He started by banging on bowls and tables at the early age of 3, but now, a young Minnesota boy is wowing crowds with his virtuosic drumming skills and studying the art with a man who usually teaches adults.
Nationwide, crowds of thousands have gathered to see 7-year-old Ky Ngo -- especially in states with large Vietnamese audiences, like California and Texas. He's also got a local following in the Twin Cities, and some wonder whether the little drummer boy could be the next big thing.
When listening to the way Ngo plays his set of drums with power and control, he sounds like a seasoned veteran -- but at the tender age of 7, he's being dubbed a percussion prodigy.
His father, Phong Ngo, asked him to drum with his eyes closed when Fox 9 came to visit the pint-sized percussionist. As a showman who has already performed in front of thousands alongside some of the top Vietnamese musical acts in the U.S., he didn't hesitate to give a percussive performance. In fact, Ky Ngo says he never gets nervous or scared.
"I can't explain it," he said.
According to his father, his son showed a natural ability at an early age.
"When he was 2 years old, he just took the spoon and the chopsticks," Phong Ngo said. "He knocked on the floor and the table."
At first, Tram Ngo, the boy's mother, admitted she was a little upset -- even yelled at the boy for breaking their chopsticks and bowls; however, when she realized the boy enjoyed his drumming, she said "okay."
Yet, the road to success was not a smooth one. By the time Ky Ngo turned 3, his father said no one would agree to give him drum lessons because he was just too young. So, the family improvised.
"I go to the YouTube, and start at the YouTube drum lesson," Phong Ngo.
After endless hours of YouTube drum tutorials studied under the watchful eye of his doting father, Ky Ngo started to experiment and learn about different genres of music -- including jazz, rock, and funk. Soon, his skills and passion for drumming kept growing.
There's no record deal or no agent in Ky Ngo's life yet. For now, he volunteers his talents to anyone who is interested -- even offering a quick lesson to a curious Fox 9 reporter. Although others certainly see that Ky Ngo possesses a special gift, his father and the rest of his family are just trying to enjoy the moment before their little drummer boy grows up.
"I'm just happy for now, but in the future, we won't know anything," Phong Ngo said with a laugh.
Just last year, Ky Ngo finally met with a drum teacher at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul who was willing to take the boy under his wing. Now, he's drumming and also singing with the Metropolitan Boy's Choir, and is scheduled to perform at the Mall of America later this month.
MORE: Ky Ngo on YouTube