In case you haven’t noticed, the ukulele (pronounced either yoo-koo-lay-lay or oo-koo-leh-leh) has made a big comeback in the music scene. What was once regarded as a highbrow musical instrument is now being enjoyed by this generation’s wave of younger music enthusiasts all over the world. The flexibility the ukulele brings makes it a go-to instrument of learning for aspiring musicians. This instrument, its name roughly translating in Hawaiian language as “jumping flea” (possibly in reference to the swift movements of one’s fingers on the small fret board), also found mainstream popularity thanks to artists who use it for their music and live performances. Some of these artists include Colbie Caillat, Eddie Vedder, Jason Mraz, Zooey Deschanel, Ryan Gosling, and Taylor Swift–with some of them using ukulele as their primary instrument. Yes, even Ryan Gosling.
Filipinos have also welcomed the use of ukulele locally, the plinking sound of the instrument fitting right smack into our tropical scenery. We’re now seeing waves of ukulele festivals and organizations being setup left and right to further promote the use of this instrument. And it is within this sea of ukulele enthusiasts that we’ve found one who’s really worthy of a feature here on INQPOP!
Allow Youtube user paoixgumba to blow your minds away with his own ukulele rendition of Chala Head Chala, the theme song of Dragon Ball Z:
User paoixgumba—Roel Gumba IRL—is a 27-year-old ukulele player whose real life job actually involves (tada!) teaching others how to play the ukulele! Youtube was instrumental in getting him hooked to this hobby. “I saw videos of Hawaiians playing instrumental on ukulele and that inspired me to start playing one,” Roel notes. A self-taught ukulelist, he now goes to Thailand once in a while to perform in the Thailand Ukulele Festival. He has covered a number of artists in his channel, including Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, and Madonna. He credits Jake Shimabukuro as his ukulele idol.
Check out more of his ukulele plays here: https://www.youtube.com/user/paoixgumba