By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 27, 2004 at 5:27 AM

{image1}If you're one of those people that thinks modern music only provides bad examples to our youth, then you haven't met Cincere, a Milwaukee R&B singer who hopes his music will inspire rather than provoke.

"I don't want to sing about murder because I don't want to kill anybody," he writes on his Web site. "I don't want to sing about slingin' because I don't want kids to look up to drug dealers. I just want to send a positive message to the people and make them feel empowered through my music."

A Chicago native, Cincere first performed at the age of 5 and moved to Milwaukee while he was in high school. After graduation, he formed a group, Devinere, with his pal Vidal Acevedo (aka 88 Fingaz) and for the past three years, he's been performing around the Midwest as a solo performer.

In addition to slots opening for Pharcyde, Method Man and DJ Jazzy Jeff, Cincere is also a popular performer at local sports events, including Bucks, Wave and Admirals games at the Bradley Center.

Last year he released his debut disc, "Simply Cincere."

We recently caught up with him to talk about his life, his music -- and how they reflect one another -- and the r&b and hip hop scenes in Milwaukee.

OMC: You've had a long, hard road over the years and a very difficult family life. What do you think you've learned from all of these difficult experiences? What have you taken away from them?

C: Honestly, throughout my whole life, no matter how up and down my life seemed at the time, if I stayed positive things would always work out for the best. God always tests people by throwing obstacles your way so that you can learn from that situation and become a stronger person. If you can make it through your struggle, there will be something positive waiting at the other end. I've learned to take these everyday situations and incorporate them into my music, and by singing I have the power to make the next person's day a more positive one.

OMC: Have they informed or inspired your music?

C: Sure! I use my past and present situations -- good and bad -- to inspire my music. They are such a big part of me I have to write about what I know best.

OMC: Do you think all of that has helped you keep the entertainment business in perspective?

C: There are so much more important things in life. Material things come with success and that's great; it allows you to do more things and live life comfortably, but what really adds to making your life important and being fulfilled is being able to help the next person in need, enjoying a nice day at the beach with my son, to love somebody and be in love.

OMC: Who are the musicians and singers that have inspired you over the years and what have you gotten from each of them?

C: I'm such a musical person. Almost anybody can inspire me, to name a few: Usher, Jaheim, Beyonce, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, (Milwaukee's) Jersey Ave. They inspire me because they're talented, and they work hard to continue to be better.

OMC: Your performing name is Cincere. Is that a statement about sincerity is lacking in a lot of music today?

C: Yeah, I think artists are not singing about how they feel or who they are all the time because they have people behind them holding the power telling them what's going to sell.

OMC: Tell us a little about the modern R&B and hip-hop scene in Milwaukee. Are there many performers? Do they get the chance to perform much at home? How do you fit into the scene here?

C: Yeah, there are a few: Jersey Ave, Efeezo, Hennessi, D-evil, Al Daniels, GRC, Ice Mone, The DRE, Recordbreakers and more. Sometimes its hard to find places to perform on a consistent basis. Milwaukee does not have as much nightlife to offer as the bigger cities, but I think we have been getting bigger the last couple year. For me, I just try to find new creative ways to get my name out there, just think of things that other people are not doing. I know or am friends with all the people above and I know we are all trying to accomplish the same goal.

OMC: What's next for Cincere?

C: For me it is to be as creative as possible about doing as much as possible to get my name seen; letting every important person know about it in the meantime. Also, to improve my talent by going to vocal and dance coaches, and when someone asks for a package, give them the most impressive, professional package they've ever seen.

Visit him on the Web at

You can see and hear Cincere Sat., Feb. 28 at the Milwaukee Admirals game at the Bradley Center, where he will sing the national anthem.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.