“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 New England, Universo grew up spending his summers in New York City, 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.
Universo co-founded the rock band Red Carpet Rats serving as its frontman, lyricist, and rhythm guitarist. He has had the privilege of touring internationally and recording with countless industry luminaries, including Michael Wagener (Metallica), Kevin Beamish (Elton John), and Jimmy Johnson (The Rolling Stones).
As an owner of Chauffeur Entertainment, an entertainment company housing both a record label and publishing division, Universo was instrumental in getting Red Carpet Rats signed 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 the 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. Global mass media company Viacom has also featured his compositions 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.
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.
As On-Air Host, Universo was instrumental in the launch of the lifestyle channel Back9Network in 20 million homes on DirecTV, and 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 for the network.
A participant 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. He also has taught introductory music history to children as part of an outreach program in conjunction with the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
Universo has academic degrees from Duke University (Bachelor of Arts) and the University of Edinburgh (Master of Music), for whom he performed as Student Orator and delivered the closing speech at the graduation ceremony on behalf of the cohort of students. However, he is most proud of being the owner and companion of his rescue dog, Freddie.