It’s a tune many of us know and can’t help but love. Put any amateur in a room with a piano, and the bouncy melody of Heart and Soul is sure to fill the space. In fact, I’m pretty sure I heard it drifting out of my grandparents’ piano room during this year’s holiday festivities. Even if you don’t tickle the ivories very often, there’s a good chance you’ve rattled out a round of Heart and Soul with a friend by your side. But as infectious as the tune can be for people, the same can apparently be said for chickens.
Jogku of the Flockstars is no amateur, though. The 2-year-old, piano-playing Buff Brahma from Germantown, Maryland, who plays the melody line of Heart and Soul on the keyboard while a human friend plays bass, is a YouTube and prime-time sensation. She first made it big in 2017 with her viral hit, The Star Spangled Banner, and then later appeared on America’s Got Talent, where she got a standing ovation from judge Simon Cowell—no small feat.
I’m sure when composer Hoagy Carmichael and lyricist Frank Loesser released Heart and Soul in 1938, they had no idea that a chicken would eventually play their little ditty. But then again, who would have guessed the backyard chicken-keeping trend would become what it is?
Jogku is the muse of Two Creative Chicks, aka Shannon Meyers and Seiree Arii. “Advocates of fowl play,” the co-coop owners used clicker training, a gentle reinforcement-based training strategy, to help get the chicken’s pianist skills up to par. While it’s no Suzuki Method—I mean, Jogku’s rhythm is a tad off—it seems to have been just the thing to propel her musical career into stardom.
Backing up Jogku on the keys is her band, The Flockstars—with Spaetzl, an Appenzeller Spitzhauben, on drums and Millie, a Mille Fleur D’uccle, on the xylophone. If you can’t get enough of them on YouTube, don’t worry, their services are for hire for weddings, birthdays, new year’s parties and more. But get on their calendar quickly—Jogku in all her celebrity has a whole lineup of events taking place across the country this year.