Tell us Stan about your general background
I am 31 from Hull, Yorkshire UK. I played football growing up and loved to travel in my early twenties. When I was young I was a PlayStation junkie. I loved geeking out on fantasy video games and fantasy films (still a HUGE Skyrim fan). Over the last 6-7 years, my concentration has been 100% solely music focused.
Tell us about your ukulele background
I have been playing guitars since I was 12 years old. Same old story, a battered up acoustic guitar in the house that drew me in. By this point, I was already an avid rock music fan. I would binge out on live VHS tapes of Guns N Roses and Queen. Of course, when I saw that acoustic guitar, I had visions of me recreating the wild sounds of Slash and Brian May.
Life happened and music became something I did when I had time. It wasn’t until I starting hanging out with some mates who I hadn’t seen in a while that the guitar came to the forefront again. We would jam, while having a drink or two, with whatever we could find. We had guitars, bongos, laptops and it was all groovy. Things started to get serious and we needed to take some promo photos. Our idea was to gather as many instruments as we could and immerse ourselves in them. I borrowed this cheap bright blue ukulele from a family member. It sounded terrible but looked great in the photos. I had no intention of playing it as it was constantly going out of tune. It wasn’t until one of the band members wrote a song and it fitted the ukulele so perfectly. From that point onwards, I was the ukulele player in Bud Sugar.
I wanted to improve my ukulele ability and I figured the best way would be to put myself at the mercy of the internet. So I started uploading uke related content on my own. Thus, EatMyUke was born.
What are your musical influences
As a Guitar player originally- I grew up listening to guitar music. I’m talking Guns N Roses, Iron Maiden, Metallica, AC/DC, Linkin Park, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Roses, Oasis. Anything that’s built around guitar licks and riffs.
At this point in life though, I listen to anything. I am a massive Hip-Hop and Grime fan. Indie, Dance, Folk –ALL it. If you scroll through my playlist on Spotify you will find music from all around the world. I am listening to music all the time. I put music on before I put toothpaste on my toothbrush, before I wash my face I think about what song to listen too.
What is your story so far
The first-ever video I ever put up as EatMyUke was a version of JME – Serious. Its a well known Grime instrumental. I was lucky in that JME himself saw it and gave it a retweet. That gave me a huge boost in motivation and confidence which led me to carry on uploading.
After 10 or 15 of them style videos I moved onto a new project. My top 50 albums of all time on the ukulele. I started arranging them into 5-minute medleys and they went down a treat on the channel. That was a good sign for me as it showed it was a series that people are interested in. At this point, I have arranged 160 albums on the uke.
What was your first song your learned to play and your favourite song to play
Honestly, I can’t remember. Haha – the first song I learnt on the guitar is the most obvious one ever, Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple. There’s a very strong chance I played that on the ukulele too.
Are you affiliated with any Ukulele brands?
During the 50 albums project – I got an email from Kala Brand Music. They liked what I was doing- and wondered if I would be interested in starting an artist relationship- I was thinking- what the heck is that?!
They went on to explain they support artists who use their instruments- and I thought to myself, are you kidding me? I would LOVE that.
The great thing about Kala is they have a genuine desire to help artists with their musical endeavors. What makes Kala extra special for me is that I used their Uke’s before they got in touch. So to have them knocking at the door was a really sick moment for me.
What key advice can you give to new Uke players
The best advice I can give to someone who wants to become a better player would be to aim high. Raise the bar as much as you can. Don’t settle for the basic songs (no offence to these songs ie Riptide/Somewhere Over The Rainbow) but it is a trap beginner Uke players fall into. They learn a few chords and strum patterns and they think they have nailed it. Of course, for a lot of people, that’s all they desire from the uke, which is fine. But if you want to be flying up and down the fretboard, you better pull those socks up bro!
If you are struggling keep up practising – make an effort to walk up to your Uke and touch it every day. Even by putting your hand on it, a goal was achieved. The chances of you staying for a while longer to practise are much higher.
What are your plans for 2021.
I have a super special project that I have been putting pen to paper on for a few months now. It’s a start to finish ukulele course with somewhat of a twist. I’m keeping it very close to my chest so I can’t reveal too much right now but I am hoping to release it in the summer of 2021.
Besides that, my aim is always the same each year. Explore the world of music with my little four-stringed friend.