Ukulele Underground ? Kanile'a 'Ukulele

Two great forces in the Ukulele World have come together. What does this mean for the future of 'ukulele?

Just a few weeks ago, during the Kanile'a 'Ukulele 2022 Live Showcase, the team at Kanile'a made a huge announcement: "We have decided to acquire none other than Ukulele Underground, the original online 'ukulele learning platform."

This announcement marked, quite possibly, one of the most significant mergers in 'ukulele history. With Kanile'a 'Ukulele as one of the most prominent Hawaii-based ukulele manufacturing companies and Ukulele Underground as the longest continuously-running, Hawaii-based online 'ukulele instructional platform, this move was a match made in heaven. On the stream, Kaimana Souza of Kanile'a Ukulele talked with Aldrine and Aaron of Ukulele Underground to briefly discuss the announcement but the 'ukulele community was left with many questions. How would this affect Ukulele Underground and the future of 'ukulele?

Luckily, the very next Friday, Kaimana was featured as a special guest on The Ukulele Underground Podcast where he and Aldrine answered questions directly from the community, discussing the decision to bring Ukulele Underground into the Kanile'a family and what this means for you as an 'ukulele player, community member, and 'ukulele fan. Check out the full podcast above.

Here are the 3 Main Takeaways from the Ukulele Underground ? Kanile'a 'Ukulele announcement:

1. The Same Great Taste You Love

Does this mean that Kanile'a is going to come in and influence / change everything in UU?
Ukulele Underground will continue to operate as it's own entity with Aldrine, Aaron, and Kahai retaining creative control over the content production. In the podcast, Kaimana explains, "We (Kanile'a) are just here as another pillar in the ukulele and music industry to lend resources, lend support, lend advice (to Ukulele Underground) and just really work together."

This means that Ukulele Underground will continue to create the monthly Play-Alongs and Ukulele Lessons, UU+ Solos Lessons, Weekly Live Streams (UU Podcast / Aloha Friday Jam), Private Lessons through Zoom for UU+ Members, and support the UU Forum that you all know and love.

UU exists as a resource and online home for 'ukulele players from around the world. From the very beginning, UU has always catered to players and 'ukulele enthusiasts who primarily want to learn and grow their 'ukulele skills. So while UU will continue to produce the same great content and resources it has been, we are always open to suggestions from the community to improve and expand. Please let us know what you would like to see as part of the Ukulele Underground universe - with our new help from Kanile'a even your grandest ideas may become a reality!

2. The Missing Piece

What made this decision "click?"
Kanile'a 'Ukulele has been innovating the 'ukulele experience since 1998, experimenting with new ways to build and create a sound that players can enjoy. Since then, they've greatly expanded this experience to include close interaction with customers, collaboration with players, and a sustainable relationship with the environment. One important part of the 'ukulele experience that they've been trying to foster has been in the area of player education. Educating players has been important for them to help grow the ukulele community, allowing more people to experience joy and appreciation for this humble instrument.

At the same time, the mission of Ukulele Underground has always been to grow the next generation of 'ukulele players. So when Ukulele Underground approached Kanile'a about possibly helping with or taking over the business development side of UU, there was an obvious moment when the decision "clicked." As Kaimana mentioned in the podcast episode, "The education side of what we do has always been there and when we started these talks (with Ukulele Underground), like we've been saying, it just made sense."

In a lot of ways, the two companies round each other out in mission and scope. While they will continue to exist as separate entities with their own goals and missions, the collaboration and synergy that can now happen between Ukulele Underground and Kanile'a Ukulele is incredible.

3. The Future's Open Wide

How will this partnership make Ukulele Underground even better?
Three big things that make Kanile'a great are their deep connections to 'ukulele artists, instruments, and nature. Ukulele Underground plans to leverage these strengths to provide even better content and resources for the UU community.

Artists - Aldrine has been a featured Kanile'a artist for around a decade, but Kanile'a also has many other Featured Artists on their roster. Look forward to exciting UU collaborations with Kanile'a artists that will lend their expertise on Hawaiian music, reggae, folk, pop and more!

Instruments - As an 'ukulele manufacturer, Kanile'a has both access to a wide variety of choice instruments as well as a deep knowledge of the building process. As you may have already noticed, the UU Shop now offers Kanile'a ukuleles that Aldrine was able to hand pick from the Kanile'a vault. We'll be also soon be adding a whole range of more affordable Islander Ukuleles for you to check out as well. (UU+ Members check out the Tools & Resources Page for your UU Shop discount code). UU will also be able to dive even deeper into the building process to share educational information from one of the best 'ukulele building resources.

Nature - Both Ukulele Underground and Kanile'a 'Ukulele share strong ties to Hawaii and value their relationships with nature. Kanile'a is directly connected to Saving Hawaii's Forests, a 501 (c)3 dedicated to establishing self-sustaining, multi-species forests in Hawaii through rainforest replanting, conservation, and education. We are looking forward to adding and integrating even more nature-based educational content and experiential events for UUers in the future.

So where will Ukulele Underground & Kanile'a 'Ukulele go from here? Stay tuned to find out! And as always, if you have questions, need help learning a song, or anything else at all, feel free to contact us - we're always here to help you out. Keep strummin' UUers

Aloha,
-UU Staff

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