Listening to Hawaiian folk artist and activist Paula Fuga’s TED Talk, “Believe in Yourself,” Cynthia Hussey life transformed. By the end of her talk, Fuga picked up her ukulele and performed a fittingly uplifting song, “The Sun Will Rise,” off her 2006 debut Lilikoi. In that moment, everything shifted for the Brazilian actress, singer, songwriter, and artist, who had always dreamed of pursuing music.

When her husband Wayne Hussey, of the British rock band The Mission, gifted her a ukulele for their wedding anniversary, Cinthya began teaching herself to play, and by 2019 starting covering some of her favorite songs with the instrument on YouTube, including The Cure’s “A Thousand Hours,” Depeche Mode’s 1987 single “Behind the Wheel,” “Hey” off Pixies’ Doolittle, and a ukulele rendition of “Cry” by Cigarettes After Sex.

“The ukulele is such a friendly instrument,” says Hussey. “It’s small. It’s so soft, and I can carry it anywhere. I go to the garden, and I take it with me to the living room or take it with me go up to the bedroom. You can’t drag a piano everywhere.”

Living in Brazil, during the pandemic, Hussey says she has much to be grateful for, despite the country seeing some of the highest rates of COVID-19, and moving in and out a “Red Phase” since the pandemic started. Housed in the countryside of Brazil with her parents and Wayne, Hussey was able to take advantage of the time “off” from filming to revisit music and painting again and begin work on her debut album.

“Being confined and not having social interaction and interaction and missing family friends and everything else has obviously have affected the lyrics and even the mood of the songs in a bit in a way but I’m trying to still be hopeful and positive, otherwise we’ll go crazy,” says Hussey. “We’ve got to try and see the light at the end of this horrific tunnel.”

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