WATCH SHAE SINGER and ukulele player Shae Maunders is on a mission to gain respect for her four-string instrument. The teenager, from Newchapel, has been playing the ukulele for the past three years and has performed in a variety of competitions. Shae has already made a name for herself in the Potteries after reaching the final 12 of last year's Stoke's Top Talent. Now aged 16, the acoustic performer aspires to become a professional musician and to gain credibility for her chosen instrument. I think people's impressions of the ukulele are changing, explains Shae, who has just started a music course at South Cheshire College. I started playing the piano and the guitar, but fell in love with the ukulele. People laughed at first and thesentin just thought it looked cute, but once they heard me play I think they started to take it more seriously and had a greater respect for the music.
Ukulele music has strong associations with Hawaii, and it was the music of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and his rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, that inspired Shae to take it up.
OF PERFORMING .co.uk I'm proud of the fact that I'm helping to bring the ukulele to the forefront of music, continues Shae.
It's a worthy instrument that deserves recognition.
Shae writes her own music and also performs covers from artists such as Jack Johnson, The Lumineers and Bob Marley.
After her recent performance at Hanley's Sugarmill, the talented performer has further bookings and performs at the Loominus Festival in Macclesfield tomorrow.
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