By Jenifer Ruano for Tom Tom Magazine
At only 13 years old, Gina “G” Osmar has left well-respected musicians and producers wanting more and asking her to contribute to their albums. She has played more than 300 live shows and has been asked to be a session drummer for well-known country artists. She’s also an artist endorser for Soultone Cymbals. Gina has emerged as young talent and has caught our eye here at Tom Tom. Don’t let her age fool you. This girl rocks!
Name: Gina “G” Osmar
Hometown: Georgetown, TX
Past Projects: Robbie Bever
Current Projects: Banana Nightmare
Favorite Movie: “Signs” with Mel Gibson
Drum Set Up: Pearl Masters Kit in Birdseye Maple. I have a 7″x8″, 7″x10″, 8″x12″, 12″x14″ & 14″x16″ rack toms; a 18″x20″ kick; my main snare is a 13″ -20 ply Pearl Reference snare in Maple and a 6″x10″ Pearl Popcorn snare also in maple. All my hardware is Pearl. My cymbals are Soultone. A lot of my cymbals are prototypes from Soultone. All of my microphone stands are ProLine and all of my microphones are Audix. I also have a “Kelly SHU” installed inside of my kick drum. My Pedels are Pearl Double Demon Eliminator. And my Throne is Pearl with memory foam seat.
Tom Tom Magazine: At the young age of 12 years old, a lot of well-respected musicians and producers are singing your praises. How have you managed to achieve your level of success at such an early age?
Gina “G” Osmar: I was just blessed with doing what I love and being at the right place at the right time, I guess? It really came as a surprise! My dad just recorded videos of me playing at various churches and I guess the right people saw it that liked my work.? Who Is It Records in Nashville heard me do a song, “Lonely Night in Georgia” which was a ½ time shuffle. All of a sudden I was getting friend requests on Facebook from people I didn’t even know and a lot of comments on that video. Next thing I knew, I was recording at Tombstone Studios in Nashville!
We read that you are mainly a self-taught drummer and that you got your first drum kit at age 6. Tell us about how you developed your skills early on? How has your drum kit expanded to what it is today?
My dad brought home coffee cans from his restaurant when I was 3. I would just put them on the floor with some lids up for toms and some steel bottoms up for cymbals. I just started keeping a rhythm! My dad first showed me how to do 4/4 time to the song Bad Company. Then I just started playing along to Bad Company, Joe Satriani and others. When I was 6, I got my first real kit for Christmas, a Tama Swingstar. I could hardly see over it but it sounded great! I was invited to play on stage with the youth band at our church after their rehearsal. I played from memory, the last song that they rehearsed and I was asked right there to join the church youth band. I was 7 at the time. I have been on stage playing live onstage with adults ever since then. I’ve now played over 400 live performances. Then, in 2011, I was signed to Soultone Cymbals after they saw my videos and in 2012, I was signed to Pearl Drums and Hardware. My current kit is an 6 piece Pearl Masters kit in Birdseye Maple with toms in 8”, 10”, 12” 14” 16” that are all rack mounted and an 18”x20” kick and 2 snares; a 13”x6” Reference Series 20 ply and a 10”x6” Maple Popcorn. I have 15 Soultone Cymbals and 2 sets of their hi-hats.
That’s amazing! And you were recently asked by Soultone Cymbals to be an artist endorser. How did that opportunity work itself out?
Soultone called one day in 2011 and said they saw some of my videos and liked my work. They offered me to be an artist endorser. I had not played their cymbals before. My dad took me to a local store in Austin, “Music Lab” that was carrying their cymbals and they had a kit set up. I loved them from the minute I played them! Most of my cymbals are from their “Extreme” Series.
You attended NAMM 2013. What was your experience like there and what type of activities were you involved in?
Wow! That was cool! I was invited out by Soultone Cymbals and couldn’t believe how huge this NAMM Show was! I don’t think that I saw 25% of it! I met a lot of great musicians like Will Calhoun, Virgil Donati, Michael Cartelleone, Mike Johnston and Mike Mangini. I met Mike Mangini the year before at a Dream Theater concert but, he’s really cool! Mike Farriss, Director of Artist Relations for Pearl was really cool. He took me all over and introduced me to everyone. This was the first time that I met Mr. Farriss since I was signed. I was also recently signed by Audix Microphones and got to meet the whole team including Cliff Castle, VP of Sales who actually gave me an artist endorsement as well. I hope to go back next year because there was just so much to see!
And are your parents or any siblings musicians as well?
My dad actually started on drums. He said he played from age 5-15 and then switched to guitar. He has been playing guitar since then, which is a long time!
What other musicians do you draw influence from?
Mike Johnston, Darren King from Mutemath, Mike Mangini from Dream Theater.
So is playing drums a hobby for now, or do you see it as a long-term career?
I told my parents about 2 years ago that I would like to play session drums and tour for a living.
Tell us about your regimen. Do you practice daily? What do you do to stay fit at the kit?
Sometimes I just don’t get on the kit for a day and sometimes I go in my studio 2 or 3 times for an hour or more. Sometimes I just feel like playing “A Random Beat”, (I call it) but, most of the time I’m rehearsing songs that I’m going to play that weekend at church or wherever I’m playing and that helps me develop skills to perform on stage with the band. I do take lessons for reading and technique with Tony Miller from Austin Drum Lab and some online lessons with Mike Johnston.
And I am sure as busy as you are; you still want to be a kid! What other fun things do you do?
I love Sports! I wish I could get on a football team! I play basketball, baseball, football, run track. I also taught myself to play piano and I want to start to play bass as well so that I can record all of my own music. I also love to just hang with my friends. But right now, I’d like to be a touring and continue as a session drummer. I still have a lot of time!