Sho is an ukulele player and composer with a growing discography of original music. He performs around the Central Texas area, sometimes with his brother as the duo, Sho & Shin, and writes music for short films. He also regularly shares his music on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Sho blogs about his musical experiences and tries to answer the questions people generally ask him about his music. You can find out more about Sho’s music at shotunes.com.
Sho’s passion for sound was obvious from his earliest days playing with toy trains and imitating all the sounds around the train set. That passion slowly developed into music after he was given a toy guitar as a christmas present at age 5. He took a strong interest in his father’s classic rock collection, so he learned how to play all of those cool riffs on his toy guitar. At the same time, he also loved making sounds on his mom’s ukulele. When he was 8, he got his first electric guitar, a Ibanez Gio MiKro, and his own ukulele, a cherry red Flea, for Christmas. The new instruments and an amp with built-in effects expanded his musical options. When he outgrew the miKro, he was finally allowed to choose his own full-scale, and he went with an Epiphone Les Paul that he noodles on to this day.
When he was 9, his musical direction took a sharp turn when his parents took him to see Jake Shimabukuro in concert. When Jake’s performance ended, after picking his jaw up off the floor, Sho began to seriously practice the ukulele. Unable to find an ukulele teacher near him, Sho instead studied Jake’s tab books and his videos on YouTube until he could play Jake’s arrangement of While My Guitar Gently Weeps–even though his little soprano Flea uke didn’t have enough frets to properly play the song. From there, Sho continued to learn several of Jake’s other songs and arrangements before branching out to create his own songs and solo arrangements.
Later that same year, Sho went to Hawaii and visited the Kamaka factory. He was deeply impressed with the Kamaka family’s story and loved the sound of their ukuleles, so he ordered one of their concert-size ukuleles–the biggest model he felt comfortable playing. It arrived during a during a hot and humid Texas heat wave with its lacquer finish still tacky, so it hung on the wall until the finish set again. After a long couple of months of waiting, he was finally able to play Jake’s While my Guitar Gently Weeps on a Kamaka ukulele–a uke with enough frets to play the song properly and which offered a dramatically different sonic experience from his previous instruments. Inspired by his new uke, Sho entered a couple of ukulele contests in Hawaii, where he won awards for his original performances. After returning to Texas, at the age of 14, Sho went into a studio to record his first album of original songs, Making Summer Memories, and began performing his music around town.
Recently, inspired by the likes of Ichika Nito and Polyphia, Sho’s music has taken a new direction by combining the sounds of his new custom deluxe Kamaka Tenor ukulele with his other instruments (guitar, bass, saxophone, and percussion) and electronic production.
Sho is 17 and will begin his senior year of high school this fall.