While you may not recognize Tony Royster Jr. walking down the street, the same cannot be said if you log onto Youtube, because most videos featuring Royster have MILLIONS of views. Tony’ mother and father both play drums and he began playing at 3 years old. At the early age of eleven years, Tony won the Guitar Center National Drum-Off Competition against drummers two and three times his age.
Inspired by Buddy Rich and with Dennis Chambers as his mentor, Tony’s talents have afforded him the opportunity to zig-zag across the globe on tour with legendary rapper, Jay-Z. Royster reflected on his experience drumming for Jay-Z, “Seeing him everyday … The way he talks, looking at the way he lives and interacts with people is so inspiring because he wasn’t always rich or at the top. He’s very cool … V very humble and has taught me that it’s WHO you know in business. It’s cool seeing him hop off of a private plane and then do everyday things.”
Tony has played with Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Swizz Beatz, John Mayer, Sting, Bono (U2), T-Pain, Cold Play, Foo Fighters, T.I., Eminem and En Vogue among others His most memorable drumming moment to date is being invited to play at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration for Barack Obama with Jay-Z. “You can’t imagine the feeling I had playing for the first African-American President with an African-American RAPPER,” said Royster. Playing at Glastonbury with Jay-Z is another highlight of Tony’s career. Tony said, “There were over 100,000 people in attendance at this festival and it was so exciting for me to play and get shout outs from Jay when you can just look out and see an never-ending sea of people.”
Regularly invited to perform at prestigious events worldwide, Royster has played for the PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Modern Drummer Festival and the Florida Drum Expo. Voted #1 “Up & Coming Drummer” by Modern Drummer magazine’s reader’s poll, Tony has earned endorsements with companies such as DW Drums, Sabian, Vic Firth, and Shure.
Tony excels at Funk, R&B, Latin, Rock, and Jazz drum styles and is currently organizing his own band, sure to be a chart-topper!