When there’s a young lady on YouTube with an infectious sense of youthful fun and brilliant drumming abilities, we mention it on Professional Moron.
Yoyoka Soma is now 12, but showing all the hallmarks of a very rare natural brilliance in drumming. And we want to celebrate the plucky young lady.
Yoyoka Soma’s Drumming Brilliance
Okay, so Yoyoka Soma took off in popularity a couple of years ago. From Ishikari in Japan, she started drumming at two and drums in her family’s band Kaneaiyoyoka.
Then she entered the Hit Like A Girl international drumming contest in 2018 at age eight.
That’s with the above clip of her matching John Bonham (whom many claim is the best drummer ever) on the Led Zeppelin song Good Times Bad Times.
Now the song is notoriously difficult for drummers due to Bonham’s triplet bass pedal beats. Very few people can do that—we’re drummers and we sure as cripes can’t.
But Soma just bloody nails the whole thing like it’s a joke. Robert Plant saw the clip and was mighty impressed.
And it’s not a one-off, she has a YouTube channel. She’s now 10 and can’t read sheet music, but she doesn’t have to.
She just has a natural knack of understanding song structures, it would seem. We’ve played the drums for a long old while and we can’t do what she’s doing—the best drummers make it all look deceptively simple.
And it’s all done with added panache—seriously, this is pro-level stuff.
Her favourite drummers are John Bonham, Chris Coleman, and Benny Greb—she loves Led Zeppelin and also has a penchant for Queen.
We’d love to see her do a cover of The Who or The Stone Roses, just throwing out a request to Japan there.
It’s all led to her becoming a big hit. Her online videos have reached 15 million people and she’s also appeared on the Ellen show in America. Twice.
She doesn’t speak English, so a translator was in order. And that youthful sense of enthusiasm and fun comes through.
Whilst in America she was also the star of a TV commercial.
When we first came across her she was only 10. Now 12, this means when not drumming she spends her time doing what young ladies girls do.
As in, she attends school and messes about having fun. Meanwhile, she performs in the family band.
The outpouring of online support across the world for the young lady is great to see.
We think in part this is because it’s such a big surprise. A 10-year-old Japanese schoolgirl can drum like the legendary John Bonham and has a legion of supporters—including Dave Grohl.
And it’s easy to see why—great skill, great fun, and quite delightfully naturally enthusiastic. In 2021, she’s continued uploading videos.
Including a fantastic take on Cream classic Sunshine of Your Love. That’s one of the legendary tom-tom happy hits Ginger Baker battered out.
There’s also a highly energetic take on Deep Purple’s Speed King.
From Soma, she adds a very impressive flurry of activity at the 3:50 mark. The type of drumming seasoned professionals couldn’t (and probably wouldn’t) manage.
And that’s what we love about her. It’s pure natural talent and if she’s like this at 11, who knows where this is going to end up in a decade?!
All the best to her! We’re following her career going forward—she posts videos to YouTube all the time.
So she seems set for drumming stardom status. So long as she gets her homework done on time.
Soma’s Drumming Development
Just an update here in late 2021 as Yoyoka Soma continues on her percussive journey. She’s been posting loads of content all year long.
We think the above jam, from late October 2021, is an important video as it shows Soma’s drumming style emerging.
Away from all the drum covers (as fantastic as they are), this is the groovy young lady within and her natural creativity coming out.
Check out the mini-solo from 9:50, for example, where she’s rumbling around the kit like she’s had 20+ years’ experience.
Reminder—she’s 12! Incredible stuff. And she’ll get better and better. So, there’s plenty to look forward to from her career development.