I’ve spent the last few hours in darkened room with only a rubber thimble for company counting votes for Ukulele Video of the Year and can announce the official winner: Sophie Madeleine, Jocelyn Mackenzie & Emily Hope Price’s cover of Bei Mir Bist Du Schön.
Sophie was kind enough to join me and chat about Will Smith, the awesomeness of Pearl and the Beard and where the hell she’s been.
Congratulations on winning! Compared to videos like Rhythm You Started and Oil and Gold, this one is really simple. What do you think it is about it that connected with people?
Thank you! It’s so wonderful to have won, I can’t believe it! The PatB girls and I feel very honoured!
I think the fact that it was a live performance made all the difference compared with the other videos you’ve mentioned. Especially because it was a tight three-part harmony involving two incredibly talented and beautiful ladies – Emily Hope Price and Jocelyn Mackenzie. It’s so much fun singing with them, we’re all great friends, and I think that really came through in our performance.
How did you meet up with Pearl and the Beard?
I discovered them through their Will Smith Medley a few years ago. It was whilst I was making plans for a trip to New York to do some shows, and it just so happened that I was looking for people to play in my band so I emailed Emily (cellist) to see if she would be interested. To my surprise she agreed! Since then we’ve become close friends — I spent thanksgiving at Jocelyn’s house this year, and I now live in Brooklyn not far from Emily’s house.
We’ve also done a few other collaborations since I’ve been living in Brooklyn. This video was something we did just for fun. For the longest time Jocelyn kept saying she wanted to start an all-girl group called “Hello Heartbreak”, (that is what our unofficial name is in this video — and by the way I think she’s probably registered, trademarked, and patented that name already – so no stealing!) so we got together and picked a song. We all love The Andrews Sisters, so Emily suggested her favourite of theirs Bei Mir Bist Du Shein. They are exactly as sweet and warm and fun as they seem, by the way.
What’s your favourite musical moment of 2012? Do you have a favourite ukulele video of last year?
I hate to seem as though I am making this into one giant advert for Pearl and the Beard, but really and truly my most special ukulele moments for 2012 included them. I guested on a release of their extended single Prodigal Daughter — more specifically one of the B sides entitled Yawning. It’s Jocelyn’s song, we part recorded it in my house and I play ukulele and sing backing vocals on it. It’s such a sweet song and I felt incredibly honoured to be involved in one of their projects.
Secondly, there’s a song they play called Apple. Emily plays it on baritone ukulele and it’s a song she co-wrote with Lady Lamb The Beekeeper (whose album was just released by the way, and it is phenomenal). They play it every show and often go out into the audience to sing it acoustically, involving the whole crowd in singing the rousing chorus. It’s one of those crazy and uplifting moments. But last year they had a show in Brooklyn where Lady Lamb was actually there and joined them on stage, and it was ridiculously magical.
As for videos, I don’t think I have a favourite. I admit I have neglected YouTube a little this year, and I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. Plus, all of the other nominees this year were so brilliant. It’s so hard to choose!
It seems like we haven’t heard much from you the last few months. What have you been up to?
I know, I’ve become a bit of a recluse! Like I said, I moved to Brooklyn last year. Whilst I’ve been here I’ve been touring, and I also had to promote the US release of my album The Rhythm You Started. I’ve also been writing the new album which is now ready to be recorded. We’re just trying to find the right producer, and the right label. It’s going to be quite a big departure from my previous albums. That’s all I’m going to say about it!
What can we expect from you this year?
The new album! We’re hoping it will be out in June/July. There is also a release happening of one of my side projects — “The Runaway Orchestra”. It’s a covers album I made many moons ago with some friends, and it’s now finally being released. I think that’s out in April.