Kristina Rybalchenko is a Russian drummer who was born in Khabarovsk, on the 28th of August 1997. She studied the Xylophone and, at age 14, started playing the drums. She gigged with popular local cover bands and gained a reputation for her skill.
On 6 May 2012, Rybalchenko uploaded her first drumming video to YouTube, Linkin Park’s Given Up. In 2017, she moved to St Petersburg, where continued to post videos of herself drumming to classic rock and metal tracks. Below is her most popular YouTube video to date, a drum cover of System of a Down’s “Toxicity”.
Poignantly, given the extent to which Lemmy was beloved and is now missed, The Fabulator comments: “Great job. I worked with the band in the 80s and I reckon they would have loved this.” No doubt about it, Kristina Rybalchenko knows her way around a drum kit. With her skill and her popularity on social media (she has 759K youtube followers; not bad for a “play-along” drummer), she gradually started getting sponsored by drum-kit-related companies including Remo drumheads, GEWA, and Meinl Cymbals.
Meinl even manufactures Kristina Rybalchenko Signature Hickory Drumsticks – “the essential drumstick for solid hits at rapid speed. A larger 5B size with a thicker 0.595-inch diameter ensures this stick won’t break due to aggressive play, all while developing a snappy response with an extra length of 1/2 inch”. So she’s fast, capable of giving the skins a good whack, and has the technical chops to get sponsored. These qualities are evident in this more recent cover posted on 10 March 2023, this is a rocking Motorhead tribute.
In December 2022, the online drum lesson portal Drumeo announced the nominees for it’s various drummer of the year categories that included Drummer of the Year, Rock Drummer of the Year, Metal Drummer of the Year, Country Drummer of the Year – you get the pattern. Kristina Rybalchenko was nominated for Instagram Drummer of the Year. This nomination led Rybalchenko to release an appeal for help from her followers. She asked for support not least because, “as you may know, I’m working on getting a talent visa to the USA and winning this award can help me a lot”.
The Drumeo Awards ceremony was live-streamed on 27 January 2023. “Drum Performance of the Year” went to Shane Hawkins for his playing in Foo Fighters tribute shows in London and Los Angeles for his late father, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. The Best Instagram Drummer of the Year award went to Kristina Rybalchenko. One can only hope that the award helps Kristina get her visa!
In an article published after Kristina Rybalchenko won a Drumeo award, Virmedius quipped: “It’s sort of ironic, although Kristina doesn’t have a band of her own, she has a bigger following than the drummers of the bands she is covering! I guess that’s the power of social media! If you would like to see more from Kristina Rybalchenko, you can subscribe to her YouTube channel or follow her on Instagram.