We had the good fortune of connecting with Zachary Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zachary, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I pursued a creative career because it gave me a chance to express myself and have a hand in something that people from all walks of life enjoy. Music has always been an escape for me and I desired to be a part of the creative process. Even as a kid, I never saw myself working a typical 9-5 office job. I began to learn about Pro Tools in high school and could truly see a career for myself in music.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In my sessions, I don’t like to be the engineer that just sits there and record. I like to collaborate with the artist and get their vision out. Even when they don’t know what they want, I like to experiment and add my personal touch.
Whenever people ask me about my career, I tell them that I’m an ADR Engineer by day and a Recording/Mixing Engineer by night at fifty50studios. I’ve had the opportunity to work on a well-known anime that happens to be one of my sister’s favorites and I couldn’t wait to tell her. In the studio, I’m always excited to work with new artists and very proud to see them leave my sessions satisfied.
I’ve gotten to where I’m at by working hard and getting over the fear of simply speaking up. I think we miss out on a lot of opportunities by being nervous and not saying a word. I once overheard a conversation about an audio position and kindly asked if I could get the information to apply. I ended up getting the job! Even though the process of obtaining the position seemed easy, those two weeks of training were tough. I would take sessions home and recreate the process of recording/editing like I was in the studio.
One thing that I’ve learned about being an Audio Engineer is that you have to stay diligent. You must continue learning and practicing your craft. Even during the slower times, you HAVE TO keep grinding because you never know when you’re going to get that call that can change your life. You have to be motivated at all times and be passionate about the work that you do.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
That is a great question.
Gotta take them to the Cedar Ridge Reserve, get a good hike in, and get some tacos at Fruta Loca: fried shells with beef or chicken and cheese with the broth for dipping. Definitely need to get a couple of strawberry cupcakes from Kookie Haven. Go through Bishop Arts, get a couple of records from Spinster Records. Go to Trinity Groves and take a walk on the bridge. Have brunch at Soiree or go to Beto & Sons and walk it off looking at art at Fabrication Yard, If they want some chicken, I gotta take them to Mike’s Chicken and Tasty Tails if they want a good seafood boil. Deep Ellum, Dallas Farmer’s Market and The Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth are all a must.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, I have to thank God for blessing me with all of the opportunities that I have and will be given in the future. I have to thank my family for always being supportive. My parents have consistently been reassuring of me and my dreams. My wife has been my backbone and deserves the world.
I want to thank my church, West Dallas Community Church, for putting me in front of a mixing board and igniting the spark of sound within me. I want to thank my schools, Duncanville High School, Cedar Valley College, & Full Sail University as well as the teachers for all the knowledge that was bestowed upon me that I still use to this day.
I always have to thank Bryan Walker aka DJ Red X for being the first person to call and give me a job recommendation when I got home from school. We truly miss you bro.
I got to say what’s up to Tony Williams. He was the first artist I worked with out of school and gave me a lot of game during those late-night sessions.
I want to thank the Dallas music scene for allowing me to be a part of it.
Last, but not least, I want to thank…you.