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Meet Felipe Fraga

Today we’d like to introduce you to Felipe Fraga.

Felipe, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started playing drums at the age of nine back home in Curitiba, Brazil.

But before starting my formal musical studies, my connection with drums actually came from playing on motor oil cans I would grab from the gas station next door every other time to jam with my friends. They had guitar and bass cardboard cut outs but I was the only one really making any sounds.

My mom then got a drum pad made for me at her work and I was really excited to add that to my “set up”.

At the age of 13 she got me my first drum kit which was made out of plywood and had brass made cymbals and single heads…very poor quality instrument but I loved it! Can’t really say the same about some of my neighbors.

I then joined a marching band in which I was introduced to classical music and soon after I started learning classical percussion at the Music and Fine Arts School of Paraná and had the chance to perform with a variety of classical ensembles.

I relocated to Chicago in 2001 and spent the next 12 and a half years there. I had the chance to record and perform with/for the most various artists, campaigns and genres as well as touring and teaching.

In 2013 I moved to Los Angeles and it has been an amazing journey filled with many opportunities – indeed a great move!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Not a smooth road at all! As a musician, you get to experience deeper “valleys” than most professions. First, there was the language and adjusting and understanding a total different and new culture.

Building your network and introducing your work to new people also takes a lot of time, even more in LA than in Chicago, and it can be very tiring and frustrating at times.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I’m a Brazilian percussionist and drummer. I’m proud of many projects I got to be part of – it’s hard to name one since they all have their value and are in different spectrums of the music business.

What sets you apart from others? I feel this is a very broad and subjective question – well, I try my absolute best not to compare myself to other musicians. Everyone has something special about them, and what I can say is that I’m constantly aiming to better the work I do.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
No big changes for now… Chicago, LA… these were major changes! I must spend some time in Los Angeles before anything else, but I’m completely open to what life presents me with.

Looking forward to reach more of my professional goals!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jorge Vismara, Steve Steinhardt, Melissa Castro, Sun Rolon

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