The BIGGER Picture….

I set up the Original Ukulele Songs platform almost exactly two years ago to explore the interest in artists creating original music. This was always to be part of a much bigger project and not limited alone to any one instrument.

Much as I love the ukulele as an instrument, I am increasingly aware that the image of the ukulele in the public domain is not always a positive one and it many instances can be quite the opposite. In the last two years I have come to realise that there are many superb artists who are invested in creating original material. There are also many who see the ukulele as more of a focus for social meet ups and that of course is totally valid but quite different.

Many who play the ukulele love mass strumming, sing alongs, uke festivals and all such activities. There’s a genuine demand for all of these activities, but the focus is not really on the creation and delivery of music. While many have embraced the OUS platform, there are understandably those who prefer to play cover versions of existing well known previously recorded material. Most ukulele festivals prefer to book artists who play cover versions and there’s very limited opportunities for the public to hear anything new. I fully appreciate the commercial considerations in shifting tickets for such events, but remain surprised at what I see to be a really missed opportunity in reaching a wider audience. There’s an enthusiasm simply for the instrument itself which inevitably is not shared by a wider public. I even hear the term “non ukers” used by people suggesting very much an “us and them” scenario. This is fine, BUT lets remember that the appeal will only ever be to a relatively small market…

My interest is to take what I have found in the OUS experiment and create something much bigger that maintains the focus on quality of material. This is never going to be for everyone, but  am delighted to discover I am not the only person with such an aspiration. In 2018 and 2019 I’ll be rolling out a much bigger platform that explores bring the very best music to a much wider audience. In the meantime special thanks to everyone who continues to support the OUS platform and makes this such a great place to visit, whether on FB or here on this site.

4 Responses to The BIGGER Picture….

  1. Sean Hunt 20th November 2017 at 3:09 pm #

    I agree with the ‘Bigger Picture’ I think the drama between the Uke and Non-Uke world (mainly guitarists) is symptomatic of the ‘Bigger Picture’ on earth, our global suffering; us/them north/south black/white. There are other original music sites which I have visited but they seem to have a different focus, a different style from OUS. Maybe OUS can continue side by side with an OS (Original Songs) sister site that is not ukulele exclusive. Perhaps some of the multi-instrumentalist players on OUS can contribute some original songs occasionally integrating other instruments and instrumentalists to encourage this? We have bass percussion; why not piano, guitar,etc.

    • nick cody 20th November 2017 at 3:30 pm #

      OUS isn’t going anywhere!

      The BIGGER project is to expand what we have already learned beyond just the uke. Its all good and all POSITIVE

  2. Jon Rissik 20th November 2017 at 3:09 pm #

    Hi Nick. Like you I believe that the focus must be around writing and performing great music. It’s interesting if there is a unifying umbrella for the music – in this case the ukulele – but only in the sense that it might help to bring the music to an appreciative audience. If this becomes a limiting factor (as you suggest) then I would advocate de-emphasizing it. Regarding covers, I don’t have quite the same aversion that you do. If used selectively, and if the artist can bring something unique to them, I believe they can be used effectively to round out a set. But hey, if we agreed on everything life would be pretty dull!

    I am (and have been for the past 12 months) a huge supporter of OUS. Long may it continue to inspire and promote new talent!

    • nick cody 20th November 2017 at 3:29 pm #

      OUS will continue and many thanks fro your support. I don’t have an aversion to covers of course but maintain a stance simply for the OUS platform. Ultimately its about promoting quality music that connects with a wider audience.

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