In an age of MySpace superstars and wide-eyed music industry hopefuls, it’s refreshing to see a young start-up who is truly about the business of entertainment.
Enter Felicia Stevenson, better known as “Diosa” in the underground music scene. A 2010 graduate of Oglethorpe, she strategically chose to study business administration while aggressively pursuing a career in music. Her hard work paid off, as before she has even released her first album, Felicia has shared the stage with some of the music industry’s most popular acts, including Grammy Award-winning artist Lil’ Wayne and Atlanta rapper T.I. Now she’s working full-time to produce an album that’s will showcase her talent…and her business sense.
“I feel that life must have a balance of liberal arts education and the arts,” said Diosa. “I was a morning student at Oglethorpe, but there were times I had to take night and morning classes so my schedule wouldn’t conflict with my music career. I remember there were days I went to morning classes, then attended night school, left there at 10 p.m., drove to the studio, recorded music, left the studio at 8 a.m., and arrived back at class in the same clothes I wore to school the previous day. My life was exhausting!”
She says the experience of her father, who is her biggest musical influence, inspired her to make music and good grades. A lead singer in a touring band, her father chose to forgo his music career in favor of a college degree. “For this reason, I vowed to never allow obstacles to deter me from fulfilling my dreams and destiny….and now I feel as if I’m walking in his footsteps.”
For now, Diosa is an independent artist, developing her craft and fan base to attract a good deal with a major label. According to Diosa, many companies are not taking as much financial risk as they have in the past, and are looking for artists that have already developed their talent.
“After reading books like Donald Passman’s All You Need to Know About the Music Business and speaking with successful people in the music industry I learned that depending on your situation it may be more cost effective to wait before getting a label involved,” said Diosa, who released her debut EP in early 2011. “For this reason, I have label interest but have chosen to hold out, create value in my company and negotiate a contract later.”
She also has taken other matters into her own hands by buying her own recording studio to save money, have more control, and invest in herself.
“In my scenario, I have the proper finances for artist development, show performances, dancers, live band, PR/media, recording, singles’ release, etc. in order to generate a fan base. This approach allows companies to consider me as less risky, offer more money and give me creative control over my career.”
Spoken like a true scholar.