New web design, new features : quite a few readers expressed their wish to read interviews of ukulele players from around the world. This sounded like a great idea so I’ve sent a few email to see if I would get any responses. I was very pleased to see that I did.
Soffia from Iceland is the first ukulele player to have answered my questions.
U&L : why did you choose to play the ukulele ?
Soffia : I got my ukulele as a birthday present from my sister last year and it was a total surprise. You see, I’d been playing the guitar for a couple of years and even though I was very interested in the ukulele (because of Julia Nunes’s awesome uke tunes) I just hadn’t taken the leap to actually buy one. My sister definitely read my mind better than I did.
U&L: how long have you been playing ?
Soffia : Since early september last year, so, almost a year.
U&L : do you play any other musical instrument?
Soffia : I started out on the clarinet some time ago, but wasn’t exactly a “successful” player. Then I got an acoustic guitar for my 13th birthday and that’s how I really got into the whole music scene.
U&L : Are there many ukulele players in Iceland that you know of ?
Soffia : No, not really, although I’ve heard a total of two or three recent Icelandic pop songs that feature the ukulele, so I think we might be getting into it. The public still isn’t even sure what it’s called and most of my friends didn’t even recognize the name!
U&L : You mention in your YouTube channel that you live in the UK. Is that where you learnt to play the uke ?
Soffia : Well, yes and no. I’m self-taught on the uke, so I pick up things in different places. You see, I have to travel with an instrument whenever I go somewhere for a week or longer (otherwise I’m afraid I’d have a bit of a “The Shining” effect) and the uke is perfect for travel. For example, I experimented with my uke in Iceland when I wrote Íslenskt Sumar, which is why I don’t know all the real names for the chords. I just do what sounds good.
U&L : what size/brand ukulele are you playing ? Is it easy to buy a ukulele in Iceland ?
Soffia : I have one ukulele, it’s a Kiwaya KS-1… I’m not entirely sure what that means, all I know is that it’s a ukulele and that’s all I need to know. I’m not even sure if you can buy a ukulele in Iceland – I got mine in this cute little shop in east London called The Duke of Uke. It’s really lovely and just off of Brick Lane, so you get the whole east London feel.
Here is an original Icelandic ukulele song by Soffia. It is called Íslenskt Sumar (Icelandic Summer)
Soffia has also entered the Coffee Coffee contest on Ukulele Underground with this original song called Coffee Machine :
If you’ve enjoyed Soffia‘s song, you can subscribe to her YouTube channel
Many thanks to Soffia for accepting to answer my questions !