Veronica Momi – Italy

Veronica Momi is the founder of Batteriste Italiane, the one and only Italian community dedicated to female drummers. She started to play bass guitar at the age of 10 and went on to study double bass at conservatory. At the age of 23, she went to live in the UK for a few years. When she came back to Italy, she moved from her hometown of Brescia to Rome.

At the age of 46, she managed to fulfill one of her biggest dreams…play drums. It was something that she always wanted to do but never actually tried because she thought it was so out of her reach.

Playing drums completely changed her life. Every spare minute she has, she spends it on the drums. She is totally in love with it. The love she feels for it and the need and desire to share it with others led Veronica to create Batteriste Italiane: the first private group and social club for female drummers in Italy. It’s a place where every woman can freely express herself without being judged. There are drummers of every age and level, and there is a fantastic feeling of true community.

Batteriste Italiane stems from Veronica’s desire to help other females know that they’re not alone, there’s a place where they can support each other and a place where women can feel part of one big family with the same great passion for drums without regards to age or skill level.

Soon after having created Batteriste Italiane, Veronica thought it would be a good idea to give more visibility to the women in the group, so she started to organize clinics, masterclasses, drum days, factory tours and drum camps in Italy. The first Batteriste Italiane drum camp took place near Rome in July
2022. It has now become a yearly event.

Francesca Di Rienzo – Italy

Francesca Di Rienzo was born in Italy in 1996. She began playing drums at the age of 12 and later began thinking about turning her passion into a profession. As a result, she decided to study at the conservatory in Rome.

Currently, she works hard as a drum instructor and enjoys studying various styles and techniques in order to become the best drummer and educator she possibly can. Her dream is to work as session drummer for studio and live performances.

When she’s not working or studying, she’s playing with pop/rock bands on the Italian music scene. Her dream of becoming a session drummer for live and studio performances is becoming real one day at time. She’s really excited to be part of “Hit Like a Girl”.

Chelsea Todd – Canada

Chelsea Todd was born in 1988, the 2nd of 5 children. She was raised in Bradford, Ontario, Canada. Music was always on at home, and her Mother taught her some piano. They found she had a knack at learning pop songs by ear, but didn’t study music formally.

Inspired by metal bands like Lamb of God, Metallica, Pantera and System of a Down, Chelsea began teaching herself drums in 2003. She played in private, up until 2005, following the sudden death of her Mother.

To cope with the grief, Chelsea dropped out of school to try to launch a band, called Axiom. When the band broke up in 2007, she was unable to hold her mental health together. Her older brother helped her to move out of their Dad’s home in order to focus on her health, and build a career in education.

Just as she began revisiting her passion in 2014, her journey was interrupted by another family crisis. She began supporting their Father through early onset dementia.

• Fall 2017: Chelsea and her partner of 10 years have a child. Chelsea says this was the catalyst to play music again. She began studying with Drumeo on her own and visiting hourly rental studios to build some chops.
• Fall 2018: Chelsea finally reconnected with an Axiom guitarist to join metalcore band Dead Beyond Fear, with whom she recorded an album called “Malice for the Hated Enemy.”

During this time, Chelsea had discovered her child had a lifelong medical condition called TSC. This posed another serious setback. The COVID-19 Crisis also postponed band efforts in 2020, so Chelsea reset her aims toward her son, her personal improvement and single/ co-parenting.

• Spring 2021: Chelsea was invited to join a glam/prog band, It Cometh. They are currently writing a concept album to be released in 2023 and are playing the South/Central Ontario network.
• Winter 2022: Chelsea launched a professional Instagram and TikTok drum page under the name “@ChellfireDrumz” to share clips of drum covers or studio time. She also departed from Dead Beyond Fear.
• Fall 2022: Chelsea joined forces with Dana Bowman of Death Perception, to start a band called Death Club, who are expected to release an album in 2023.

Chelsea recalls, “It was difficult to make stable, consistent effort needed in order to achieve the speed, stamina and creativity to contribute to a metal band, so I had to put my dreams aside, temporarily. As the Internet grew, seeing female drummers gain spotlight globally, I had to reflect deeply and decide that I would do this for myself, and stop measuring my efforts to another person’s level of success. Just being a part of a band and creating/performing music is the reward, rather than the stats or recognition on a global platform. I acknowledge there are many people who can’t follow their passion, for health or family reasons. Fortunately, I am able to try several times, and my “attitude of gratitude” helps me stay grounded during setbacks that arise.”

