Los Angeles Vocalist Felice Hernandez
1. When and why did you start playing?
Well, I grew up on the road. My dad is a guitarist and from the time I was born we were traveling around the U.S. And Canada with his show band. I was surrounded by music all the time and then we settled down in Los Angeles so that I could start kindergarten. Dad quit the band and started working here in town as a solo act, as well as a booking agent. My brain was full of songs at an early age, so harmony came very easily to me. I never really considered any other profession, honestly.
2. Which instruments do you play?
My voice is my main instrument, but I can find my way around on piano when I need to work on something. I also play hand percussion and I learned from some of the best guys in the business. My LP Mini Congas are great fun, and I groove like a mother. (Really, ask any drummer out there.) In my next life, I’ll learn to play with sticks, though–drum set, timbales. My next life.
3. What was the first tune(s) you learned?
For a paid gig, you mean? I think it was “Masquerade“.
R – E – S – P – E – C – T
4. Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Too many to name, but I can at least list some voices that have influenced me over the years: Donna Summer, Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, N’Dea Davenport of the Brand New Heavies
5. What’s your favorite era of music?
Wow. It’s a toss up between the seventies and eighties, but I’ll go with the eighties. It was all about weird. And as an adolescent during that musical period, what else could be more fitting? Devo, Missing Persons, Oingo Boingo, Depeche Mode….hearing those songs for the first time made me stop in my tracks and ask, “What the hell are they playing? Nobody’s gonna like this tune….well, except me.” I was clearly mistaken.
6. Cake, Pie or Ice Cream?
Ice cream–that is, when I feel like cheating my vegan diet.
7. Favorite non Network Show?
Anthony Bourdain “Parts Unknown”
8 Best undiscovered band?
Ahhh, if I were only that hip!
I’M ALL ABOUT THAT BASS …
9. Describe your first instrument.
Oh, this is funny! When I was ten I thought I’d pick up the bass and start a girl band. I don’t know what the make was, but I had it plugged into a Pignose amp and attempted to learn a bunch of The GoGos songs. I gave up the bass when I couldn’t find any other female rock musicians at my elementary school to jam with me.
10. Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
Oh my gosh, who wasn’t? My first album that I purchased with my own money was Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall.” He and Donna Summer made me who I am today.
11. Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD’s? Steely Dan, The Beatles, The Brand New Heavies, Chaka Khan, Rufus, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Mayer Hawthorne, Bruno Mars….I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch of others, too.
NERVES? I GET OVER IT FAST.
12. How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
I know that it’s all about having a good time up on stage so mistakes are no big whoop.
13. Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?
I don’t get nervous, unless I see a half-empty room. It’s far more nerve-wracking to perform for a smaller audience than the masses, because then it really means that all eyes are on you. Even then, as soon as I get through the first chorus my nervousness dissipates.
14. What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
That it’s ok to suck! You sing or play (hopefully) because you LOVE MUSIC, The best way to learn and grow as a musician is to make mistakes and learn from them.
FELICE IS AN AMAZING AND FLUENT SIGHT READER!
15. Do you read music? I do read music. Yes.
16. How often and for how long do you practice?
I usually learn new tunes in my car, How long I work on new material depends on my commute time! I teach voice privately which allows me to vocalize with my students quite a bit, and thats how I keep my voice in shape,.
17. What do you practice – exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?
I practice new songs and/or difficult songs up until the point where it “almost” becomes muscle memory. If I know it too well, then there’s nothing for my brain to do on stage. And then it’s not fun anymore.
18. How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?
It’s a juggling act, for sure! I am working my hardest this year to be fully “present” when I’m home and not think about work all the time. I schedule office hours for myself and that seems to be helping so far.
19. Why do you like playing weddings?
I love playing weddings because it’s a blast observing the excitement of all the guests. It’s a once in a lifetime event for all. Musicians really need to remember that.
THE PERFECT SONG LIST
20. Describe the perfect wedding set list.
Well, that is not for me to decide! At The Replicas Music they know every set list is going to be as different as each couple and they welcome each couples input. By listening to the clients ideas they insure a great set list each time we perform.
21. Favorite Venue for to play Live Music Entertainment?
Favorite venues would have to be Spaghettini in Seal Beach, St. Rocke in Hermosa Beach,
22. Dream Gig? It’s been a dream of mine to sing back up for Steely Dan!
23. Name: Felice Schaeffer
24. Website: http://felicemusic.com
SHE LEARNS FROM THE VERY BEST IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
25. Training: Private voice with John Deaver & Lis Lewis
Sight singing studies with Gerald White, Jim Gilstrap and Howie Shear
26. Favorite place for breakfast?
Hugo’s is my absolute fav!!!!
27. Favorite LA venue to hear Live Music Entertainment?
28. Why do you enjoy being a part of The Replicas Music Family?
I enjoy being a part of The Replicas Music because they carefully choose songs that please the client, all the while making sure they’re songs that we love ourselves. The musicians that play with The Replicas Music play the heck out of every part! They are not the average cookie-cutter wedding band.
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