Monday, July 9, 2012

Meet The Fruity Ukuladies!

Inga, Carly, and Bren are fun-loving Toronto girls that have made the Ukulele hip again! Covering styles that range from The Beastie Boys to Ingrid Michaelson, their YouTube videos of them rocking out on the ukulele have become super popular. Think Vitamin String Quartet covers - except with mini guitars. We also totally dig their band name, The Fruity Ukuladies and just had to introduce you...

When you were in high school, if someone told you you'd be in a Ukulele band, would you have believed them?

Inga: Ha! Probably. My friends and I loved to entertain...mostly for our own enjoyment, but sometimes we managed to get an audience.

Bren: Absolutely. I have always loved to sing and back in the day (way back in the mid-90s, ha), I remember having to constantly beg guitar players I knew to play Jewel songs so I could sing along... if only I’d known the ukulele is so much easier to learn than guitar!

Carly: Hmm, I don't think I ever would have thought "ukulele" band... probably would have hoped for something cooler back then, haha. But now that I'm in one, I love it!!

What lead you to form your band, The Fruity Ukuladies?

Inga: Carly and I met through the Radio and Television Arts program at Ryerson and then she introduced me to Bren. We had a shared passion in singing, more specifically in karaoke and always joked about one day putting a band together, we didn’t take it seriously then.

About a year ago, Carly calls me up saying she bought, on a whim, a ukulele decorated like a pineapple. Initially I teased her but when I actually saw her play it, I wanted one instantly.  Luckily, there were two other fruits to pick from, so I got the Kiwi print, and then we convinced Bren to get the Watermelon, and then the YouTube videos started after one too many glasses of wine (just joking).

What challenges do you face as a band?  

Bren: By far our biggest obstacle is scheduling band practice. Carly works crazy hours (a mix of days, nights, weekends) and she commits to various sports leagues throughout the year. On top of work, Inga’s part of a comedy troupe called Shoeless that she performs with regularly. I’m studying law so you can imagine how difficult it is to manage our time.

You've done several covers such as Ingrid Michaelson, is there one that you're particularly proud of?

Carly: The Ingrid Michaelson cover was definitely challenging! I thought I was going to break my wine glass trying to reach that high note. Performance-wise, there have been a few songs that were just plain fun to do - Single ladies, Fat Bottomed Girls, Blister in The Sun…for Price Tag Brenna learned to rap, so it took time to master that one.

What's one thing (besides the Ukulele) you can't live without?

Bren: To be in this band? The banter. Definitely the banter.

IngaIn terms of our Otherwise, I'd say a good sense of humour :)

Carly : Haha, I just read Inga's answer. I don't know how to compliment it in anyway. It's bang on. Oh wait!! I've got it. The Internet!

Tell us a bit about the differences in your personalities!
Inga : We’ve discussed that if someone were to ever create a show based on us, I would be the zen one, Carly's the spaz and Bren is the sarcastic one. Kind of like the Ninja Turtles, except we're missing one turtle and a kick-ass rat leader.

Besides playing, what are your favourite things to do?

Bren: I love coffee and coffee shops, I sometimes find cafes in the city that remind me of my old barista job in Melbourne (check out Te Aro on Queen East).

Carly: Total foodie, absolutely!! I love to cook!

Inga: All three of us LOVE food. Carly and I love our cats, while Bren is super allergic and likes to remind us of that every time we record.

What inspired the band name?

Our fruit printed ukes!  A special line made by Kala (PS: We're still waiting for that Kala endorsement, AHEM).

What's coming next for The Fruity Ukuladies?

Carly : We’ve started working on some original songs and Inga’s working on one that we’re planning to film soon, so stay tuned!

Check out The Fruity Ukuladies online and on their YouTube channel

--- Leticia Cambre, blogs at

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