Courtney “LeTigra” Davis is a promising DJ/producer who is currently living in the West Coast metropolis of San Francisco. She start becoming a DJ/producer after a personal situation that occurred to her a few years ago. Since then, she has continued learning and enhancing her music-crafting skills so that she can mix great music that will have everyone enjoying the rhythms from start to finish. In the daytime, she is a very successful real estate agent in the San Francisco Bay Area, earning the nickname, “The Tigress of Real Estate”.
She later brings over to that success onto her music-crafting passion as she aims to become a world-class house music artist. I first interacted with Courtney “LeTigra” Davis at the All Day I Dream Festival in Oakdale last month while I covered the amazing memorable festival. Here is One EDM’s exclusive interview with LeTigra, the DJ and real estate Tigress who aims to not only take the San Francisco house scene by storm, but also the international house music industry as well. While reading this interview article, make sure to listen one of LeTigra’s sets on her SoundCloud.
Ken Ngo: Hey there Courtney. You were at the All Day I Dream Festival not too long ago. How was that mesmerizing experience for you?
LeTigra: For a first-year festival this was top-notch. The location was wonderful being right on the reservoir, so we could float all day long and listen to wonderful chill melodic music from the cloud nine stage. The weather was lovely, the food was yummy, and the festival shopping was fantastic. But what really set this festival apart from other festivals, was the music. I never really heard a bad set during the entire festival.
What were your most favorite moments for you at the festival?
Layla Benitez, who I had never even heard of, blew my mind. Followed by Roy Rosenfeld, who rarely plays in the US, so that was such a nice treat! Also, Lee’s closing set was pretty special.
Getting onto the topic about your music. In your own words, what is your style of house music like?
I love old-school Chicago style house music from the 90’s mixed with melodic soulful covers. I would best describe the music I play as groovy, uplifting vocal house music with a feminine twist. I especially gravitate towards tracks that elicit some emotion and LOVE strong powerful female vocals. The DJs I enjoy most are the ones that make you feel something, so that’s my goal when I play music. Someday, when I can find the time, I would like to resume working with my vocal coach. Then, I will start singing either along side some of the tracks or eventually once I start producing, replace the vocals with my voice.
What made you decide to get into the amazing field of electronic music production?
That’s a longer story. But the shortened version is my boyfriend of four years was a phenomenal house DJ in San Francisco for the better party of thirty years. He loved playing music, and had residencies in the 90’s at Ruby Skye, Kat Club and the Wet Release Parties. But by the time we got together, in 2015, he no longer had any desire or drive to take his DJ career past just playing a friend’s party or Burning Man fundraiser every once in awhile. At the end of 2018, I learned he was cheating on me with my best friend at the time, and planned to leave me for her, which destroyed me. But, a couple days before he left, he asked if there was anything he could do, to make things just a little easier, since he really wronged me. With no hesitation, I requested, “Can you tell me what gear to buy, give me a quick 20-min lesson and some of your music so I can start making my own sets”?
Since he won’t be around to make me sets any more. He agreed and so I started practicing, as I was determined to learn how to DJ, as it was me facing a fear of tech paired with a passion for music. Within 1 month, I release my first set (still up on my SoundCloud as my first posted set, click on the link here). Within a couple months I was already playing friends birthdays, and was listening to about 30 hours of music and practicing a bunch every week to find new tracks and perfect my transitions.
I’m known as the Tigress of Real Estate in SF (my day job), so when I put my mind to something I give it my all in dedication, and typically become good fairly quickly. It was no different with DJing. But, because I’m kinesthetic and felt the music, I had and still have a pretty good ability to select the right tracks for a particular set and play them in a special order to take my listeners on a soulful journey. And when I mess up a transition, it actually physically hurts me, like the feeling you get when you hear nails on a chalkboard. So to avoid that, I put sets together, play them, practice the transitions until they sound good. So that by the time I’m playing live, I’ve typically ideally played that set through at least 3-4 times.
Do you have any good starters for the readers here who would like to check out your music for the first time?
Any set I played live, I posted on SoundCloud so listeners could follow along with me on my DJ journey. The very first set I made, I posted on February 2019, one month after I started. Keep in mind, at that time I knew nothing about music theory, wheel of fifths or even really how to adjust high, mids or lows, let alone knowing how to use effects. Three years later I’ve learned a lot about music theory that helps me put sets together.
Are you planning on creating any new music soon?
I’m playing a few upcoming gigs, as well as recently playing a few since I returned from the All Day I Dream Festival. A friend named David had a birthday on June 12th and his party is called “The Gemini Party”. The party is the who’s who for the club culture community in SF, one of the best private parties of the year, at his residence on his large roof deck. I was given the huge honor of opening the party from 2-3:15 p.m. Usually such a new DJ would not be given the opportunity, but he said I’m ready. I was very happy to be given that opportunity to perform.
Also on that same evening, I played at a girlfriend’s birthday at Temple on their new rooftop from 6:45-8 p.m. I haven’t really dug into producing a track yet, as I first need to take a class on Abelton and Logic. But I did play around with three decks, and made an edit by mixing all three songs together, recorded that, and have been playing that out on occasion. But I don’t even know how to master a track yet, or what it takes to release an edit of someone else’s track. Hoping to learn all that in my DJ production class which I’ll be taking in the fall, once the real estate market calms down a bit so I have more time.
What has been your most favorite memory performing live?
The first time I sang while DJing was pretty memorable. I started doing it during the pandemic, so in 2021, I was at a friend’s birthday party. I surprised everyone and started singing. All my friends had no idea I knew how to sing. It was scary and exhilarating at the same time, which was awesome!
As we are now here in the second half of 2022, what do you hope will see coming for you in terms of your constantly-rising career as a DJ/Producer?
My goals for 2022 are; release my first remix or edit of a track, get asked to play a night club that isn’t my friend’s party, play at a festival internationally and play BOC (Breakfast of Champions) in SF on New Year’s Day. Hopefully someday, I may get to play Defected Records in Croatia alongside Sam Divine. Also to play with Nora En Pure or Claptone, two of favorite producers.
Which festivals would you like to perform at the most?
BOC, All Day I Dream, LIB, BottleRock, Burning Man (I will play at few parties there) and maybe one international festival. My dream would be to someday get to play in Croatia at Defected Festival. I went last year, and absolutely loved it. It was hand down the best music I have ever heard at a festival consistently across all five days. That is my favorite record label and I’m going back again this year to celebrate my 40th bday. It would be an absolute dream come true to get to play that festival someday.