Today we are joined by the young and talented Aiden James. Starting as a YouTube sensation at the age of 8 with his performance of Train’s Hey Soul Sister, James has matured into a promising young ‘ukulele artist making waves in Hawaii’s music scene. At such a young age he has already toured internationally, had a song featured in the TV show Hawaii Five-O, and has received two Na Hoku Hanohano Award nominations (one for 2015!). Now at the age of 14 with his first full-length album, “Echoes,” James has recently relocated from his home ‘Oahu to pursue his music career in LA.
Today we listen to James perform his rendition of the Ed Sheeran song, “Don’t.” James uses a looper to record multiple phrases which he can control with his feet via a stompbox. He starts the song by recording a basic rhythm track with a capo on the 4th fret of his Kamaka ‘ukulele. Next, he records a percussion part by tapping on the strings and the face of his ‘ukulele to get different tones (0:16). He then records two more rhythm loops (0:31, 0:40) on his ‘ukulele before adding in the vocal hook as his last loop (0:57). We are then introduced by James’ smooth vocals as he interexchanges the loops to create various sections and textures throughout the song. The extra rhythm sections help drive the chorus of the song (1:54, 2:52, etc) while the vocal hook adds a nice punctuation in between sections (1:52, 2:02, etc).
UkePrints is a curated playlist of some essential ukulele tracks that all ukulele player should listen to. These songs have left a legacy for future players and in essence, sound impressions of the ‘ukulele or what I like to call them: UkePrints.