Inspired by the book series
THE DEBUT ALBUM
THE BESTIES - the ukulele album
Boxing Day 2019!
The story behind the album by Felice Arena
I have to thank Ruby, my lively and precocious character in THE BESTIES books for being the inspiration behind the creation of the album. Throughout the series Ruby loves to play her ukulele and make up songs. While I was writing the lyrics for her, I sent them off to my super-talented musical mates in the UK to see what they thought.
Within days they came back to me with a melody and a rough recording, and before we all knew it we were going back-and-forth on WhatsApp with ideas for other songs inspired by Ruby.
It was soon after that I headed off to Scotland and joined my besties to record an album in Edinburgh - and we had an absolute blast!”
We set out to create a children’s album that everyone, including parents and grandparents, could enjoy. But at the same time we wanted to produce something that would also enhance the reading experience of the books. I'd like to think that not only could these songs be incorporated into schools and music programs/concerts but also be an accessible resource for early-grade, music and drama teachers.
The Besties – the ukulele album is produced by UK independent record label Stereogram Recordings and will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Apple Music from Boxing Day 2019.
The Besties songs are written and sung by Andy Kelly, Felice Arena, Jeremy Thoms and Robin Thoms.
PRESS RELEASE/SIDE NOTE:
Felice Arena is no stranger to music or performance. Before becoming one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors, he began his career as an actor and singer. In the 90s he played the role of Marco Alessi in Neighbours and then moved to the UK where he starred in West End musicals Hair, Godspell, and What a Feeling. His first professional entrée into recording (the cast album of Hair) was done at the famous Abbey Road Studios.
“It does feel as I’ve gone full circle,” says Arena. “But it’s also a wonderful feeling that one experience has led to another. At this stage of my career there a no expectations except to continue to bring a little joy into the world for kids everywhere and have a laugh or two!”
The Besties 2020