Who is Thomas Fersen?
Let's start with a short biography of our French ukulele star. He was born on January 4, 1963 in Paris. He has always remained discreet about his real name. Regarding his famous stage name, the artist adopted it in honor of the Mexican footballer, Tomás Boy, and the Swedish count, Axel de Fersen, known to have been Marie-Antoinette's favorite. Thomas Fersen certainly derives his passion for the music of his maternal grandfather who was a pianist in a tea room. The artist is introduced to the bawdy song in his primary school on rue Julien-Lacroix. It was in 1977, at the age of 14, that he got his first guitar, a gift from his mother. Thomas Fersen released his first album, Le Bal des oiseaux, in 1993.
When does Thomas Fersen become interested in the ukulele?
Thomas Fersen is known as a unique storyteller and melodist. He has 10 albums to his credit. He has received numerous awards to name but a victory for music (Révélation masculine 1994) and the Great Song Medal of the French Academy (2018). He played guitar and piano from a young age, but where did this particular passion for ukulele come from? Shortly after his debut, the singer got into the habit of ending his concerts with a ukulele cover by Michel Simon, Tino Rossi or Fred Fortin. But he stopped doing it after a while. Towards the end of the 1990s, he rediscovered the magic of this little musical instrument when he saw Joseph Racaille playing it on the title Bijou. Since then, Thomas Fersen can no longer do without the ukulele.
Songs of Thomas Fersen written for the ukulele
In 2008, Thomas Fersen released his seventh album consisting of 11 songs written in ukulele. The album is titled Three Little Towers and one of the songs has a very evocative title: Ukulele. Here is an extract from the lyrics:
Quand le monde est trop brouillon
Je sors mon petit grillon
Quand le monde est barbelé
Je sors mon ukulélé
This shows the importance or rather the role of the ukulele in the life of Thomas Fersen. He is the one who plays the soprano ukulele on all songs, accompanied by his arranger, Pierre, who plays the baritone ukulele and the mandolin. The singer defines the ukulele as a versatile accompaniment that has never limited his choice of covers when he wanted to do it. You just have to find the right rhythm for each song to respect the balance. According to him, "The ukulele provides tension, energy which is not a question of volume. "