When we think of Venezuelan popular music, the usual names that come to mind are those of pop icons such as Jose Luis Rodriguez “El Puma” or Ricardo Montaner. And if we zero in on Venezuelan rock, we usually think of Desorden Público or Caramelos De Cianuro. But now Venezuela has a new voice that combines the sensibilities of the pop ballad with the energy and versatility of rock music. This new voice is that of Ulises Hadjis.
Ulises was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela in 1982, to a Greek father and Venezuelan mother. His stepfather, who worked as a radio host, played a big influence in his musical upbringing by introducing him to the music of the Beatles and other bands that are now part of Ulises’ list of musical icons.
Since childhood, he was attracted to music and participated in diverse bands such as the ska band Julia. In 2004 he released his first recording, a self-produced and somewhat DIY solo effort in which he was accompanied by his guitar and tracks that he produced himself. In 2007, Ulises was awarded a Latin Grammy for his production work with Venezuelan sextet Vos Veis.
In 2008, he released his first official album, Presente, which gained the recognition of the Latin American press and allowed him to tour Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Spain and the U.S.
Now, the Venezuelan artist returns with Cosas Perdidas, a sophisticated pop rock album that shows the progression of his musical capabilities. On Cosas Perdidas, Ulises is accompanied by Marian Ruzzi (from Julieta Venegas’ band), Denise Gutierrez (Hello Seahorse! vocalist), Juan Manuel Torreblanca, Cheba Massolo (from Kevin Johansen’s band) and Luigi Castillo (of Voz Veis / Sanluis), among others.
From the album, the track “Donde Vá” single-handedly represents the vibe of the entire album: a work delicately arranged with touches of classic American and Spanish rock, as well as Latin pop. The single was co-written by novelist Leo Felipe Campos.