Yoyoka Soma – Hit Like A Girl Spotlight – HLAG 2018 Contestant & 2021 Jr Global Ambassador – 4/4/21


Yoyoka Soma is an 11 year old powerhouse of a drummer from Japan. She started playing drums at the age of two, played live at four, and formed her family band “Kaneaiyoyoka” at five. At 6 years old, she even released her first CD while in kindergarten. In addition to drums, Yoyoka sings vocals, plays the piano and is a songwriter. Her influences include John Bonham, Chris Coleman, Nate Smith, Chad Smith and David Grohl to name a few of her favorite drummers.

In 2018, at the age of 8, she became the youngest weekly champion in the under-18 category of the Hit Like A Girl Contest. Her application video, a cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Good Times Bad Times’ was featured on NBC, NPR, in Rolling Stone Magazine and in Billboard. Her drumming prowess has been praised by music legends such as Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Ian Paice (Deep Purple), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Sheryl Crow, Gene Simmons and Eric Singer (KISS), Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), Hayley Williams (Paramore), Tony Royster Jr., and Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine).


At the age of eight, Yoyoka appeared in Japan’s famous rock festival “RISING SUN ROCK FESTIVAL in EZO” as the youngest performer ever and made a surprise appearance on the stage of Fall Out Boy in “Summer Sonic Tokyo” in front of an audience of 20,000. Later, she was the guest drummer for two songs of Cyndi Lauper’s performance at Tokyo Orchard Hall, the last day of her Japan tour. She made two appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in LA in January and May 2019 where she was praised by Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. In April 2019, she was selected as one of Newsweek Japan’s “100 Japanese people respected by the world”, the youngest in history. Go Yoyoka! Advertisement

Yoyoka is endorsed by Nike, Moncler, UNIQLO, Pearl, Vic Firth, Zildjian, Cympad, and DW.

She is a Jr Global Ambassador for this year’s the Hit Like A Girl – X contest (entries end on April 11th, 2011 head to for more info).

Modern Drummer is a proud sponsor of this year’s Hit Like A Girl Contest!

Check out Yoyoka at 8 yrs old HLAG 2018 contest entry video of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Good Times Bad Times’:


And here is her March 7th, 2021 version at age 11 yrs old!:


Also here is her drum cover video of Deep Purple’s ‘Burn’ which Ian Paice loved:


Follow Yoyoka on her social media: