“This is like an intro to something Metallica wrote in the 1980s”: 11-year-old guitar hero breaks the internet with his original metal riffs – performed in front of his fellow fifth-graders

Cole Parsons playing a Jackson electric guitar at his school
(Image credit: Nici Parsons/Instagram)

Cole Parsons, an 11-year-old guitarist from West Virginia, has become an internet sensation after a performance of his original song, played at a school talent show, went viral.

It all started when his mother, Nici, posted a video of his school performance online, racking up millions of views – and words of encouragement from some notable musicians – across TikTok and Instagram.

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.