Home Is Not a Place, It's a People: Ukulady's Man

By Nikki Sue Alston | 2/09/2015

Halloween night 2014, my friends and I went to Luna Live to have a few beers and rock out. Of course everyone was in costume, but one person in particular stood out to me; a young guy in piano print pants, no shoes, and a king’s crown decorated with Crayons. He was so full of energy and zest; we couldn’t stop watching him! Little did we know this was Ukulady’s man (spelled with a Y because he’s a one woman kind of guy). Sean Vincent Hager, 28, was born in Lake Charles but grew up in Sulphur. He received his first toy Ukulele in Kindergarten and brought it to show and tell. Sean has always had a passion for music; sparked at age 6, when his father taught him to play ‘Carol of the Bells’ on piano. I couldn’t tell from him walking into our interview singing. Music apparently runs deep in his family, his father was a drummer and their family has had a Steinway Piano passed down from generation to generation. 

You Can Take the Man Out of the Ukulele, But You Can't take the Ukulele Out of the Man

Sean eventually found himself at LSU exploring what he wanted to do with his life. After a few on again off again years in school, he ended up at University of New Orleans where he studied film, gaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. He had started playing the guitar while in school, but 2 years ago his mother bought him his second Ukulele for Christmas and his passion for music was renewed. He began carrying the Ukulele around with him everywhere he went; constantly playing it on his way to class, in the quad, and just singing at the top of his lungs. At some point, he began calling himself the Ukulady’s Man. After graduation Sean moved back to Lake Charles because he missed home, his family, and this majestic city. One of his lyrics explains it best, “Took me 27 years to learn that home is not a place, it’s a people”.

The Quadratic Four-mula

Sean prides himself on his puns, his lyrics are designed to entertain. He embeds a message in his songs, singing about things that are virtuous. He has always loved music, but moreover, he loves making people happy. His greatest joy is to make people happy. “It’s a cool formula that works out well for everyone”. He relishes in making people smile, even making them cry if they connect with a song in that special way. He also enjoys the idea of modern day chivalry, as expressed through his singing and songwriting. The ukulele, as we all know, is a certifiable chick-magnet, but there is only one lady for this ukulele-er; his first real love. She had an immense impact on his life; inspiring many of his songs, and teaching him the true meaning of longing and patience. When he isn’t writing about love, he's writing rug-cutting masterpieces. He gives us something to be excited about-using only his voice, and those 4 ukulele strings. 

Like Marky Mark in Rockstar, but Better

While on stage he truly feels at home. “It is such a thrill and very rewarding - quite a blessing to see people smiling and enjoying what they are listening to. Being on stage is intimate, you are vulnerable up there. It’s like a relationship, you open yourself up and bare your heart. Especially to a room full of strangers, it’s all the more intimate and exposing.” One of Sean’s goals in the future is to have a full band up there playing with him and get an album recorded. He recently played an Open Mic Night-Original Music Contest where he won free production of a music video.

Tiny Guitar Therapy

If you ever see Sean out in public, you may notice he can be jumpy at times. He has been stricken by irrepressible jerks and twitches; the result of bad reaction to medication taken a few years ago. Even though he abandoned the medication, he will live with these side effects forever. None the less, he refuses to let this slow him down one bit, nor damper his zest of life! After our interview, we went to Millennium Park where he performed an impromptu concert for kids and their parents. The kids were enamored with him and his Ukulele; they flock to him like a mall-Santa. It was so inspiring to see the small children circled around him, listening, dancing, and asking him about his “little guitar”. Ukulady’s Man is a substitute teacher by day, so it’s no wonder he was great with the kids! Moments like these are therapeutic him. Sean is grounded by the music; when he plays slower, he feels more centered and the side effects  (of the medicine) ease. When playing faster, more intense music, he jumps around with the tunes and you can’t help but vibe off his energy! Sean is such a radiant and joyful person that everyone around him cannot help but feed off his energy, his positivity is indeed contagious! 

You in Eye Tea Why

Math is the universal language, but music is pulse of humanity. Like math, music transcends borders and ideologies. Ukulady’s Man hopes to promote unity and acceptance with his passion. “You know how they fly the American flag above the Louisiana flag? Well I think that the story is kind of incomplete, you know? I feel like the story isn’t about the U.S., it’s about us. It’s illegal to fly anything above the American flag and I think that should be amended where one day we can fly a World Flag up there, at the top. So instead of focusing on our differences, instead we can say ‘look what we are a part of’. We are Earthlings before we are Americans. One world. One people. One flag. This has always been a platform I’ve been passionate about, but I don’t know if the world is ready for it. It would be a grand gesture of humility and truly diplomatic.”

Need Some Ukulele in Your Life? (Of Course You Do)

Photo by Nikki Alston

Photo by Nikki Alston

Every Monday night you can find Ukulady’s Man performing at Luna Live’s Open Mic Night. Sean says, "Lake Charles has so much potential for growth but we need more musicians and artists to perform and spread love like peanut butter." On his website you can find lyrics to all of his songs, links to his YouTube and Facebook page, concert dates, as well as a few videos he has made while he was in school and videos that have greatly inspired him.

For more on this cool cat’s music, like and follow him on Facebook and Twitter or check out his website.

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