(CNN) — On Tuesday, a 9-year-old girl set up her drum kit outside the Foo Fighters hotel in Paraguay, hoping to impress the band. Surrounded by other cheering fans, her skills soon caught the attention of Taylor Hawkins, who went to see the young drummer.
Emma Sofia was the lucky follower who had the opportunity to meet Hawkins just three days before his death.
She has been playing drums for about two years, her father, Julio Peralta, told CNN on Saturday. “She was inspired to play drums by her uncle, who is a drummer and a huge fan of the Foo Fighters,” Peralta said.
On March 22, Emma and her parents had tickets to the Festival Asunciónico, a music festival in Asunción, Paraguay. Artists and bands like the Foo Fighters, Machine Gun Kelly and Miley Cyrus were ready to perform.
The festival was canceled due to severe weather, but that didn’t stop Emma from trying to get the attention of the Foo Fighters.
A friend told the family where the band was staying, so they packed up Emma’s drum kit and headed to the hotel, Peralta said. When they arrived, fans were already lined up outside hoping to catch a glimpse of the band.
Emma set up her equipment and played for about 30 minutes, her father said, performing songs from Foo Fighters and Nirvana as the crowd cheered her on.
Thanks to the impressive percussion and enthusiastic fans, Hawkins heard the commotion and went downstairs to meet the young drummer. He first addressed the crowd and apologized for canceling the festival, Peralta said, then sought out Emma.
Supporters pulled her out of the crowd and crossed the barrier to meet Hawkins for a photo together.
Emma was in shock and speechless, her father said. “She said that day was about to be the worst day of her life and all of a sudden it became the best day of her life,” Peralta added.
On Friday night, when the news of Hawkins’ death broke, Emma was playing at a local restaurant.
Her parents told her the next day that he had died and, like many other fans of the band, she was very upset.
In a post on Emma’s Instagram, the family wrote, “We will remember him for his charisma and the beautiful gesture he had with Emma. Taylor gave us something to believe in. He was, is and always will be an inspiration.”