“I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a king…”
“… and that’s just since Tuesday!”
“I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king…”
“…and that’s just since Tuesday!”
Raised in Connecticut, Universo grew up spending his summers in Brooklyn, NY, where his love of music and writing was formed. It was there where he would hear first-person accounts of legendary local singer-songwriters. Inspired by these stories, Universo began composing and performing his own songs.
Upon receiving a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, Universo went to Nashville, TN and co-founded the rock band Red Carpet Rats, serving as its frontman, rhythm guitarist, and lyricist. He has had the privilege of touring internationally and recording with countless industry luminaries including Michael Wagener (Metallica), Kevin Beamish (Kenny Chesney), and Jimmy Johnson (The Rolling Stones).
As owner of Chauffeur Entertainment, a company housing both a record label and publishing division, Universo was instrumental in signing Red Carpet Rats to a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. He facilitated the band’s premiere of their release, The Year Of The Rat, on over 60,000 Touch Tunes jukeboxes in venues across North America. Universo also helped his band crossover into the Latin market, leading to performances of his tequila-fueled anthem, “The Gulp Of Mexico,” on Telemundo’s Spanish TV.
Universo has placed songs in film and television soundtracks, and licensed his latest album to Bunim/Murray Productions for their programs on networks including E! Entertainment and Oxygen. His compositions have also been featured by global mass media company Viacom on its MTV and VH1 channels. Most recently, Universo’s tune “Going To Hell” attained Top 10 status internationally and was used prominently in ESPN’s X-Games. As a result of these accomplishments, he secured a deal as a writer for UMG’s MasterSource music catalogue, the industry’s leading provider of original music for film, television, and multimedia.
Cast in the National Broadway Tour of the hit musical Rock of Ages, Universo performed over 300 hundred shows to sold-out theaters, arenas, and amphitheaters across the U.S. and Canada. His portrayal garnered raves and led to countless television performances and live appearances. He holds the distinction of being a member of the company which entertained the single largest audience in the musical’s storied history.
Universo was honored to perform “A Tribute To Smokey Robinson” before an audience of iconic music and entertainment leaders including Quincy Jones and Berry Gordy in a celebration of Motown’s 50th Anniversary in Los Angeles. In a series of commercial spots for Verizon Wireless, he played the mysterious “Man in Black” character as well as performed as part of a rockabilly trio alongside celebrated Musicians Hall of Fame members. Universo then reprised the role live across the country on Verizon’s massive 4G-LTE Rock N’ Rollout Tour.
Instrumental in launching the lifestyle channel Back9Network in 20 million homes on DirecTV, as On-Air Satirist and Script Writer, Universo made regular appearances on the channel’s daily original sports, pop culture, and talk show-themed programming. Additionally, he served as Music Director and On-Air Guitarist, providing both pre-recorded and live musical accompaniment until the network ceased production in 2015.
A member of Musicians On Call, which brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities, Universo is honored to have served as a spokesman for the Tennessee chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America and is member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. He has also taught introductory music to children as part of an outreach program in conjunction with the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
Universo is a proud owner and friend of his rescue dog, Freddie.