Never too late! 66-yr-old farmer becomes online sensation as skilled drummer

(Xinhua) 09:38, March 18, 2022

NANNING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Xu Baokun, 66, had never imagined that one day she would become a social media influencer with a following of nearly 140,000.

Xu's videos on the short-video platform Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, playing the drum set with utter confidence have set the internet on fire, with netizens calling her "cool grandma."

A farmer from south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, she has toiled in the fields since she was young. But, with age, she developed some spine-related ailments, restricting her movements, which made her life insipid.

Things, however, changed last year when Xu's son Yang He, who teaches others music in neighboring Guangdong Province, brought a drum set on his visit home.

Xu initially saw the instrument as a noisy novelty but after watching her son's performance a few times, she became interested in the drum set.

To help Xu learn, her son recorded a lot of tutorial videos. And she gradually honed the skills through practice -- from imitating meticulously to being able to play a full song.

"It was difficult to learn playing drums at the beginning. I knew nothing about music. I had never thought I could play so many songs," Xu said, adding that since she fell in love with the drums, she has tried her best to spare time for practice.

Through unremitting efforts, she has successfully mastered some simple songs as well as many European and American classics. To her surprise, she has also recovered from the lumbar spine problem.

Xu's growing popularity has also boosted her confidence in her drumming skills. She has been invited to play at weddings and at the local TV station.

Though Xu is nervous every time she takes the stage, as soon as she is in front of the drum set, she brims with confidence, Yang said.

Yang has posted short videos of his mother drumming on the internet. He is occasionally seen performing Michael Jackson's "moonwalk" while his mother drums to the rhythm. These videos have gained enormous traction online, with netizens saying Xu looks like an energetic rock musician.

"It's never too old to learn," Xu said, adding that she will continue to challenge herself by learning more difficult music so as to entertain her followers. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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