Little Things – Thailand

Southeast Asia sub-Ambassador for Thailand, Little, called “Little Things Drum”, is a young, female, drum artist whose Thai full name is Thanapa Nateekulcharoen. She’s been passionate about playing drumset since she was 8 years old. She studied and graduated with a Drum Set Major at College of Music, Mahidol University, and currently works as an educator in college, a private musical instructor, a drummer and a composer.

Little and her family established a home studio named “Little Things Family” Drum and Japanese language school in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

In 2020 to 2022, she has participated in Domestic and Global drum contests. She won Overdrive Live ROCK DREAM TEAM The Battle, the biggest drum contest in Thailand, livestreaming on 7HD TV Program, and was also a finalist in several local drum solo contests. HLAG, Little joined the 2022 Hit Like A Girl contest and was selected as the International Champion and Week 6 Winner in Drumset (18-39 age group), 1st Place of LP Mini-Contest (18+) and 1st place of SE Asia regional (18+).

Instagram: @littlethingsdrum

Saori Sugimoto – Japan

I am Saori Sugimoto. I live in Japan. I started playing the drums when I was 14 years old.

In 2022 I was selected as the the 3rd place winner in the 40+ age group of the Hit Like A Girl International contest and the 3rd place winner in the 18+ group of the Hit Like A Girl Japan contest.

Júlia Baats – Brazil

Júlia Baats is a drummer born and raised in Sorocaba-Sao Paulo, Brasil. She took her first drum lesson in 2012 and, over the years, she has studied with some of the greatest drummers in Brasil.

In 2016, she recorded a commercial for Chevrolet as the drummer in a rock band. In 2019, she entered the Guinness World Records in the category “Crescendo.” This year she performed at the Girls on Drums Festival 2022.

Júlia has played with several bands and is currently the drummer and backing vocalist for the hard rock band Khris ‘N’ Rocks. Júlia is also the publicist and production assistant for the Girls on Drums Festival, a popular live stream interview show hosted by Joel, Jr.

Joel Jr. – Brazil

Working as a professional musician in Brazil since 1985, at the age of 13, Joel Jr. has performed in various styles and situations throughout his career. He studied and took courses with Duda Neves, Vera Figueiredo, Dámaso Cerruti, Guilherme Gonçalves, Gary Chaffee (USA) and many more.

As a columnist and contributor, he has contributed to several websites and publications, including Studio Música & Tecnologia, Revista Batera, DRUM! Magazine -USA, Drum Study and Modern Drummer Brasil. Joel is the Director and owner of Drum Time Escola de Bateria e Percussion since 1990 and he has taught more than 1500 students. He is committed to the education and training of young musicians.

As an event producer, in addition to having collaborated with top international drummers such as Virgil Donati, Dave Lombardo, Rod Morgenstein, Vera Figueiredo and many others. In 2010 he became the creator and main producer of the GIRLS ON DRUMS FESTIVAL, which is the largest female only drum and percussion festival in Latin America. During the COVID pandemic GIRLS ON DRUM moved to social media and has live streamed more than 150 shows, featuring many sensational drummers from around the world.

Migdalia Van Der Hoven – UK

Originally from Mexico, Migdalia Van Der Hoven received a degree from @berkleecollege and currently lives in England where she is the drummer for the UK touring cast of SIX The Musical. In addition, her Jazz Quartet and all-female Big Band are active throughout Great Britain and the rest of Europe. She also teaches and, along with her husband, is raising 2 young daughters.

Niri Shaul – Israel

A drummer and a dreamer, Niri believes that life is what you make it, and you better make it fun.

She plays guitar, sings, and together with the music in her life, she is also a content manager and writer, a lecturer and a travel blogger.

Drumming has completely changed her life, and from the first second on the drum set, it felt very natural to her, like it was just waiting to come out. She says it’s one of the things that fills her with great happiness, that sometimes cannot be explained in words.

For the past few years, she’s been playing in a band, and all the time continues to learn, improve, and develop her creativity in drumming.

After the experience of participating in the HLAG contest she began to research the female drumming scene in Israel, which is relatively small but super cool, and not appreciated enough, and her goal is to encourage more and more female drummers and young girls from Israel to participate in the contest, and be aware of the movement, so that eventually there will be more and more women playing in major concerts with known artists and in TV shows regularly.

