Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

RHC student musicians emerging without notice

Sitting idly on the steps just by the music building is Carlos Quintero, an 18 year-old Rio Hondo student that seems to know just what he wants.

At first glance, Quintero’s green eyes and long locks of hair draw you in, leaving a slight impression of a young brunette Kurt Cobain.

It is no surprise to find out that Quintero has a bass guitar to call his own and that he adores music. His bass is black and covered with stickers that have been placed carefully throughout the years.

“For now playing music is a pastime. I know school is my priority right now, but I will never forget when I first picked up a bass and it felt like falling in love”, mentions Quintero.

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Quintero’s pale hands felt a bass guitar for the first time at age 13, and a year after his parents gave him his own unique Dean Bass as an 8th grade graduation gift.

All the curiosity that built up since that first touch drove him to devote a great amount of time into learning to play his favorite songs.

The heavy influence that ska-punk band Rancid imprinted into Quintero’s core really showed throughout his adolescence and especially in his style of performing.

“Initially, I wasn’t the best at it. I loved to play the bass fast and loud though, which sounded pretty cool nonetheless. It’s all about rhythm and I really enjoyed that aspect”, says Quintero.

Quintero joined the guitar club in high school, which soon became a small music group that played on campus just for fun.

“That club”, he chuckles. “Basically that’s what people would call us because we didn’t have an actual band name.”

His goal at the moment is to study hard and do well in school, in hopes of finding out what success and happiness is like; but of course, music eventually will creep back into his life.

Alexandra “Ally” Ulloa is caught patiently waiting alongside a curb just under the art building.

The 20 year-old gal seems to be submerged in sweet melodies that rush through from both ends of her plain white headphones.

Ulloa sits and waits for the next set of lectures.

“I major in cultural anthropology, and music appreciation class is coming up”, says Ulloa with a tender smile.

Perfect. Yet another music enthusiast is found amongst the hundreds of Rio students that roam the campus.

Ulloa discovered a newfound appreciation for music just when life presented a difficult situation.

“After my knee injuries” she explains, “I needed to find a way to express myself. Volleyball was my escape so once I no longer had that, I decided to pursue music and found another passion that way.”

Clearly, such bad experiences were not so bad after all for Ulloa, who turned to music for relief.

She has played the ukulele since summer of 2012 and writes her own songs.

“My goal is to play at cafes or small venues. I do this for myself mostly”, says Ulloa. “This is a hobby of mine, so if people listen to my music and enjoy it, that’s just an added bonus.”

On Ulloa’s YouTube channel (, there are a few gems surely to be found.

“Heavenly Gold” is the title to a very special song dedicated to those who fear death and one’s who have passed away.

Her voice resembles that of Lana Del Rey, which coincidently is one of Ulloa’s idols.

Another artist found on Ulloa’s playlist is Animal Collective.

“I tend to listen to their track ‘Banshee Beat’ every time I wander around campus, it just puts me in a good mood,” she mentions.

Definitely keep an eye out for these passionate aspiring musicians on campus, along with several of other students. There is much hidden talent at Rio that is deserving of everyone’s attention.

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