Have you heard about a guy named Boy With Uke? Not too long ago, my 14-year-old came to me with his phone and said, Mom, have you seen this guy? He showed me a Tik Tok video of a masked singer with a uke, dancing wildly and strumming on his little ukulele. As we both bust out laughing, I had to wonder – who is this kid, and what the heck is he doing with that ukulele?
It was fun to have something that my son and I both loved on Tik Tok, and we still share new Boy With Uke content with each other as soon as it comes out.
Who Is Boy With Uke?
Boy With Uke is secretive about his identity. He wears a light-up mask he found online in every video he posts, so no one really knows what he looks like. (I admit: I thought about purchasing the same mask and dressing up as Boy With Uke for Halloween this year.) He has stated before that the reason for the mask was to give him some freedom with his creative expression, because he was afraid of what people would say if they knew it was him singing and playing uke in his videos. He also feels that wearing the mask will help people focus on the music instead of what he looks like.
Even though Boy With Uke doesn’t regularly give interviews, he did agree to talk to someone from Billboard Magazine in 2021. In that interview, he revealed that he is 19 years old (at the time of the interview) and lived in Massachusetts. Apart from that, there really isn’t any information anywhere about who he is or where he lives! He hasn’t even revealed his name! He’s quite a musical mystery, out there covering pop songs and writing original tunes to share on his Tik Tok channel.
Read more: Top 10 Easiest Ukulele Songs
How Did Boy With Uke Learn Music?
According to the Billboard magazine article, Boy With Uke started learning music the way most of us do – his parents forced him to play instruments! He says he started with violin, piano, guitar, and a little bit of music theory, but classical music didn’t really stick with him, and he gave it up.
During middle school and high school, he and his family moved around a lot, and that was how he found his way back to music by writing songs as a way to express his emotions. Then his little brother was showing him Tik Tok and kept pestering him to make a few videos of his music to share on the platform. And now, he’s up to three and a half million followers (and counting!) on Tik Tok.
@boywithuke this is my cover of call me maybe by carly rae jepsen #boywithuke #stilldre ♬ original sound – boywithuke
As for how he got involved with the ukulele, he says he did it “to impress a girl.” Lucky for those of us who enjoy the ukulele and his songs!
The Music of Boy With Uke
Boy With Uke posted his song “Toxic” on Tik Tok, and it was an instant hit with kids (and adults) from all over the world. His dance moves and his mysterious mask soon had a lot of people talking about who he was and what the heck he was doing with that ukulele! After releasing a few more covers, he started releasing original 1-minute songs that were edgy and funny.
His first independent album, Fever Dreams, was released in June of 2021 and features short (most under two minutes) tracks of some of his original songs. Then in late 2021, he signed a contract with Republic Records to produce an album of his very own – all original songs! His album, Serotonin Dreams, was released in April of 2022, just before Boy With Uke did a small tour of European shows. (No show dates have been released for 2023 yet as of the writing on this blog, but that should be soon!) Both albums are available to stream on iTunes and Spotify.
According to Boy With Uke, all of his music has been recorded, mixed, and mastered on his iPad using the GarageBand app. While he did tell Billboard magazine that he has worked with a couple of other artists to produce his work, he does most of it himself.
When it comes to writing his original songs, Boy With Uke sticks to the alt-pop/grunge style. He writes his one minute improv songs on topics that interest him, like long-distance relationships and navigating toxic friendships. While most of the songs include a lot of electronic music enhancements, there are some (like the track Kind Of Sick Of Life on the Fever Dreams album) that feature just simple ukulele strumming.
What Makes Boy With Uke So Remarkable?
No matter where you stand on the Boy With Uke phenomenon, it’s remarkable that he uses the ukulele to create his own unique kind of edgy alternative music for the 21st century. He’s taken the ukulele to new places and shown an entire generation just how “cool” playing the ukulele can be!
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What makes the music of Boy With Uke so much fun for me is that it’s something I can enjoy with my teenager, and it’s inspiring kids everywhere to learn how to play an instrument and create their own music. What more could you ask for?
Even if you’re not on Tik Tok, you can find music and videos from Boy With Uke on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and Facebook.
Ready to make your mark with your ukulele? Check out the amazing online courses available on Uke Like The Pros! You can find everything from beginner ukulele to advanced soloing and chord progressions to help you make your own music. Join today and take advantage of all the courses available now!