Anika Nilles is a German musician, drummer, composer and educator. She grew up in a musical
family and her father was a drummer, which naturally piqued her interest in the instrument. With the
support of her parents, and at a time when female drummers were hard to find, Anika started playing
However, her career did not start in music. In her early twenties, before starting her career as a
musician, Anika studied social education and worked as a preschool teacher in an institution for
In her late twenties, she made a choice to pursue music. She left her education job and started
studying at Popakademie – a university of popular music and music business in Mannheim,
Germany. By her second year, she received a special scholarship for extraordinary and outstanding
performances. During her time at Popakademie, she played with artists such as Herbie Crichlow,
Ahsley Hicklin, and Jennifer Weist. Later, she played as a freelance drummer with artists Caligola,
Max Mutzke, and Namika.
Over the next 4 years, Anika built up a name for herself by gaining popularity on YouTube. She
amassed more than 13 million views on her drum videos that featured original compositions. In
addition, Anika performed extensively as a solo artist touring throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, and
Russia. Anika's playing style is distinguished by her strong groove, technique, unique sound, and
unique ability to make odd rhythms sound easy. Her approach is to use of the drum set as an
expressive instrument, rather than just in a time keeping function. This frees her up to embellish
rhythms without stealing the focus away from the other instruments.
Anika inspires drummers and musicians worldwide to develop their skills and create their own music.
She has become an important role model for many female drummers who are looking to establish
their personal identity on what has been traditionally a male-dominated instrument.
Anika has released various singles, as well as a debut album "Pikalar" (under Sakurai Records), all of
which earned spaces on several of the top music charts all around the world. Upon release, "Pikalar"
was immediately listed on the iTunes 200 Top Rock Releases charts in the USA and climbed its way
to number 113 (a remarkable feat for a mostly instrumental album).
Well known in the drumming community, Anika won the Modern Drummer Readers Poll for Up And
Coming Artist as well as #1 Rising Star in “DRUM!” Magazine in 2015, 2016 and for best
Fusion Drummer on #2 in 2017 and 2018. She also has been voted to #3 for best educator on the UK
Drummies Awards in 2017, and #1 for ‘Best Clinician’ on UK’s ‘Music Radar“ in 2018.
With Anika Nilles / NEVELL, Anika assembled a group of three energetic and passionate musicians to
interpret her music into a spectacular live show. Her music is instrumental Prog/Fusion with catchy
melodies, perpetuated by the high-level musicianship each of the players contributes. Influenced by
Pop, Funk, Prog and Jazz music, Anika Nilles / NEVELL finds itself in the same category as bands
like Toto, Chon, Plini, Dream Theater, Aristocrats and Joe Satriani. Anika's signature style of super
hip odd time/odd groupings, tricky metric modulations, and intense full-kit fills, gives NEVELL's music
its distinct sound and identity.