Iryna Butko – Ukraine

Producer. Singer. Drummer. It’s Never Too Late to Be a Rock Star Ideologist.

Passionate about people, heart-to-heart communication and management, for the last 20 years Iryna Butko has been dedicated to Marketing, PR and Production. However, despite the business life-style, music has always been the most important part of her world.

As a vocalist and co-founder of the BeTwins band, Iryna and her twin-sister Toma recorded and released their first album in 2014. In 2016 they became Yamaha E-Band Competition Winners in the Best Vocals category. Finally, in 2017 the girls tried their forces in the Hit Like A Girl Contest in the World Percussion category. This was the first time Iryna met a djembe.  

Driven by the inner fire, desired to express her passion to life, she began playing drums only 3.5 years ago. And in 2019 she joined HLAG Contest as a drum-set player. Many days, hours and happy minutes spent in the SkySticks Drum School in Kiev to work learn the best playing technique and sound.

“I strongly believe, that we all have an immense potential to be happy, to feel alive and to groove our personal world in the synergy with the Universe. Drumming gives us power and freedom, lightning our inner fire to become stronger and to make this world brighter,” she says.

Iryna credits Hit Like a Girl Contest with totally changing her life. This event helped put her on the wide and opened road to discovering herself. Drumming is the part of mystic soul therapy and mental care. It can guide ladies all over the world to their “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” power and beauty.

Nowadays Iryna is a member of Be Together Drum Circle. She continues to be a SkySticks Drum School student, as well.

Gata Pinaya – Bolivia

Drummer, educator and electronic engineer Adriana Graciela Pinaya Johannessen (Gata Pinaya) was born in La Paz, Bolivia. She is a Versatile drummer and plays many different styles, including rock, blues, Jazz, Metal, etc. She studied with master drummers from Bolivia, Chile (Pedro Barahona) and Brazil (Vera Figueredo) and also has degrees in Electronic Engineering (UPSA ) and Music (UPEA). 

She was a finalist and representative of Bolivia in the first version of the Hit Like a Girl 2012 contest in 2012 and she was invited to participate the Aruba Musicians Convention and the Andes Percussion Festival. She has played in many independent bands as well as projects with world-renowned musicians and organizations. Her Progressive Metal project, “Catharma,” recorded an album called “Catharsys” and participated in festivals throughout South America. 

Gata is currently the drummer of “Corporal Jigsore” with whom she has toured Europe and South America and, since 2017, she has been the percussionist for the jazz project “Ptrodixie.” In addition, she is the director of the “Campamento Gata Pinaya” Music Academy in La Paz— combining nearly 20 years of musical experience with 10 years of Holistic teaching in order to provide advanced musical training for new generations. 

These days, Gata is in the studio working on her solo project, which will be released in 2022. 

Cassandra Key – Australia

Cassandra Key is a drummer, drum tutor and also a founding member of the Sydney, Australia prog/post metal band Stare At The Clouds. She began playing drums at the age of 10 and has been fortunate to enjoy a wide range of playing experiences from concert bands, marching bands, orchestras, stage bands, rock bands and musicals. Cass has also been involved with private instruction and ensemble education in her home town of Orange in the NSW region.

Aine Fujioka – Japan

Drummer • Yoga instructor • founder of “Beats de Roots” • Committee Member of Women In Music Japan • Organiser of “Okaeri Projekt”

Born in Hiroshima, Japan, Aine Fujioka moved to the United States at the age of nineteen to study drums and jazz composition at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since her graduation, she has been actively playing worldwide.

With her well-known steady and deep groove, Aine goes across different genres and continents.

She is one of the very few Japanese or female drummers who played regularly on the legendary Boston music scene. As a long-time member of the Boston-based indie rock band The Grownup Noise, she went on US tours and performed at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. She has played with soul vocalist Iyeoka whom she now tours with worldwide since 2008 until before the corona pandemic.

After moving to New York in 2011, Aine quickly became one of the most popular drummers on the city’s Blues scene. There she has played with Grammy Winners and nominees such as Bill Sims Jr. and Vasti Jackson.

Since 2015, her music career continues in Berlin, where she re-gains and re-assures her passion and love for music. Her current projects include Tellavision, Carlos Dalelane Band, and Ben Barritt, among other singer-songwriters.

