Kick Ass Ukulele
In the summer of 2009, I walked passed this music shop near my work which sells funny and colorful ukulele. I didn’t think to buy it then. But couple of days later, I suddenly thought about this ukulele and decided to buy it. It was around 20-25 pounds, I bought it online cause it was cheaper by couple of quid. This was one of the best buy I have ever made!
This ukulele is very social. Living in Kingston Upon Thames, My friends and I always go by the river in the summer and just drink and drink and drink, the whole day. And since then, I brought my ukulele with me. It was so cool that random people always come along and joined us singing and request some songs. Literally everyone, from little children to middle-aged people.
At first, I asked my friends to put their signature on the ukulele. But then it was too full and there was no more room. So I started to take photos of my friends holding the ukulele (I gave it a nick-name Kick Ass Ukulele). After a while, I realized that so many people from different nationalities have took photos with it. So I decided to continue and add the nationalities.
Yeah I know it would be so much better if I can travel the world bringing the kick ass ukulele to make videos, but I haven’t got the money to do that. So I just did the simpler option.
Around the World song and the recording
I wrote the song Around the World just for this project. My workmate who sits literally next to me, John Barlow, was kind enough to help me record the song. We used his home-studio for the recording. Thank you very much, John!
It was very quick, probably the recording was done in a couple of hours. John was keen on adding a bass-line and drum beats, but I was thinking of making the song a rather simple one. So he mixed his version, I mixed mine. And the next day, he spread the song to several workmates LOL.
My usual Taiwanese director, Roter Su, helped me again with this one. First we didn’t have a clue of how to go about making the video. How do we show those photos in an interesting way? We wanted to avoid sort of like just monotonous slide shows and all that. We thought about doing it with a video of someone opening a photo album, but then we decided to use this style, a board.
The singing was done at Regent’s Park, about 15 minute walk from where I live. And if you look closely, you can probably see my breath as it was filmed in the winter, around 0 degree… freezing.
You can download the song for free from my website, andryo.com. Here is the short-cut link to Download Andryo & Kick Ass Ukulele – Around the World MP3.
I realize that there are many projects that are more extra-ordinary than this one. But I just love diversity, and I was lucky enough to have lived in London where all cultures meet. Hope you enjoy the project.