Musicians I found on YouTube during COVID

Like everyone else, presumably, I spent a lot of time on YouTube during COVID. I ran across a few musicians whom I thought were worth learning about. I’ll mention them here.

Yoyoka Soma. She’s a twelve year old Japanese drummer who has more promise than any prodigy I’ve ever seen. This is not a drummer with a ton of flashy solos. She has a more natural feel for a groove than most drummers I’ve ever seen or played with. Drummer World named her one of the 500 top drummers in the world, the only one near her age at the time. She keeps great time, is really versatile, and inhabits her music. She’s a pleasure to watch and listen to. What’s cool about her as a prodigy is that she’s not good for a kid, she’s good Period. She was on Ellen DeGeneres’ show a couple of times, her videos have attracted a lot of attention from some serious pros like Robert Plant listening to her play Zeppelin and Ian Paice of Deep Purple being so impressed with her playing of Burn that he’s done some online collaborating with her. She has mostly played with recordings but some of her live stuff is great. In particular look at her birthday concerts from her last birthday. She hooked up with some damned good musicians for that project.

Rick Beato. The second most well-known of the people I’ve found. He’s a guitar player, producer, music educator, very engaging, gets a bit long-winded because he doesn’t self-edit but does some great stuff, including a feature called What Makes This Song Great? where he comes on with master tapes so he can play individual tracks or groups of tracks so we can hear stuff we normally don’t.

Nahre Sol. A modern classical pianist and composer, originally out of Julliard. She has composed short pieces based on a lot of other styles – the one she did based on Bebop is really cool. She’s a beautifully musical player, though she doesn’t make a big deal out of that. She imitates the style of various composers but better than anyone I’ve ever seen, in serious detail. The imitation features are worth looking her up for.

The MonaLisa Twins. This is a pair of Austrian twins whose names are – wild guess – Mona and Lisa. They are in their twenties and somehow fell in love with sixties music, particularly Beatles, though they also do originals now. They grew up with a father who owns a recording studio in Austria and they still work with him for recordings. They do simple, surprisingly ingenious arrangements. They couldn’t find a scene in Austria conducive to their gigging so they moved to Blackpool, England, where they’ve done a ton of gigging at among other things the Cavern Club. Utterly charming.

Randy Rainbow. You’re most likely to already know about him. He does political Broadway song spoofs. He’s a brilliant lyricist to the point where he’s impressed Sondheim. His stuff is seriously funny.  Randy Rainbow is his real name, as in Rainbow is his family’s last name.


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