Interested in finding out how he came to starting both a ukulele blog and a shop in the land of the cavaquinho, I asked him for his story and he was kind enough to satisfy my curiosity. Here it is :
I have been playing the guitar since I was 13 (I’m 31 now). This year I became a father of a beautiful baby girl in June so I could not go on summer vacation. Then I decided to start playing a new instrument. I wanted an electric bass but that was too big and too noisy to play at home with a baby sleeping (and too expensive also).
So I decided to buy an ukulele because it sounds nice to sing with (on YouTube videos), was cheap and it seems very easy to play. I also bought a melodica but I fell in love with the ukulele. My first ukulele came from Germany because at that time there was no Portuguese shop selling ukuleles.
I became addicted to the ukulele but mine was of very bad quality, so I needed a better ukulele. Big problem! No ukuleles in Portugal, and buying it in another country was very expensive and brand limited. I decided to start contacting some ukulele manufacturers and open my own ukulele specialized on-line shop.
The ukulele movement in Portugal is at its very beginning, because when people see a ukulele they say “Oh, what a lovely cavaquinho!” that is our traditional instrument (father of the ukulele but with different sound and tunning).
This is pretty much my story at this moment. I hope the ukulele movement grows in Portugal as it did everywhere in the world. By now I consider myself as a lonely ukulele pioneer in Portugal. Hope that changes pretty soon.
This is good news for Portuguese would-be ukulele players who will be able to buy decent ukuleles from Portugal. At the moment Ukefixe is selling the following ukulele brands : Kala, Kiwaya, Ko’olau/Pono and Risa.
For more information, check Ukefixe regularly and subscribe to Ukefixe’s YouTube channel where a few products are highlighted.
Best of luck to Adriano, I hope he will manage to make many ukulele converts in Portugal !