Dejan Nikolic

One of the most versatile and musical drummers in Serbia. Played and recorded with: Aleksandra Sladjana Milosevic, Vatreni Poljubac, Alex Chilton, Milic Vukasinovic, Borislav Mitic, Rapid Force, Di Luna Blues Band, Lee Man, Aleksa Jelic, Ivan Svager Jazztet, Bata Kostic, Zona B, Lana Tokovic, Don Giovanni Blues Group, Djordje Gogov, Starfuckers... i many others.

Dejan also proved himself as a great educator in the drum field.

DEJAN NIKOLIC was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1971. His musical education started at the age of 6, playing violin. During next 8 years he took part in a number of reputable competitions, where he had won several awards. At the age of 12 he gained interest in rhythmical instruments. He began learning drums to the recordings of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Anthraxm Megadeth, Queen, Duran Duran, Deep Purple, Dire Straits and many others, mainly rock and metal bands. His first major drumming influence was Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden.

In the years to come, his interests in drumming and music goes further and he became a big fan of Billy Cobham, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Gregg Bissonette, Steve Smith, Terry Bozzio and Steve Gadd, as well as old jazz masters like Art Blakey, Max Roach, Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. During high school, he was playing pop/rock covers with local school bands at the party’s and school performances. Continuing his classical education at the age of 17 he switched to viola and took his high-school diploma in 1990, when he entered “Belgrade Music Academy” as one of the best violist in his generation. He studied viola from 1990-1992 and 1997-1999.

Parallel with his viola - academic education he took private lessons for a couple of years with respected Belgrade drummer/educator and professor at “Belgrade Music Academy”, Miroslav Karlovic.

As a violist he collaborated with some of Yugoslav pop and rock artists playing in TV shows in chamber orchestras and live performances.

In later years Dejan learned at clinics and masterclasses from world class drummers such as: Dom Famularo, Zoro The Drummer, Virgil Donati, Ed Thigpen, Marko Đorđević.

1993. Dejan played in the band “Fantasy” lead by Belgrade guitar virtuoso Borislav Mitic. Playing with Borislav includes concert under a "special guest" status at annual "Zajecar Guitar Festival" before 15 000 large crowd.

Between 1994 and 1996 Dejan worked with various bands from different musical fields such as: Jazz Connection, Jazztet (band of renown sax player Ivan Švager), Yu Public Convention (funk/jazz), Jazzybell (pop/rock band, including 4th place at MESAM International Festival 1994.), Side Stream (fusion) Madrugada (latin/jazz) and many others. He also played percussion in the theatre play “Bartholomew Fair” directed by famous Yugoslav actor/director Irfan Mensur at "Yugoslav Theatre of Drama" season 1994/95.

Dejan colaborated with many known jazz and rock artists: Miša Blam, Branko Marković, Vlada Krnetić, Fredi Stanisavljević, Bata Kostić (ex YU group), Goran Milošević (EX Generation 5).

He was permanent member of “Di Luna Blues Band” in years 1994-1995, 1999-2001 and 2006-2008.

1995/96 Dejan Nikolić played in Belgarde's top Thrash Metal band Rapid Force. In October 1995. he became a permanent band member of rock star Alexandra Sladjana Miloševic.

In 1996. Dejan took part at performance for 4 solo drums together with Igor Malešević (Miloš Petrović band), Lav Bratuša (Darkwood Dub) and Siniša Jović.

From 1995 to 2007 as a member of Alexandra Slađana Milošević band he appeared on 4 album releases, seven video clips, 3 TV show programs; great number of TV appearances on almost all Serbian TV stations (RTS, 3K, Politika, Art, Metropolis, Pink, Palma, BK, STB i dr.), including appearance on Slovenian National TV. Among numerous "live" appearances and concerts were concert for supporting democratic changes in Serbia infront of 150.000 people.

In 1999 Dejan Nikolić recorded song and a video clip "No More Tears" - duet of Slađana Milošević and her brother Goran Milošević (ex-Generation 5). The song later became a hit in Finland performed by their well known singer Jan Hurme.

In April 2006 Dejan got a call to play a concert with american singer/songwriter Alex Chilton of "The Box Tops" fame. Concert went great in packed "Dom Omladine" venue in Belgrade.

Between 2000 and 2002 Nikolić was under endorsement contract with “Yamaha Europa Gmbh” and he held several presentations of Yamaha drums in Belgrade.

From 2002 to 2013 Dejan played rock with artist known as Lee Man, pop/rock with singer Lana Tokovic, blues/rock with Don Giovanni Blues Group and “Les Gigantes”, punk-rock with “Starfuckers”, rock with "Nacionalna Klasa", top-40 gigs with “Nemanja Popović & P.R.O.”, thrash metal with "Trendkill" and "Plexus" , Jazz/Fusion with trio “The Elements” and blues with Zona B and Di Luna Blues Band. Dejan also played with pop singer Aleksa Jelic, Country-Rock band "Svremenasi" and colaborated with DJ Alavux on mutual electro/drum’n’bass project called “Electro Plot” and collaborated with composer Marina Vesic“ on the project "Music for Piano and Drums". He also did studio sessions.

Dejan performed in many Serbian cities, as well as in Bosnia & Hertzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia and Croatia.

Currently, Dejan works as a free lance studio and session musician and playing with Don Giovanni Blues Group and his band band Verzija 2

He also teaches drums at his private drum studio for last 16 years.