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Are you ready for some spooky grooves? Sarah Thawer slaughters this cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” just in time for Halloween!

Aside from her talent, you may notice two other things in this video: the traditional Indian clothing Sarah is sporting, and the fact that she’s a pro drummer in a male-dominated industry. After she plays the song, she has a very important message about both of these things, so make sure you watch the entire video.

While growing up with supportive parents as a self-taught drummer, society never encouraged Sarah to play the drums. “As long as I can remember, I have never felt welcome or accepted as a female drummer,” she says, talking about the constant negative comments and insults that included statements like “when are you going to have children”, “you can only do this until you’re 30”, “this is a great hobby that will help you get into med school,” and “when are you going to get a real job?” Every music university she applied to rejected her, and she felt like the odd one out at every convention she performed at.

Like Sarah says, drumming is gender neutral, and the gender and ethnicity of the player should have nothing to do with it. “We need to stop listening with our eyes and start listening with our ears. We need to be the generation that empowers women and everyone else who experiences prejudice to pursue their passion without fear or judgement.”

Sarah has three challenges for anyone who sees this:

  1. Share this video with everyone you know.
  2. Support a female drummer by leaving a nice comment on one of their videos.
  3. Call out bad behavior when you see it.

And finally, she has an important message for other female drummers and those who come from different backgrounds: “Embrace who you are. Don’t worry about the people around you. Be yourself. Embrace who you are and keep shining.”

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