Solis follows father’s footsteps into music industry

Uriah+Solis+sings+and+plays+guitar+for+Cinco%27s+Got+Talent+performance

Uriah Solis sings and plays guitar for Cinco’s Got Talent performance

Ana Gutierrez, Entertainment Editor

Instead of preparing to play for the Memorial football game on Saturday, September 29, senior Uriah Solis was in Seattle playing guitar for Cee-Lo Green’s opening act. While most teenagers would react by uploading pictures on to their social media pages, this was just another gig for Solis.

“If someone asks me if I played with this person or that person, I’ll tell them that I did,” Solis said. “I kind of want it to be a surprise later in the future when I’ll be playing somewhere and as they say my name people in the crowd can be like, ‘Hey, I knew that kid!’”

Growing up in a musically talented family, Solis picked up his first drumsticks when he was four years old. Many of his childhood days were spent in a tour bus hanging out with his dad, a professional drummer.

“I remember sitting in the bunk beds and stuff,” Solis said. “My dad has been the inspiration, introduction, everything. He turned me to many genres of music, so he helped me become versatile in the number of styles I can play.”

After living in San Antonio for three years, Solis’ dad was asked to be music director for Jaci Velasquez, a Hispanic Christian artist, in 1998. Two years later, Solis’ uncle was asked to play bass for her as well so he and his sons followed Solis’ family. It is no surprise that Solis’ cousins are also musically talented and therefore have been a big influence in Solis’ musicianship.

“Me and my cousins would always listen to our dads play and they made us believe that we could sound the same,” Solis said. “I consider myself the least [talented] out of my cousins. They’re always together and writing stuff, coming up with new things. I’m trying to catch up all the time and they keep me on my toes.”

Being the youngest of the family, Solis has always felt challenged by his relatives to learn new things and grow in his expertise. Today, Solis plays drums, electric and acoustic guitar, bass, and other instruments usually found on a musical group’s set up.

His musical flexibility is also highlighted in the various styles of music he knows, a skill he has his dad to thank for as well. Growing up, Solis’s dad made an effort to introduce him to anything from rock to country, two genres he says that are very similar in many ways.

“[My dad] introduced me to a bunch of genres of music and helped me become versatile,” Solis said. “He would tell me to learn this, and this, and this, so I learned to play drums in almost every style. I then picked up the guitar because I thought it was cool so I learned from the same perspective.”

Solis’ abilities have helped him acquire positions as a band member for wo churches, Lakewood Church and Faith Assembly. There is a possibility that his dad will play drums for Maroon 5’s opening act in the American Overexposed Tour, providing Solis with another opportunity to connect with other recording artists.

“It’s kind of weird for me because I’m normally the only kid with a bunch of men,” Solis said. “Which is why I’m not super interactive with everyone else on stage yet, but I’m learning. I just make sure that I play as solid as possible until I play it enough with them that I can start [improvising.]”

Instead of practicing for specific performances, Solis practices to familiarize himself with as many styles and tricks he can do with his instrument. Regardless of the music Solis plays, he prepares to have the talent necessary to play every rhythm and hit every note. As a result, every solo he plays during a performance is completely improvised.

“I play every day for at least thirty minutes throughout the entire day,” Solis said. “I know a bunch of different scales and different positions on the net for each key, so I just stick to those notes and get creative.”

Unlike many other musicians, Solis practices his instruments as a hobby rather than an assignment. His guitars sit out in the open during the day, so he might pick one up and play for a bit when he walks through his game room. Sometimes, he walks past them with no desire to work on something that moment. But he avoids practicing for an extended amount of time on a normal day as to keep the fun in it.

“I don’t necessarily zone in and try to learn something new each time,” Solis said. “I just got to make sure that I play every day.”

Solis’ sister is currently studying music business in Belmont University, the same school Solis plans on attending next year for music performance. Since the music industry is fickle in its demand and opportunities, Solis cannot predict whether the industry has room for him. Regardless of where life takes him, Solis plans on taking his music with him.

“I’m going to minor in music and major on something else so when I’m done with music there is something for me to fall back on,” Solis said. “But as far as music goes, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be okay as far as getting gigs.”