I have therefore contacted Meylie Mellow and Rel-Bar to find out more about themselves and about the upcoming Uke Fest which will take place on the 17th/18th and 19th of June 2011 in the North-East of France, in the tiny village of Lerrain.
U&L: Meylie Mellow and Rel-Bar, what can you tell us to introduce yourselves ?
Meylie Mellow: I’m 25, I was born in the Vosges region where the festival will take place.
I’ve met Rel-Bar, my boyfriend, in Paris where I have moved because of my job as a web designer. During the day time I work for Le Figaro, the famous French newspaper and in the evening my skills come in handy for the FIUL!
Otherwise I’m an outgoing person, I like to welcome people and make them feel at home. I also have a great family sense.
Rel-Bar: I’m Aurélien aka Rel-Bar, 35 years old and born in Pau in South-western France.
I moved to Paris 6 years ago for my job and am now Business Consultant for a Danish software company.
Adeline aka Meylie Mellow and I met in a music store around a Martin ukulele and it was love at first sight… for the uke of course! ;o))
Otherwise I’m a retired skateboarder, been riding for over 20 years and I guess I’m an easy going person.
U&L: Can you tell us about your ukulele background, how you’ve discovered the ukulele, how long you have been playing and the style of music you are playing.?
Meylie Mellow: I discovered the ukulele 2 years ago. My brother bought me one for my birthday. I tried it out but I stuck to playing guitar until I went to Corsica for the summer vacation. Since I couldn’t bring my guitar along with me I took my uke. Gradually I played less and less guitar and more and more uke.
I have a tendency to play sad emotive country or folk songs.
Meylie Mellow performing Jimmy (Moriarty)
Rel-Bar: Back in the years I had tried out playing guitar but I couldn’t be bothered to play bar chords so I quit! 3 years ago I walked past a music store where a uke was on display. I thought I could probably handle bar chords on 4 strings so I bought it. Since then I have never let it down and bought many more! I love music so I play everything that sounds good to my ears!
U&L: Who are your favourite ukulele artists ?
Meylie Mellow: I like the fact that ukulele is a bit underground. Usually, I’m not interested by major music stars which I think lack of soul.
I can’t really say that I have favourite ukulele artists. I just love the uke’s musical & personality diversity, mostly when it’s without any kind of pretension thus the mellow in Meylie Mellow!
Rel-Bar: I consider every single uke player as an artist! Roy Smeck and George Formby have amazing skills, UOGB is really good but I can’t go without GUGUG, khillbillycaldera, unclejeff64, ukecrazybitches, …
Meylie Mellow and Rel-Bar covering an original song by UncleJeff64, Git off the road Mamaw
U&L: Could you describe the concept behind the FIUL festival ?
Meylie Mellow & Rel-Bar: The concept is quite simple, inspired by Mainland Mike‘s UWC (Ukulele World Congress), with our added “French Touch”.
The FIUL is a laid back international ukulele get-together where every single player will be welcomed and considered as a star no matter his/her level.
Our goal is to focus and to put into the light casual ukulele players thru our festival & website. On a daily basis, we update www.fiul.fr with contents sent to us by attending ukulelists: interv’ukes, pictures, songs…
U&L: Are there any ukulele players or bands booked for the festival ?
Meylie Mellow & Rel-Bar: We won’t have any “performers” but expect Gus & Fin to be the patrons of this first edition.
Every attending uke player will be considered as a performer and have access to our open mic stage. The list of players is available here. You can register to attend or play on our website or at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
U&L: Can you tell us about the workshops that are planned ?
Meylie Mellow & Rel-Bar: At the time being we expect to have two non-official workshops (to be confirmed): the first one will be a beginner’s workshop for kids or newbies, the second one would allow the players to record a song of their choice for us to put out a FIUL souvenir CD.
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