Just about everyone that is a fan of drumming has seen the video clip of 12 year old Tony Royster junior’s amazing drum solo. Up until 3 years ago Tony Royster Junior was the latest, greatest and youngest drum prodigy to be discovered from a YouTube video. That was until Jonah Rocks was filmed and uploaded for the first time at age 3. YouTube has seen a number of these amazing young players, but there have been none more amazing and prolific than little Jonah Rocks, with nearly 200 uploaded videos in his YouTube channel library.
His parents told Examiner that Jonah, now 6 years old, is a very normal everyday Canadian kid outside of his internet successes. Those successes; however, are huge when compared to his age, and even among adult professionals his successes are only matched by the most elite and famous players on the national scene. Jonah was not quite 4 years old, and had not been playing a drum kit for a full year when he was approached by Vic Firth for a stick endorsement. Since that time he has made endorsements for Zildjian, SJC Custom Drums, DW Drums, and Evans. It is easy to see the transformations from his early videos with an older Ludwig kit, no mics, and playing along with the family stereo, to his more recent videos where he now sports a custom SJC kit, a full line of “A” Custom Zildjian Cymbals, Mic’ed up and playing through a new Behringer PA system. In addition, he may be the only 6 year old in the world with his own Dot Com, over 18 million video views, merch that bears his moniker, and a list of Rock star friends and professional contacts that continues to grow.
All of this started out with Jonah beating on plastic toys that he had set up like a drum kit in his bedroom. He was motivated and inspired to start playing by YouTube videos that he had watched. Eventually, after he had broken all of the plastic toy drums, his mother and father asked him if he wanted a real drum set and he said yes. Jonah has never had lessons and no one else in the family plays drums, so he has been on his own. Even his song selections are at his sole discretion. The family does not listen to any one specific genre of music and in fact, with younger siblings in the house, dad says that these days they are listening to more of the Wiggles and Baby Einstein than anything else. His dad says that Jonah just continued to surf YouTube, watching videos and picking out songs he liked. He would study them and then go to the drums and start playing. When Jonah was happy with a tune then he would come to mom and dad and asks if he could “make a YouTube.” Eventually one of his early videos went viral, he was discovered by Bryan Adams covering Summer Of 69, and the rest is becoming history. Among some of his favorite drumming influences and idols are, Pat Steward (Odds, Bryan Adams), Travis Barker (Blink 182), Tre` Cool (Green Day), Eric Singer (KISS), John Dolmayan (SOAD), Steve Jocz (Sum 41), Mickey Curry (Bryan Adams), Daniel Adair (Nickelback), Tommy Lee, and too many more to list. Many of them have seen Jonah’s videos and have communicated with Jonah. Eric Singer and Mickey Curry have both had Jonah come out to play on their kits during sound checks at Arena gigs.
His parents maintain that they are not pushing little Jonah and they are not looking to make him another child star. They want him to be a kid and grow up in a normal environment. The family has been approached by America’s Got Talent, numerous talk shows and news programs, and they have refused access to all of them. To date, the only interview that had been granted prior Examiner was with Velvet Hammer Management for System Of A Down’s artist news column. His mom and dad say that so far Jonah calls playing the drums “Playing Band.” They don’t want to destroy that innocent spirit by making a job out of it.
If you have not seen Jonah play, then check out these links below to some of our favorite Jonah Rocks vids. For a 6 year old, this kid has some serious chops. Like many of his YouTube visitors have commented, we cannot wait to see what he will be doing by the time he turns 15.
Jonah does Summer Of 69 at age 3
Jonah Plays Nickelback at age 6 (Very Impressive)