Whistling Orangutan Is Germany's Next Pop Star
The primate, who lives in a Heidelberg zoo, is about to release his first single, but his stardom only came by chance. It was only last summer that Ujian, 14, taught himself to whistle, and he reportedly had an ulterior motive – the orangutan wanted to catch the attention of the fruit and vegetable delivery man, who was running late with lunch, according to the Stuttgarter Nachrichten, a local paper.
Ujian then started to develop his talent, composing his tunes in relative obscurity. That is, until the fateful day when Christian Wolf, a local musician, passed by his cage. Wolf was flabbergasted to hear the orangutan whistling a happy tune.
Together with Bernd Kowalsky, who is responsible for the apes at the zoo, Wolf made a digital recording of Ujian's free-style melodies. He added lyrics and more instrumentals and the result is the feel-good pop song "I Am Ujian," due out on CD in June. Proceeds will finance the extension and renovation of the zoo's primate house. You can listen to it on the paper's Web site.
The chorus goes, "I am Ujian the orangutan, I am so cool, man, I'm a star."
As for Knut, he should take note: Ujian isn't a one-trick orangutan; he's an all-round artist. The multi-talented mammal also paints abstract works that the zoo recently auctioned to raise money. (Do they make polar-bear-sized paintbrushes?)