Ulises Hadjis (singer-songwriter). Accompanied by Danel Sarmiento (Drums, Percussion), Chacin Caplis (Bass, Vocals), Ezekiel "Cheky" Bertho (Guitar), Alex Hung (Keyboards)
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter from Venezuela. Signed to SHOCK Music. Releases to date include Presente (2008), Cosas Perdidas (2012) and Consecuencias y Reclamos (2015).
Venezuela’s Ulises Hadjis’ self-described brand of ‘personal alternative pop’ has some fairly unassuming beginnings. Influenced by artists as diverse as ‘The Beatles, Fito Paez, Yo La tengo, Café Tacuba, Elliott Smith, Los Hermanos, Penguin cafe orquestra’ (and not to mention a host of non-musical influences such as ‘my brother, my friends, Salinger, Bolaño and Hopper’) Ulises recalls how he simply began ‘laying down songs in a Tascam 4 track cassette studio.’
It all escalated from there, and he began to meet some of his fellow musicians, whose input helps create his trademark sound. ‘I soon met Roberto Rincón,’’ Ulises remembers, ‘and I got into a more hi fi sound. The band started with a group of friends that liked my songs and wanted to jam. Drums, bass, guitar, keys.’ Despite working so well with a team, however, Ulises still finds the lure of solitary music-crafting is great: ‘with this album I have toured mostly in a solo format.’
As with all up-and-coming musicians, he’s a trooper on the live scene, and has experienced his moments of ups and downs. ‘My proudest moment was the last show I had in LA. It went really well. My weakest moment was a duet I sang with Kevin johansen in Buenos Aires. My voice was in a really bad shape after touring in Mexico and it wasn’t a good performance.’
The occasional hiccup aside, Ulises’ unique style certainly marks him out from his musical contemporaries – of whom he has interesting views. ‘Most of them are really creative and focused,’ he muses, ‘but in some cases their desire of "making it" makes their work less edgy. Or artificially edgy.’