Aine is also actively engaging in developing workshops `Beats de Roots´ for artists to develop physical and mental strength, and American NPO Women in Music Japan to support women in the music industry as a communication committee chair.

T-shirt: Jacquard@aureliapaumelle
Photo: @Louisfernandezphotography

Vera Figueiredo – Brazil

“From behind the drum set, Vera Figueiredo takes her audience from the Brazilian rainforest into the clubs and concert halls of the world. Jaws dropped at her unique presence, approach, and distinctive licks.” (T. Bruce Wittet, Modern Drummer Magazine).

Nominated by Rhythm Magazine as the “Queen of Samba”, Vera has been a leading ambassador for Brazilian Music by performing at festivals, clinics and masterclasses around the world— appearing at Percfest Memorial Naco, Drum Ladies Fest and Percussive Art Society (Italy), Frankfurt Musik Messe (Germany), The Ultimate Drummers Weekend (Australia), Mendoza International Drum Fest (Argentina), PercuSonidos Festival Internacional de Percusiones (Mexico), AGP Drum Event (Luxembourg), Days of Percussion (Sweden), Drum Fest – Primer Festival Internacional de Batería y Percusión (Chile), Cape Breton International Drum Fest and KOSA (Canada) and PASIC (USA) as well as Brazilian festivals including PAS, Salão da Bateria, I Encontro Percussivo REC-PEC, Girls On Drums and the recents Sesc Brasil’s Instrumental with her Trio, PercuFest Latinoamérica and Aquiles Priester Drum Festival.

In 1990, Vera founded the IBVF – Instituto de Bateria Vera Figueiredo, which became one of the most important drum and percussion schools in Brazil. A couple of years later, Vera and IBVF created one of the world’s most remarkable drum and percussion festivals: Batuka! Brasil. Held in São Paulo city since 1996, Batuka! Brasil brings together the top drummers on the planet and has had fifteen festivals and two album releases. Vera’s popular play-along book Vera Cruz Island – Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset was released by Hudson Music.

She endorses Mapex Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Evans Drumheads, Audix Microphones, Xtreme Ears, Baffles Drums and Gope Brazilian Percussion. 

Deborah “Debby” Oladipupo – Nigeria

Oladipupo “Debby” Deborah is the Hit Like A Girl Diplomat for Nigeria. “Deekit”, as she is fondly called, is a drummer who is known for her strength and smile behind the drums. A graduate of the polytechnic Ibadan Ibadan, she never relents in the pursuit of knowledge and skill with respect to the music profession and life general.

Debby has played alongside different musicians in Nigeria and shared stages with great artists. She is currently working to establish drum therapy as a renowned and standard practice in Nigeria.

Cintia Concia – Latin America

Cintia Concia is a songwriter, activist, and drummer of the independent band “Rockwell Road”. Born in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina but now living in Mexico, she has visited more than 1000 schools in Latin America with her NGO “Volver a Soñar” using music to help girls and boys in vulnerable situations.

In 2019, Cintia founded the “Ella Suena” (“She Dreams”) movement to peacefully promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. More than 200 female musicians from all over the world have been able to participate in this program.

She is currently developing the program “Creating Roads” to give musical education to low-income people using household utensils to initiate them into percussion.

Paula Perrella – Latin America

Paula Perrella is an Argentinian drummer, percussionist, composer and teacher. Her dance groove, versatility and minimalist set-up have become her trademark and opened doors for her as a session drummer with bands and musicians of many styles.

Paula studied with top Argentinian drummer Andrea Álvarez among others. She has played in Mexico and throughout Central and South America and is currently recording her first solo album. She teaches many women around the world both online and in person.

Maria la Marimbera – Latin America

Maria La Marimbera is a Colombian percussionist, researcher, teacher and composer with training in Latin percussion, traditional percussion and academic percussion. She studied symphonic and contemporary percussion at the Conservatory of the National University of Colombia and has a Master’s degree in Colombian music from the El Bosque University.

She has also studied independently with different teachers and has performed in a variety of musical projects. Maria has dedicated herself to studying and reflecting on the social experience of women instrumentalists and gender musicology is her line of research. She currently works as a professor of the Latin Percussion department at Universidad el Bosque and directs her solo project “María la Marimbera”.