Eight-year-old Yoyoka Soma’s favorite drummer is John Bonham, so for her entry into the 2018 Hit Like A Girl drum contest, she covered Bonham’s part on Led Zeppelin’s Good Times Bad Times. John Bonham’s drum part in the song is one of classic rock’s most legendary grooves. And, thanks to the skipping kick-drum part in the verse, one of the trickiest to pull off. That’s just one reason many are so impressed with Yoyoka.
The video, which features Yoyoka playing along to the 1969 hit, earned her a spot in the international competition’s final round. She didn’t take home the gold, but she did win the hearts of anyone who saw her perform:
The Internet is teeming with cover videos, many of them by kids like Yoyoka. But there’s something special about this one. It’s not just the accuracy of the performance; it’s her loping, laid-back approach, which is not only Bonham’s greatest contribution to rock percussion – it’s the hardest part of his style to imitate.
And then there’s the glee. Watching Yoyoka whip around the kit during the chorus, you can feel the joy and abandon pouring out of her. This goes beyond “cute kid playing drums” and touches on something surprisingly transcendent. Here is Yoyoka expressing her feelings regarding her drum playing skills:
“The drum was the first instrument in which I felt an interest in my life. My parents’ music peers often visited us to play together. I was glued to the powerful and dynamic performances by the drummers. I play the drums as if I were playing with my toys. I enjoy being groove, tones, and trying to support vocalists carefully. My dream is to be the best drummer in the world!”
Here is another video of Yoyoka putting her heart into her music: