TaRiesha “Riesha” Fayson, professional drummer and 2014 Hit Like A Girl contest champion, began her love affair with music and playing drums at an early age. The Washington, D.C. native started playing by ear, and by the age of 10 was playing regularly at her church after they solicited the need for a drummer. Riesha credits her mother with giving her first drum lesson, telling her to “keep the beat like you’re clapping your hands and stomping your feet.” With that simple, yet essential drumming advice, Riesha’s natural talent combined with a plethora of Gospel, Pop, R&B, and Jazz artists including Aaron Spears, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, Cora Coleman and Chris Coleman helped to influence and hone her skills.
Riesha played in her high school band at Potomac High School in Oxon Hill, MD from 2001 – 2005. She also joined the pep and marching bands, which allowed access to a variety of instruments. She took full advantage by learning to play the trumpet, trombone and baritone, of which she spent the most time playing the trombone while in the marching band. Although Riesha’s first love is playing drums, she’s also dabbled with playing bass guitar, the keyboard, and organ from exposure to other musicians in the church and bands with whom she performs.
In early 2014, Riesha entered the Hit Like A Girl global drumming contest for female drummers. “I’d been following the contest from the beginning but, didn’t think I was good enough to be considered with such talented drummers.” It was during an impromptu jam session that Riesha’s cousin recorded the life-changing moment using his mobile phone and secretly submitted the video to the contest without Riesha’s knowledge. She is still in disbelief as she recalls the moment when she received the call telling her she’d won!
Since winning the 2014 Hit Like A Girl contest, the prestigious honor has opened countless doors for the talented artist, including performing at the annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), a 3-month residency with Carlton J. Smith at the legendary House of Blues and Jazz in Shanghai, China, and endorsements. Her talents have been showcased in PASIC, Girls Rock D.C. Summer Camp, Hip Hop Soul Fest, Drum Like a Lady, and the 2012 Hot Lick Guitar Drum Shop events to name a few.
Riesha's diverse talent extends across a variety of genres which have afforded her tremendous opportunities to perform and collaborate with an impressive list of artists and bands including, but not limited to Daughters of Zion, Bye Felicia Rocks, No Last Call Band, Dreams Unleased Band (led by Kim Jordan), Band of Roses, Sir Nose (from Parliament Funkadelics), Lisa Page Brooks, Beverly Crawford, Stoney Ellis and a host of churches and choirs in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Riesha has recorded on projects with Nia Simmons and Iris Lewis. She is currently endorsed by Trx Cymbals and M2custom Drums.
Although Riesha may not have become a drummer or entered a drum contest in the most conventional way, it has only intensified her musical journey. She aspires to continue her education, become a music educator, tour with a band, and organize a group that mentors female musicians. Riesha shares, “Growing up in a family of eight, there wasn’t a lot of money for music lessons or to buy equipment, not even drumsticks. But, I never allowed that to stop me from finding other ways to improve my drumming skills. My advice to all musicians, especially female musicians, is to dream big! Don’t limit yourself and don’t let anyone else limit you.”
The Hit Like A Girl 2014 contest winner, Riesha Fayson of the U.S., is a gospel powerhouse whose church-inspired chops gave her the championship.
Riesha was a featured artist
in Sounds of Resonance
documentary, airing in 2015.
Accepting emails with a reference track (mp3 format), with and/or without drums and a set of instructions stating what you would like "feel-wise", "form-wise", etc.
Drum lessons are to students that have invested in equipment and are seeking to learn. Flexible scheduling and pricing options are available. Contact for details.
Locates and hires local musicians/bands for specific events. Contact for details.
Panel and motivational speaking for college undergraduates, grade schools, conferences, and other engagements.
Travels and works for hire on various projects, concerts, and more.
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2014 Hit like a girl champion Riesha Fayson and 2015 Champion Lindsay Artkop performed together for the 2018 hit like a girl Awards show. Video was recorded at drum channel.
HIT LIKE A GIRL CHAMPION 2014 @Riesha Fayson covering Bruno Mars Uptown funk. I proudly endorse TRX cymbals
Now a full-time professional drummer, Fayson is endorsed by David Levine’s TRX Cymbals, as well as by M2 Custom Drums. “I’m being exposed a lot lately,” she says. “I’m staying pretty busy.” She plays constantly; personal performance highlights include the Derby City Jazz Festival at the site of the Kentucky Derby and shows with guitarist Ariel O’Neal, who’s played in Beyoncé’s live band.
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