Sina, drummer extraordinaire, has caught the attention of music and drumming enthusiasts worldwide, with her incredible drum covers, collaborations with musicians, and original music released on the album “Chi Might Project.” Her fame skyrocketed in 2013, with the launch of her YouTube Channel, Sina-Drums, as she displayed her passion and remarkable skills in breathing new life into songs of different genres.

Get to know Sina Drums

Sina Doering, widely recognized as Sina Drums, was born on 6 May 1999, in Margburg, Germany. She described her mother as an amateur piano player who sings all the time, and her father, Michael Doering, is a professional studio and live musician, a member of the German-based tribute band called The Silver Beatles that went on tours across Germany and other European countries. He was also in charge of the live video productions for some of their shows – for a concert in the UK, the band’s booking agent thought it best for Michael to use an ‘artist name’ instead of his German name, so he has since then been known as Mike Wilbury for his official releases.

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At age two, Sina joined her father for the first time on tour and found it quite fun; she danced or counted chairs during sound checks, and attended his shows as much as possible. In 2006, Mike wrote a children’s musical for his daughters, Sina and Milena, to help them learn the English language through music, and invited his friends to be part of the production. Rick Benbow was the voice actor for Toy Soldier Sam, who conversed in English with the German-speaking six-year-old Sina. Ian Watts provided the vocals as well as played drums and bass; Rick on piano and Mike on guitar. Two years later, Ian Watts gathered musicians including Mike in his Nottingham studio to record traditional nursery rhymes and give them a pop, folk, or rock feel. The “Nursery Rhyme Collection” was released in 2009 and it was a huge success. When they did German Nursery Rhymes, Sina was the background singer. Mike said that because of these projects, Sina developed an appreciation for musical instruments.

In 2018, as Mike listened accidentally to the nursery rhymes they did, he asked Sina if she would be interested in doing drum covers of songs from the Nursery Rhyme Collections to help children ‘discover real music and real musical instruments’ that early. She agreed without hesitation, and the album, “Sina’s Nursery Rhymes,” comprised of 20 songs including “Mary Mary Quite Contrary,” “I’m a Little Teapot,” and “Pop Goes The Weasel,” was released that year, but only available for download.

Her evolution as a drummer

Sina began drumming at the age of 10. Her father purchased a drum set for his studio to record live drums, but since he played most instruments except for the drums, it was Sina who took charge of it. She had a talent for rhythm so drumming felt natural to her. For Sina, it wasn’t about playing mindlessly; there had to be a concept to what she was doing – she wanted to make music, and said that this was why she always preferred to play whole songs.

It took her a year to learn and acquire the skills for a commercial release; she’s recorded for and with her dad since then. Sina considered Briony William’s “Solstice” as the first ‘real’ album that she was involved in as the main drummer. Briony was the daughter of Mike’s colleague, Mat Williams – Mike produced the album.

Sina had one drum lesson per week for seven years, then in 2017, she joined the Drummers Institute at Krefeld for a year of intense study. It helped in all aspects of her playing, as she learned different techniques in various genres.

As she turned 18, she joined the hard rock band from Cologne called The Gäs (‘The Guess’). On average, they had three to four gigs a month, and went on tour across Germany. Being on stage had a different feel than just playing at the studio because she had more direct contact with the audience. As the ‘girl on drums’ or the lone girl in the band, she was sometimes considered the ‘star’ and received special attention. She said that people couldn’t be more wrong, but she was glad about the positive reactions.

Sina-Drums, the YouTube Drummer

Since YouTube was launched in 2005, it’s become one of the biggest platforms for musicians; this gave Shina the opportunity to showcase her skills as a drummer. She was 14 when she opened her YouTube Channel called Sina-Drums, and her first drum cover was “Metropolis Pt.1” by Dream Theatre, and was self-taught. Her father suggested that they record her playing that song, and then upload the video onto YouTube. He assisted her with the video and audio recordings and then edited them himself. Simply put, running her channel wouldn’t have been possible without her dad.

