Abel Ullón talks about his life as the new winner of the Alcanza la Fama contest.

Sitting in his Kansas City apartment after a long and hard day toiling away as a sanitation worker, Abel Ullón was contemplating giving up his dream of making it big in the music world. “I kept thinking about what I could do about my life when it came to my music,” remembers 28 year-old Ullón. “The truth is, I was about to throw in the towel.” That’s when he sat in front of his computer and found inspiration. “While in the middle of all this doubt and confusion, I saw the Time Warner Cable ad for the Alcanza la Fama contest”. To enter, Ullón had just eight hours to record “Es tu manera” and send it via online. Not having anything to record with, he quickly went to the closest Wal-Mart and bought a Flip video camera. He taped three versions of the song and with his wife’s help chose one and sent it just in time. “I sent the video but I didn’t think I had a chance to win because I was one of the last people to enter.”

Two weeks later while drinking his early morning coffee he received the phone call that would change his life. “When they called me to tell me that I won, I thought it was a joke,” laughs Ullón. “When I realized that it was someone from Time Warner, I was so happy I cried like a baby. I hugged my wife Lisa and my 3 year-old daughter Isabel, I called my parents in Paraguay, I ran all over the house. I didn’t know what to do.”

Since Ullón’s debut as the winner at the Latino Trendsetter and Scholarship Gala Awards in New York, he has toured across the US with The Annual Billboard Latin Music Concert Series where he opened for artists like Mexican rock band Camila. In April he opened for Mexican singer Dulce María in an exclusive Time Warner Cable and mun2 event. He has also recorded two singles, a commercial, and a video as well. “I am going to be incredibly thankful for the rest of my life to them because this is the opportunity I have always been waiting for.”

Music has always been a part of Ullón’s life. Living in his native Paraguay, 8 year old Ullón played his guitar and sang at the local church. In later years he formed a band with his cousins called Radical. Soon after, he left to pursue his dreams in the U.S. “I came looking for a better horizon,” remembers Ullón. “From the bottom of my heart I always followed my dream to be a music success.”

When Ullón is alone, he thinks of his homeland, his parents, his siblings and his cousins and he is moved to write and play his music. “That yearning grabs me and these are the moments when I feel broken and the words start to pour out, not from my hands but from my heart.”