Well, we can now feel the end of the year creeping up on us. While the internet is a flurry with meme after meme talking about how shitty 2016 was (not that I disagree), I think we can focus on 2016 as a good year too. With division, comes unity. And there is no better time to unite, than the holidays. Despite holiday orientations, attitudes toward goddamn holiday cups and commercialization; realize that this a time for love. In the words of the great, Francis Xavier Cross from Scrooged: "It's Christmas Eve! It's the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be!"
And to help us get in that mood, why not some easing holiday music from a brand new Milwaukee artist: Fiona Blue. Only a very recent addition to the MKE music scene, her reverb soaked tunes provide a comforting break from the hustle and bustle of the world. She recently put out a little Christmas EP, where she pairs her voice nicely alongside only a ukulele.
Listen to "Ukulele Christmas" and read our interview below. Also be sure to check out some of her original tunes here.
MM: How are you doing? What have you been up to?
FB: My life at the moment is a bit all over the place! I actually just moved back to Milwaukee early December and I am so happy to be back! I missed my home city like crazy. I'm preparing to send off my significant other to Iraq on a 9 month deployment, and I'm about to start working as a full time nanny here in MKE.
MM: Can you tell us a little bit about "Fiona Blue"? When did you start the project? What is the meaning behind the name?
FB: I just officially started the project Fiona Blue early November. I feel like it has been in the making for a while though. I've been writing music for as long as I can remember, but found a more serious passion for it within the last 2-3 years. I became very involved with the music ministry at my church, made new amazing musician friends, and learned I had a voice that I could use outside of car karaoke. I was pretty shy, and still get so nervous to play in front of people. But I went from not being able to share my music with anyone to sharing it with thousands of people at my church and playing a few times for little gigs here and there. It became one of the best feelings I had ever experienced so I kept going with it.
A friend of mine and I recorded a small CD of covers a couple years ago and that's when I got introduced to at-home recording. I decided to start Fiona Blue to see what I could learn and come up with on my own. A new experiment and a new creative outlet is always a good thing in my book.
The name Fiona Blue comes from my notorious love of sad music (Blue), and Fiona is the name of my cat. Whenever I'm playing at home she comes near me to listen, and I just love the name Fiona. So it's a little silly, but it makes up Fiona Blue.
MM: What was the inspiration and motivation to do a ukulele Christmas album?
FB: I have always loved Christmas music and the warm fuzzy feelings that come with listening to it. The last 2 years I had been working at different nursing homes during the holidays and I would play Christmas music for them to sing along to with my ukulele. I had a lot of fun and enjoyed bringing back some good memories for the residents. I decided to kind of revisit that with the little Christmas EP. I wanted to experiment with recording, and also share some happy holiday spirit & nostalgia with everyone, but in my own way!
MM: You have some other originals out - are there any plans to release an album of your originals in the near future?
FB: Yes! Right now I'm really trying to learn and figure out the whole recording at home thing, but I have plenty of originals written that I would like to share in a full album someday. It's in the works.
MM: Your original song "Golden Faith" has an intriguing concept behind it, can you talk a little more about it?
FB: Golden Faith is really about how I've gotten to observe and learn from other strong women that have graced my life. I consider it a real privilege to learn from others, and I've been blessed with many women who have had a lot to teach me. It's also about me being envious of their strong faiths. They are unafraid, unwavering, and that really inspires me. I strive to be like them when I am in my later years in life.
MM: Something you want the world to know.
FB: This morning I danced to my Go-Go's vinyl wearing a pink onesie that has stacks of pancakes and strawberries on it. Also, just be excellent to each other.
MM: Favorite spot/thing to do in Milwaukee.
FB: That is hard to decide! I love our art museum, I am an art freak, so I really enjoy going there. I also love going to the Dog Haus on Brady, getting a Wisconsin dog, then walking to Rochambo to eat it and have some great coffee. The east side made me first fall in love with MKE - as cliche and cheesy as that sounds.
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