Her repertoire consisted mostly of rock classics or old songs, which many found remarkable considering she was quite young. Sina said it was because these were the songs that she grew up hearing around the house, or when hanging with her dad. Modern pop music was usually based on programmed drums, and mainstream music was something she didn’t really get or develop a fascination for. When she listened to songs, she tried to figure out how the drums were played and how they were recorded – somehow, this interest was lost in programmed drums. However, she kept track of new trends so that she’d continue to grow as a drummer.

She said that her channel enabled a girl like her from a small village in Germany to not just share her musical side with the world, but also to play with people from all over.

On doing drum covers

Inspired by the positive reception, she uploaded more covers of popular songs for the simple reason that they would get more clicks. Sina played music that she enjoyed, but generally did covers that non-musicians would find interesting as well. If the song was without a drum part, Sina was free to add one in. However, if a drumless track wasn’t available, they would try to remove the drums from the original recording by using filters.

Doing covers was fun as she got to learn the different styles of various drummers. She rehearsed the drum parts of a song for three to four hours for two days, then did three takes for each song so they could use the best parts. They had about 10 hours of film to work on to produce four to six minutes of video.

To get the numbers up on her channel, she realized she needed to post videos at least once a week, and this meant she had to practice a lot. Admittedly, she was lazy when it came to practicing, but wanting her channel to flourish became her motivation. With the pressure of releasing a new video each week, she focused on much simpler songs.

So far, the most difficult track that she’s played, at least from the technical aspect, was Deep Purple’s “Burn.” It featured two-bar sixteenth fills that should be played very fast. For her, the challenge was to play the single strokes at a high speed.

Sina’s most successful drum cover video

With over 65 million views on YouTube since it was uploaded in October 2016, “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits became the most-watched drum cover, not just on her channel but also on YouTube. She said that she based the drum part on the style of Terry Williams in the ‘80s Alchemy Live Performances of Dire Straits; it wasn’t a cover of Pick Withers’ version in the original studio recording.

Sina shared that she grew up in a time when a car still had a CD player, and her father had a collection of his favorite songs, including a live version o “Sultans Of Swing.” It was the only version of the song that she knew, because it was being played constantly in the car. When doing a drum cover of this Dire Straits song, she tried doing the drum part of the studio version, but had difficulty learning it. In the end, they used a drumless track of the studio version and just added the drum part of the live version, thus giving it a more energetic vibe. This, she said, was perhaps the reason why it garnered so much interest and ‘likes’ on YouTube.

On making money from YouTube, Patreon

Many were curious to know if she monetized her channel. Despite having millions of views and subscribers, she didn’t earn much from YouTube, because most of those views were from drum covers of copyrighted material, and the advertising money generated would automatically go straight to those who hold the copyright. That said, not receiving money from a video she and her dad worked hard on was not the worst thing that could happen. Sina found herself in a bind when she uploaded “School” by Supertramp; it wasn’t just blocked but she was also issued a copyright strike. It expired after 90 days, but if she got three strikes during that period, YouTube would remove the channel. She has since learned to check YouTube’s media library for songs that are allowed to be covered, so avoiding problems.

Sina made little money from her own songs, especially since they weren’t popular, and so had fewer views. Because of this, she opened a Patreon account, a membership platform that enabled content creators to run a subscription service from which they could earn money. Considering that Patreon is a small closed group, she could comment on the feedback and answer questions personally. She said that she was fortunate to have supporters who enabled her to make a living out of playing music.

The “Chi Might Project” album

As tempting as it was to continue doing drum covers, the artist in her wanted to play original songs. Fortunately, having a songwriter and an arranger for a father was quite helpful. In 2015, she collaborated with numerous musicians, songwriters, and singers to create a high-quality album called the “Chi Might Project”, released the following year. Sina revealed that in her desire to work with a diverse group of musicians, which was logistically difficult, they formed a virtual band, and recorded 15 songs with 15 different musicians who were active on YouTube. As the word spread, others wanted to be part of the project as well. Her second album was made available in 2018.

