Young drummer targets Korean entertainment | Item

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Josh Berryman, 15, plays the drums during the Agape Praise Team rehearsal at the Four Chaplains Memorial Chapel at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, September 23. (U.S. Army photo by Monica K. Guthrie)
(Photo credit: US Army)


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CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea (October 8, 2021) – The music world has almost lost a drummer because a grandmother put NASCAR on TV for her 10-year-old grandson.

“It was a complete accident,” Josh Berryman said. “I lived with my grandma for a little while and we were watching TV one day… and there was a NASCAR race and there was nothing else on TV. It was the start of a very long obsession with racing.

A huge NASCAR fan, Josh has competed in racing leagues, sometimes finishing first or second. But instead of chasing checkered flags, Josh recently renewed his passion for music and won a children’s military talent competition, a percussion competition in Seoul and signed a contract with a Korean entertainment agency to become drummer in a group.

“None of this was even a dream, I would say, even seven or eight months ago, not even a year ago,” said Josh, now a 15-year-old sophomore in high school. “I wasn’t thinking about anything (on the drums). It was still a hobby. Maybe it was a hobby that I was really passionate about, but I couldn’t see any way to make a career out of it. But now maybe I could.

FIND YOUR PACE

As a young child, Josh’s parents encouraged their son to pursue what interested him. And Josh had a lot of interests. During his childhood, Josh learned piano, guitar, bass and vocals. He took boxing lessons, became a 2nd degree black belt in Hapkido, and earned a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo. Josh also played in the little league and won a city championship.

“We supported a lot of his hobbies and tried to feed everything he was… and the one that stuck was the drums,” said Jim Berryman, Josh’s dad.

Berryman said he bought Josh, then 7, a “cheap little drum set” to play on and paid for lessons from a lady on the street who was a professional drummer. However, when the family moved, their new home came with challenges.

“It was too strong,” Josh said. “I received complaints in the first few minutes. “

So Josh stopped playing the drums. During two years.

Then, two years ago, Josh’s family returned to South Korea and the passion rekindled. The family still had a battery and decided to put it on the third floor of their house, which they soundproofed.

“We put it in place and I started playing and I was really bad,” Josh said with a laugh. “I had forgotten everything I had learned, but I was still having fun with it. I was playing maybe 30-40 minutes a day, at most an hour. But I listened to music and played it. It might have sounded pretty terrible, but that’s what made me better.

As Josh grew more motivated, his father made a deal to him: in exchange for good grades and regular practice on the drums, Berryman would buy Josh a new drum kit.

“I was really happy to do it,” said Berryman, who works in the office of information management or at US Army Garrison Humphreys. “It helped him do better in school and made him a better drummer.”

A year ago Josh got his new drums and started a new lifestyle. He began performing with the worship team at the Agape worship service at Camp Humphreys, developing the skills to perform not only with a recording but with other people.

“It wasn’t just a hobby or something fun to do after school anymore,” Josh said.




Josh Berryman, 15, plays the drums during the Agape Praise Team rehearsal at the Four Chaplains Memorial Chapel in Camp Humphreys, South Korea, September 23.  Josh started playing with the Praise Team in 2020 (U.S. Army photo by Monica K. Guthrie)








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Josh Berryman, 15, plays the drums during the Agape Praise Team rehearsal at the Four Chaplains Memorial Chapel in Camp Humphreys, South Korea, September 23. Josh started playing with the Praise Team in 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Monica K. Guthrie)
(Photo credit: US Army)


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Josh Berryman, 15, plays the drums during rehearsals for the Agape Praise Team at the Four Chaplains Memorial Chapel at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, September 23.  Josh started playing with the Praise Team in 2020 (U.S. Army photo by Monica K. Guthrie)








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Josh Berryman, 15, plays the drums during the Agape Praise Team rehearsal at the Four Chaplains Memorial Chapel in Camp Humphreys, South Korea, September 23. Josh started playing with the Praise Team in 2020 (U.S. Army photo by Monica K. Guthrie)
(Photo credit: US Army)


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A STAR IS BORN

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation sponsored a “Kids in the Military Have Talent” competition designed to provide children of military service members a virtual stage to share their skills and talents and to give audiences across the country a chance to celebrate them. . The prize to be won was a trip for four to Orlando, Florida. Josh submitted a video of himself playing the drums on The Script’s “Hall of Fame” song. He was the only international entry and in September he learned he had won in his age group.

“Joshua played the drums with such precision, but in a natural and free manner,” said Lauryn Cantrell, communications coordinator at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. “He kept a solid tempo, allowing his personality to show through his playing while showing that he takes the drums seriously and trains hard. It takes precision, hand-eye coordination and multitasking to make playing a musical instrument seem effortless. “

A month before the “Military Kids Have Talent” competition, Josh entered another competition: the Seoul Drum Festival. Her mother, Hana Berryman, saw the ad on social media; however, the competition stipulated that entrants had to be Korean citizens. Not to be put off, Hana reached out to the organizers who then sought the advice of the Drum Festival officials to allow Josh to compete. Josh submitted an audition video and was invited to Seoul to perform live with two other finalists in his age range.




Josh Berryman (front right), 15, receives an award on May 29 for being a finalist at the Seoul Drum Festival.  (Courtesy photo)



Josh Berryman (front right), 15, receives an award on May 29 for being a finalist at the Seoul Drum Festival. (Courtesy photo)
(Photo credit: US Army)


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“It was a little overwhelming,” Josh said. “Before I started playing the drums I wasn’t really competitive… and now to be recognized for something I really love to do is almost like something surreal.”

To top it off, a Korean entertainment company approached Josh and offered him a contract.

“They spotted me at the Seoul Drum Festival, and I did stuff with them, and I signed a contract,” Josh said. “It’s like training. They want to make a group of me and other children.

NEW RHYTHM

Josh attended Humphreys High School for the 2020-2021 school year, but has opted for home schooling this year, which allows him to focus on drums. He makes an average of three trips to Seoul each week for work. He manages his school work by studying on the train during work days.

“I actually like to study – especially math,” Josh said. “So when I find the time, I’ll study.” Yes, my mom yells at me when I’m not doing my job, but that’s pretty normal. But I’m trying to motivate myself now.

On days Josh is at home, he starts his school day at 9 a.m. and works classes until 3 p.m.

Josh said he hopes to capitalize on the opportunities he has now. Although being a child in the military was difficult, he added that he was grateful for what life gave him.

“I think (being a military kid) gets me through things because I’m used to having to go through the move and make new friends,” Josh said. “It has certainly been difficult. It’s definitely hard having to make friends every few years … you can’t really make close friendships with anyone, but it also gave me the opportunity to do things like that. . If I stayed in the United States, this would never have happened.

Josh’s parents say that while he’s busy, they think he’s happy. They also say that they believe in the passion of children and they hope Josh can make his dreams come true.

“He wants to move on and play in front of big groups of people and that’s what I hope for him – that he can make a living out of something he loves,” Berryman said. “And if that doesn’t work, he can become a NASCAR driver.”


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