Sophie Madeleine Interview

Sophie Madeleine – Take Your Love With Me (The Ukulele Song)(MP3) can be downloaded on Bandcamp

Turns out my prediction that Rocky and Balls would be on Boing Boing in three weeks was wrong – it took three days (I may have hastened that process). It turns out that Sophie Madeleine – the Balls half of Rocky and Balls – has a back catalogue of knock-out ukulele songs. So I quizzed her for more info.

As a multi-instrumentalist, what particularly appeals to you about the ukulele?

It’s tone and it’s simplicity. It makes such a happy little sound. I found that I always ended up falling into the same patterns on a guitar when writing, so I tried to write on a uke and started coming up with a completely different style of song. It’s also so much nicer to pick up and play than a guitar – it’s quite a dainty little instrument!

I’ve seen mention of Life. Love. Ukulele. What is it and how can we hear it?

Love.Life.Ukulele is an album made up of mostly ukulele-based songs, and they all run on the themes of love and/or life (funnily enough!). There’s even a song specifically about my first ukulele! I made it last summer during my MA in Songwriting and it is currently unreleased. You can hear some of the tracks from it on my myspace profile. It will be released and available to buy online soon, so stay tuned… [UPDATE: It’s now available on Bandcamp]

What three songs should everyone listen to right now?

I could shamelessly plug my own music here, but I shall resist the urge.

I’m afraid I can’t think of any ukulele based songs, but three songs I can’t get enough of at the moment are:

“I’d like to walk around in your mind” by Vashti Bunyan (because I wish I’d written it myself.)
“True love will find you in the end” by Daniel Johnston (an acquired taste, but I think it’s naive and simple and beautiful).
Lastly, “She’s a rainbow” by the Rolling Stones (just because it makes me happy).
UPDATE: I’ve just heard that song “Oh What A Day” by Ingrid Michaelson on a tenor uke and have fallen in love with it.

Being an official master of songwriting, what are your top songwriting tips?

Firstly, collaborate. Writing with other people is great. I haven’t hit it off with ALL of the people I’ve written with, but you never know what’s going to happen, and you could come up with something amazing. I also find that talking to other writers and gaining their perspective on things can inform or inspire my own writing. Songwriters are generally very nice people too!

Secondly, it sounds strange, but I find that spending time NOT songwriting is really important. If I’m stuck with a song I just have to go and do something else. As long as it’s a task that’s not too taxing or distracting I find that I continue to write the song without realising it, and before I know it I’ve thought up a solution. It just takes the pressure off I think.

What have you got planned for this year?

Aside from trying to get my album released, I’m going to be working on a couple of other projects in various forms of collaborations. I’m already writing a new album, but most importantly, I am currently rehearsing with my band. We’re preparing for some shows around London and my hometown Brighton.

Buy Sophie Madeleine songs on Bandcamp. I highly recommend The Stars

More Sophie Madeleine

Beard Song (Chords)
Rocky and Balls – I Heart You Online (Chords)
The Stars (Chords)
Take Your Love With Me (The Ukulele Song)(Chords)

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15 Comments

  1. byjimini March 9th, 2009 7:39 pm

    Ah, very good. I love The Beard Song, although I can’t seem to download it from Youtube in stereo.

    Just bought LLU for $10, the same I paid for Danielle Ate The Sandwich (another person you should feature on here, such a brilliant songwriter and player).

    On The Planet Earth (written by her) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsO9BS4ojCc

    And my fav – Dream A Little Dream – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SfQVoMGxfw

    Sorry to deviate from the topic in hand, just something I felt needed to be said! :P

  2. ronhale March 9th, 2009 10:54 pm

    I just bought the Corner Laughers Tomb of Leopards cd for $10.
    The Ditty Bops want $19.99 for their newest, which includes an elaborate cardboard pop-up packaging design with a sideish topless view of the former model in the group as a mermaid figurehead of a ship. TOL comes in a simple cardboard holder.

  3. Woodshed March 10th, 2009 9:52 pm

    byjimini: I did have one of her videos on here way back. She wouldn’t be the first Uke Tube girl everyone loves but me.

    ron: Yep, they really make you pay for a bit of boob.

  4. byjimini March 10th, 2009 9:54 pm

    Ah, I see.

  5. Brianna Price March 12th, 2009 9:05 pm

    This is sweet. I love beards!

  6. Woodshed March 12th, 2009 9:31 pm

    Brianna: You ukulele girls and your love of facial hair :eyeroll:

  7. brianna price March 13th, 2009 3:20 am

    ^_^ Yep, That’s how we do! lol

  8. Sleeve March 20th, 2009 1:19 pm

    Are chords to Take Your Love With Me available anywhere? I tried clicking the red title link and all I found was an mp3 file. A very nice mp3 file but not chords or tab. Thanks.

  9. Kira Hendricksen August 1st, 2009 9:57 pm

    So does anyone have the chords for the ingrid michaelson song “oh what a day?” I have been looking for it for a LONG time, and can’t quite figure it out for myself… help?

  10. Sophie Madeleine – Stars (Chords and Tab) | Ukulele Hunt November 24th, 2009 6:02 pm

    […] Sophie Madeleine interview Beard Song (Chords) Rocky and Balls – I Heart You Online (Chords) Take Your Love With Me (The Ukulele Song)(Chords) […]

  11. tUnE-YaRdS – Hatari (Tab) | Ukulele Hunt January 24th, 2010 2:12 pm

    […] already covered most of the best ukulele albums from 2009 (like Sophie Madeleine’s Life. Love. Ukulele. and L’appropriation Bourgoisie de la Bobby McGee’s), but […]

  12. Kim June 7th, 2010 9:10 pm

    Please, please, please. I beg you for tabs for Rocky and Balls’ “The Mo Song” and “Love Cake”.

  13. Woodshed June 7th, 2010 9:31 pm

    Kim: More R ‘n B is always a possibility.

  14. Isla February 25th, 2011 11:36 am

    Shameless begging here for tabs for her cover of Stornoway’s “Zorbing”!

  15. renato elias December 23rd, 2011 11:38 am

    look at this video of a Brazilian band, mixing rhythms with ukulele …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWVTpcZKW2M

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