Beautiful People – Sheldon Yoko

Beautiful People by Katherine Brookes

There’s something to be said about people who sell prized possessions to buy something they covet even more. In the words of Emily Armstrong: “give up what you have to get what you want”

Looking back now, selling his motorbike to buy his first drum kit was probably one of the best things Sheldon Yoko’s ever done.

Sheldon Yoko by Stewart Innes

I have an intense admiration for people who are so determined and focused in reaching their goals that they make active decisions to move forward and make sacrifice upon sacrifice. Our industry has expanded immensely over the last few years and no-one can question our musicians’ talent and focus, but let’s face it; no-one’s quitting their day-job any time soon.

In an industry that’s clique-y at the best of times, Sheldon Yoko’s reputation for being one of South Africa’s best session drummers is well-deserved and much like our previous feature, Dylan Culhane, his work speaks for itself. 

The now Cape Town-based Yoko has been playing drums since he was nine years old and in 2008 he decided to complete his last two years of high school through home schooling so he’d have more time to focus on his music.  

He completed his Grade 5 Music Theory through Royal Schools of Music (can someone just buy him a beer, because music theory is a dick. Fact.) and his Grade 6 drum kit practical through Trinity which he passed with distinction. 

Yoko moved to Cape Town in 2011 from his home in Durban to study at The Campus of Performing Arts and eventually started working with Ashtray Electric, Moving House, Fire Through the Window, Bicycle Thief, 

McCree, Sellah (NYC), Frank Freeman, Thomas Krane and Trev Rebello among others. 

Biffy Clyro Golden Rule

Das Kapital – BrainBang

Yoko now sessions for  Die Heuwels Fantasties after Philip Erasmus left the band , but I personally feel he’s way too talented for a band that performs at Huisgenoot’s Skouspel every year. 

Yoko’s shared the stage with stellar acts like Two Door Cinema Club, Block Party, Bring Me The Horizon and Rise Against and is also endorsed by Meinl Cymbals, Vater Drumsticks and Urge Footwear. 

To top it all off – he seems like a sweetheart.

Follow us on Pinterest where we’ll be posting more of our favourite people and if you know of anyone you think deserves to be featured on our site, you can pop me a DM at @KathValenti

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  1. Pingback: Francois Van Coke And Friends Live At The Assembly - SA Music Scene

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