Sina said that today’s mainstream music was short, lacking intros or interludes, and it usually began with catchy vocals primarily because most people had become impatient and unable to concentrate for more than two minutes. Despite it being what was said to be a surefire way to become successful in the music industry, she decided to stay true to herself and not play by society’s rules. Her first single from the “Chi Might Project III” was an 18-minute-long instrumental piece called Downstream, with her father was on guitar and bass. The album was released in 2020. Since that single became a fan-favorite, they recorded “Upstream” in 2022.

YourSoundTube

After the launch of the “Chi Might Project,” Sina along with her dad and his colleague Rick Benbow, started YourSoundTube. They collaborated with other musicians to record instruments from scratch instead of using an existing backing track in doing ‘original covers.’ In September 2017, they released “Your Song Book” comprised of 14 tracks, including “Sounds of Silence,” “Fever,” and “Something.”

Their first official production was a stripped-down acoustic version of “Nothing Matters” by Metallica, with Jadyn Rylee on vocals and Rick on Piano; Sina’s father did the audio mix and video editing. It was uploaded on Jadyn’s YouTube Channel in 2016, but it didn’t take off as they expected it to. Unable to accept that, they recorded a full band version of the song with Sina on the drums, and posted it on her channel three months later. It was a hit and much to their surprise, the acoustic version was picked up and became viral on Facebook and YouTube.

An update on Sina-Drums

Stopped touring with Rock the Opera

Sina joined a rock orchestra from Prague, Czech Republic called Rock the Opera for the remainder of their tour in 2021. Her participation began in Barcelona, Spain followed by Stockholm, Bergen, Wiesbaden, and Birmingham. She was on drums as the orchestra performed rock songs from bands such as AC/DC, Queen, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. After touring with them for a year and a half across Europe, she announced in January 2023 via her Facebook page that she wouldn’t be part of the summer tour this year, due to other projects that she would be working on.

Co-produced a music video

In her second year as a Jazz & Pop student at the ArtEZ Academy of Music in Arnhem, Netherlands, Sina worked with three fourth year ArtEZ students such as Celina von Wrochem, Philip Calisto and Nils Neumann, to write and produce a music video that was filmed entirely in one take. The project involved 20 musicians, and was uploaded onto Sina-Drums YouTube Channel but it wasn’t her idea – it was conceptualized by Celina, Philip, and Nils. The graduating students wanted to do a project, and knew that the perfect time to do it was when they still had access to the school’s resources.

A video was taken of the location to map out the choreography, and then a song was written to match it. They rehearsed several times to make the flow smooth before filming the final MV for two days – the camera followed Sina as she went from one room to another, and even down the stairs with musicians stationed at various places while they played different musical instruments and then went along with her to the main stage. Aside from the drums, she played the Washboard, Boomwhacker, Triangle, and Finger Cymbals, and was also one of the backing vocalists. The MV’s garnered over 200,000 views since it was posted in January 2022.

Raised funds on her birthdays

As a way of giving back, Sina celebrated her birthdays by raising funds for various causes or programs via Facebook. It was unclear when it all started, but the 2021 ‘Birthday Fundraiser’ was for the United Nations Foundation to help countries that were struggling to finance vaccinations for their people. In 2022, she raised money for a non-profit charitable organization called United Help Ukraine, Inc. that aimed to distribute goods and medical supplies to the people of Ukraine most affected by Russia’s invasion, including those who were displaced and families of those wounded or killed for their fight for independence and freedom. In 2023, the money donated went to the World Food Programme, a humanitarian organization that helped fight hunger and save lives.

Sina Doering was acknowledged as the most successful YouTube drummer in Germany. Her channel garnered nearly 1.5 million subscribers, and her videos had more than 600 million views, which featured both original music and covers. She collaborated with other artists as she said that this channel was meant to support fellow musicians, because after all, music was supposed to bring people together. Sina said that she couldn’t predict or say how long she would continue recording and producing drum covers, but for now, she found it quite fulfilling.

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