Chicago Singer-Songwriter on the Rise

Richard L. Figueroa
Staff Reporter

Ulises Rincon singing into the microphone. Photo by Richard Figueroa.

Ulises Rincon is a southside Chicago native who has recently launched his solo music career after being on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2016 with Curie High School’s vocal ensemble, Musicality.

At the time, Rincon was one of the main vocalists for the group and they made it all the way up to the semifinals. Alongside Musicality, Rincon has had the chance to perform at various venues across Chicago, including Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, The House of Blues, the Art Institute of Chicago and Good Day Chicago.

Rincon had his first solo show at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge on Feb. 24. He started his 45 minute set by honoring Mac Miller’s death by covering his song “Come Back To Earth.” He then performed original songs written by himself as well as other covers, ending the show with a cover of  “I’ll Try Anything Once” by The Strokes.

Reva Kashikar, a student of the Art Institute of Chicago, attended the show. “I like The Strokes a lot it was exciting to hear the last song, but also his voice is really deep and it was very interesting to hear,” Kashikar said.

Rincon musical career has been years in the making as a singer-songwriter. Rincon said music had a great impact throughout his life ever since the age of 7-years-old when he received his first piano and guitar.

Rincon’s said his taste in music is very broad, as he enjoys all genres from rock & roll to classical music to hip hop and rap. “I was really into the band scenes growing up … on YouTube that’s how I discovered most of my music that I know of today,” Rincon said.

The Strokes and Linkin Park are two bands he said he pulls his biggest inspirations from. He said he also admires classic bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen and Nirvana. Solo artists he said he admires are Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana and Frank Sinatra. Rincon said he also pulls a lot of his inspiration from his cultural background as he is of Mexican descent he enjoys to listen to Mexican bands.

Rincon said he started to get serious about music when he auditioned for Musicality his freshman year of high school. He said his friends pushed him to doing it as he didn’t want to because at the time he was just focused on sports at the time. He ended up auditioning and was accepted into the ensemble.

Rincon said he is grateful for his time spent with Muscality. “Musicality was where I found my true passion for music and is the reason why I decided to pursue music as a career,” Rincon said. He is very grateful to Musicality for allowing him to grow as an artist and being able to make the connections he needed in order to start his musical career.

He has composed various songs and music samples. “I have always honestly been an emotional guy when it comes to writing music … I write about real life situations about love and life that everyone can connect to,” Rincon said. Behind every song, he said he believes there’s a story and through his music, he expresses events that have happened throughout his life.

Rincon has had plenty of shows throughout his musical trajectory. After “America’s Got Talent,” he put together his first band, The Metro Project, that was together for two years.

After that he then started another band called The Now A Days and they experimented with sounds such as garage rock and smooth rock. This band eventually dismantled and his solo career sparked at the end of 2018. Such setback didn’t discourage him to quit on his music career. He keeps on working on music and perfecting his craft.

Rincon spoke about his first solo show, describing it as a “new chapter in my life. I always say I have all these different chapters in my life where it’s all about adapting to what’s new.”

Rincon is planning to rebrand himself, calling himself ODY$$EY as he goes on as a solo artist. Rincon said he also plans on releasing an EP this year, and leaving a mark behind with all his upcoming music. He mentioned how the lead singer of The Strokes, Julian Casablancas, said during an interview how he wanted to leave a mark to the next generation. “I want to leave a mark in this world and influence everyone and inspire people through my music show them dreams can become true,” Rincon said.

“I’ll be honest, the music business – it’s a cutthroat business for up and rising musicians such as myself and the ones to come,” Rincon said. “At the same time, something I try to push for is to stay motivated and remaining true to yourself and your music.”

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, arts and entertainment, Feature, Feature, Recent Posts, Recent Stories

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