Tenacity. It’s one of the key ingredients of success in the music business and no one knows that better than Fela Davis. In the decade since she graduated from Full Sail’s Recording Arts program, Fela has worked at music venues in Myrtle Beach, Miami, and New York City, always keeping her eye on one goal: “I wanted to be a front of house engineer,” she says. “In fact, I wanted to become one of the best engineers in the business and work with the best talent out there.”
Fast forward to earlier this year when Fela was working the soundboard at some small clubs in Brooklyn. By this time, her resume included experience at the Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club and a stint with Eau Clair Wireless. The timing was perfect for Christian McBride to find her and offer her a position as his front of house engineer for his performance at the Curaçao Jazz Festival this August.
“This will be the biggest show I have ever mixed,” Fela says. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which will also showcase artists such as The Roots and Erykah Badu. Grammy Award-winning Christian McBride will perform with his 17-piece big band.
Although Fela is looking forward to the challenge of such a big event, she secretly admits that it’s going to be a piece of cake. “With such great artists, I don’t have to man the board as hard as other bands,” she says. “It’s a total pleasure.”
It’s a dream come true for Fela, who says she always dreamed of being a part of a big show with thousands of people in the audience. “I’m finally getting to do what I have always wanted to do. I can see now that all the hard work and persistence has paid off for me,” Fela says. “The festival will be amazing and then we’ll see where that opportunity will go.”