Find out why 16 year old Singer Songwriter Zoe Bestel is in love with her Ukulele…
Zoe Bestel is playing her first Ukulele Festival at the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival next weekend in Huddersfield and it is set to be an amazing weekend of Ukulele Fever….
When did you first pick up a ukulele and play?
I received a ukulele as a gift from a friend who sends me lots of unusual instruments and I thought it was cute but it sat in my room for a bit until the start of 2011 when I decided to have a play around and really enjoyed it. It was easy to pick up and after a short time I was coming up with my own melodies and ideas for songs.
What was the first song you learnt?
The first song I leant was ‘Hey Soul Sister’ by Train via a You Tube tutorial by Ukulele Mike. I sometimes still include it in my set and Mike recently connected with me on twitter and when I told him where I’d learnt my first song, he was really honoured.
What do you love about playing the Ukulele?
It’s portable, easy to learn quickly, more of a diverse instrument than people think, something unusual and generally fun.
Describe your song writing process?
For example does a song just come to you? or do you spend hours crafting it? How do you know when a song is ready to perform? It depends on the song. Sometimes I have a riff in my head for months but no lyrics come to mind. Other times, in the space of half an hour I have a fully crafted song. And sometimes, I just decide to sit down and brainstorm until I get something.
Who inspires you?
There are so many people who are inspirational and I respect and admire as artists, performers and lyricists like: Amanda Palmer, Eddie Vedder, KT Tunstall, George Harrison and Jose Gonzalez.
You have recently released your album ‘Sir Lucas and the Moon’ How long did it take you to write it? and do you have a favourite song on the album?
It’s not a concept album with a theme. It’s a collection of songs spanning two years reflecting on my life at that time. I can’t really decide on a favourite as each of them in their own way were interesting to write and are enjoyable to perform. I think lyrics wise, my favourite would be ‘Atman’ but performance wise, I love singing ‘Nobody Knows’.
What are you going to play for us at the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival?
A selection of my own songs, some from the new album and also a few covers that hopefully the audience can join in with.
What? or Who? are you looking forward to the most at playing at the festival?
Meeting other ukulele players and other performers. It feels like a really supportive community and I can’t wait to meet them all. “I am looking forward to the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival as it’s my first ever ukulele festival and I’m so honoured to have been asked. I can’t wait to meet the supportive and growing community of ukulele players performing and attending from around the country. And it looks like really good fun!
Where are you playing next? and where can we buy your album?
I’m off on tour around Scotland over the next coming months with dates you can find on my website. And I’m also looking forward to coming back to England in 2015.
My album is available on iTunes and physical copies are still available from my website: http://www.zoebestel.co.uk
See Zoe Bestel at Grand Northern Ukulele Festival at Huddersfield Town Hall – September 13th and 14th http://www.northernuke.com