Updated: Nov 25
Wow! I can't believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Hopefully, my fellow Americans, you have already gone out to the grocery stores to pick up all your family secret recipe ingredients! But I made a promise a few months back when I made my ‘My Current Top 10 Ukulele Players’, and today I make good on my promise. Here is my current top 10 ukulele influencer list.
This list was difficult to make. I spent a few weeks thinking things through, writing down names, moving them around, and cutting some when I remembered others. I went over countless feeds of content and feel that this is it. Some influencers were so close...
but didn’t make it on the list this year (yeah, this gonna be yearly thing). Now as a caveat, there are a ton of new ukulele influencers. Wow, the potential with most of them is huge! So this list was composed with a few criteria. Those being that the influencer/artist plays the ukulele exclusively, and has been on their platform for over a year.
So here we go!
10. All For Uke
AllForUke was created by Kevin Presbrey. An influencer on the rise with an incredible head of hair. His videos are shot with impeccable quality of detail. He does an amazing job teaching classic songs in a casual way. Not to mention his thumbnails are polished and tempt a click!
He also has a website where he has a ton more content. More videos, lessons, reviews, courses, and private lessons!
9. Cynthia Lin
Singer and songwriter Cynthia Lin. Did I also mention YouTube sensation? With 403k followers on YouTube and climbing! She is full of aloha and chill and relaxed. She makes learning the ukulele easy by taking out all the intimidation with her smile. Her jazzy playing style and superb vocals makes her an incredible influencer to follow.
A perfect song for Thanksgiving! Cynthia has many friends in the ukulele community who frequent her channel! She‘s a gem!
8. Timmy Cruz
Timmy Cruz—aka Timmy-cruz89, uke shredder, and boutique ukulele hunter. Timmy has been shredding the ukulele and influencing others to do for many years. This guys always making people jealous with all the ukuleles in his collection. Basically a lover of tenor ukes! He also rebooted his online presence with a new IG handle and fresh YouTube channel.
7. Nix (Nix // uuuuuuuukewithme)
Whew! All those u’s! All 8 of them. This girl has been blowing up IG and YouTube for years. She also loves playing KoAloha ukuleles! Her passion for life and the ukulele is infectious. Plus that smile... it screams of ukulele joy! She also does quite a lot of traveling and even found her way back to Hawaii earlier this year.
6. Aryy (Ariel Mancanares)
From Brazil to California! Ariel has been taking over the YouTube scene amassing a huge following. When I say that huge, I mean over 1 million subscribers! Yowza! Parabens Ariel! She is bilingual and speaks both Portuguese and English! Its great watching her inspire her Brazilian followers on her socials since she often posts in both english and Portuguese. She's also very active on Youtube posting many stories there. Her free spirit and seriously good songwriting skills have catapulted her to the top. Don't sleep on Ariel, she's making moves.
5. Matt Taylor (U Can Uke)
Hailing from Rockford Illinois comes Matt Taylor. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Matt a few times at the Winter NAMM in LA. This guy is infectious! Super friendly and always down for a jam session. His YouTube channel is going off and he’s definitely spreading ’da aloha spirit’ everywhere he goes. He got his start teaching songs on YouTube... and the rest is history! He has a bright future in this game and I would bet that his 430k followers on Youtube would agree!
4. Aldrine Guerrero
OG right here! If you don’t know who Aldrine Guerrero is, you strayed off the ukulele path. Aldrine has been in the game before I got into it 12 years ago. Okay... how about Ukulele Underground? Ring any bells? This guy started the movement to putting the best ukulele resources online. This local ‘braddah‘ from Kauai is pumping out amazing content every week and his passion for the ukulele community continues to blow me away. Check out all of awesome content on Ukulele Underground and check out his play-alongs. He’s taught me a few....haha! Mahalo Aldrine!
3. Ricky Somborn
Who would‘ve thought breaking your foot could be so live changing? If you don’t believe me, just ask Ricky Somborn! It was a foot injury that changed the course of this influencer‘s life forever. If you’ve seen his videos, his deep warm vocals and smooth playing gets you every time! What’s crazy is that Ricky really didn’t start singing until a few years ago to the surprise of his family. Since starting his career, his reach and following has been explosive. And his output of his content is ever increasing. Needless to say I’m a huge fan!
2. Bernadette “Plazi”
Bernadette teaches music! She sure does! I have never seen a more in-depth breakdown of music theory on the ukulele! Arigato Plazi sensei! Okay, thats 4 exclamations so I think you get the picture. Plazi has been racking up followers like people were hoarding toilet appear at the start of the pandemic. Her smile, her style, her passion puts her high on the list. I don’t think you can be into the ukulele without knowing who she. Seriously the best free lessons on the web. Friends, she’s got a music degree!
And congratulations to Bernadette on the bundle of joy on her way!
1. Elise Ecklund
Making her to 2 millions subscribers (maybe before 2021), Elise tops my list. If your having a tough day, pop on one her YouTube videos and you’ll be back in good spirits in no time. She doesn’t only showcase her ukulele prowess, but her super funny personality. Like the time she the got a super huge tattoo (her first) and didn’t tell her parents until afterwards... haha! She has bought many young people over to the ukulele, and I couldn’t be happier. Check out her sister Eden as well. There’s no reason she won’t be at 3 million subscribers by next year!
So there’s my current top 10 influencer list! This humble instrument has been taking over the world these past two decades. As a native Hawaiian, I’m filled with joy seeing tons of people from all walks of life, falling in love with our little instrument.
Who are your favorite ukulele influencers? Maybe you‘ll see them make my list next year!
Lotus Cole, Aleksandra (_outofmycomfortzone), and Fernanda Gomes (chewfe)... so close... so close!
Keep jamming and aloha!