini, Quest Love, and also got a full write about his career as a musician.
Additionally, Watkins has been invited to record studio work with local acts like Temika Moore and “The Godson of Go-Go” Scooby aka Frank Sirius. Watkins has appeared on studio production for The Experience by Duanne Manns (2007,) Andrea’s World (2007,) That’s Enough by Temika Moore (2010,) Northeast Groovers March 22, 2010 live recording, The End of Me EP by Temika Moore (2012,) and i5 Anthem (2013.)