Stefana Fratila’s latest ukulele song,
"Vista Voyager" is refreshing. Both the music and the setting for the video make you want to take a walk outdoors. And maybe shoot some video for a ukulele song. Her video features a cat too. A bonus.
(Thanks to photographer Leigh Eldridge. Click red umbrella photo to see Leigh’s photoshoot of Stefana.)
Stefana was born in Sibiu, Romania. She immigrated to Canada when she was about 4 years old and has lived in Vancouver, B.C. since. She has gone back to Romania most summers to stay with her grandparents.
The CBC reports she likes to play small instruments. She will tell you those smaller instruments are the kalimba, harmonica, recorder, melodica, glockenspiel, and kazoo. Along with the ukulele.
She claims the ukulele is, “definitely an instrument I am very comfortable writing songs for because I feel I’ve found a way to write ‘full’ songs with just a ukulele whereas with a number of those other instruments, I play them solely for accompaniment on my recordings. I really love the size and the feel of a ukulele but I don’t know what to call my favourite instrument right now.”
Although she doesn’t really remember how she got into the ukulele, she wrote, “It may have involved me seeing a green one in a music store somewhere and then probably I justified my desire for it because it was green (which has always been my favourite colour).”
Fratila says of her ukulele background, “Apparently I was ‘taught’ ukulele in elementary school — and I must have been bad because I remember my dad going in to talk to my music teacher. I had gotten a B and I was enrolled in piano lessons at the time and I guess my dad couldn’t understand why I wasn’t doing far better than other students who weren’t particularly musically inclined. Of course, my dad thought that the ukulele was a tambourine and he sometimes recounts the expression on my music teacher’s face when he asked her, ‘I don’t get what could possibly be so hard about playing the ukulele. You just hit it.'”
She said she has been, “very lucky to travel at a young age — that has transformed me into a fairly self-aware person and allows me to know how to regulate my feelings in a way that produces music because that’s just how I deal with happiness or dejection or neutrality.”
Her advice to ukulele players who want to write songs is, “to be sincere and to try and not become too hyper-critical about what you ‘should’ do. Writing songs has to come naturally.”
Thanks for the music, Stefana. Good luck to you on your musical journey.
Don’t forget the ukulele and how much fun it can be.