In celebration of LDI’s 30th anniversary—1988-2018—Live Design gives a shout out to 30 Under 30: thirty young movers and shakers who are changing paradigms, looking at things from new angles, and rapidly rising to the forefront of their field. From scenic, lighting, projection, and costume designers to technicians and programmers, as well as those who work for manufacturers, production companies, or rental shops, our 30 Under 30 are the harbingers of tomorrow.
Rachel Rozzi isn’t one to shy away from a challenge. After teaching herself everything she could learn about live sound, from scouring manuals to reading each interview she could get her hands on, she enrolled at the Blackbird Academy, and graduated at the top of her class. Just days after her graduation, she joined The Rolling Stones tour and worked on production for their 2016 historic show for an audience of 1.5 million in Havana, Cuba. Last year, she won a Pensado Award, one of the audio industry’s highest honors, for her work with Florida Georgia Line. She’s currently on staff at Clair Global as an audio tech, and is out on Justin Timberlake’s Man Of The Woods Tour.
Now 28, Rachel possesses wisdom and work ethic beyond her years, as she demonstrates in this Blackbird alumni interview: “One of my early mentors once told me that being a great engineer has nothing to do with the music itself, per se. Being a great engineer means possessing certain human qualities that include: patience, flexibility, and warmth. This is very important because you have to remember you're working with people, and your job as an engineer is to develop a relationship with your artists where they can fully trust you. When you get to that level of trust, that’s when the magic happens.”
Name: Rachel Rozzi
City/State: Nashville, TN
Position: Audio Technician
Employer: Clair Global
Current Projects: Justin Timberlake Man Of The Woods Tour
Most Notable Achievements: Accomplishing my dreams tenfold
When I started in this industry: I was a young kid with a lot of ambition and a long way to go, but I never stopped believing in myself. There were so many great engineers out there already who were decades ahead of me, so I knew I had to work my ass off to even get close to their level. But, I was determined to not only be a good engineer but a great one, and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.
How I got into this industry: I started my career by working in studios all over the world, and after four years, realized there was a lot more consistent work on the live side of things. I spent hours teaching myself by reading manuals and articles, listening to interviews, applying different techniques into sessions I was working on, and trying to take in as much as I could from the brilliant minds who had come before me. I was very fortunate to have a lot of great mentors along the way who saw potential in me and how passionate I was. They went above and beyond to teach me what they knew, and to them, I am forever grateful.
Influences: There are many people who influence me every day, mostly by their leadership, work ethic, and passion for what they do. I am drawn to those who strive for excellence and extraordinary and never simply settle for good. There are so many people that come to mind, but the list could go on and on.
Worst advice I’ve ever heard: When someone says, “That’s someone else’s problem.” I can’t stand the attitude that is so single-minded and non-team-oriented. When you’re out on the road, everyone works as a team; you put yourself aside and get the gig done.
Best advice I’ve ever heard: There is so much good advice that I have been told throughout the years. A few brilliant quotes that come to mind are: “Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple;” “Choose the harder right over the easier wrong;” and, “Surround yourself with people smarter than yourself.” There are so many more, but those three speak volumes to me, and are the way I try to not only conduct myself in my career, but also in my personal life. And most importantly, lead with integrity. Integrity is one of those things that is hard to earn and easy to lose. It is a word that encompasses so many important character qualities such as honesty, loyalty, accountability, and compassion. Those qualities are what I strive to live my life by.
My favorite thing about the production industry: I think what I love most about this industry is the amount we get to travel and see the world. We are incredibly blessed to be able to explore and adventure to places most would only dream of. I also love that once a tour gets going, it becomes one big family that works together to accomplish a common goal. When you live in such close proximity to people for such a long time, they become your brothers and sisters in the best and worst ways. Those are relationships that can last a lifetime and make this job more enjoyable.
My favorite design/programming/technical trick: Do it right the first time. Some tasks may be more tedious and time consuming than others. However, if you take the time to do it right the first time around, then you won’t have to go back and redo it later, and it will save you a lot of headaches and stress in the long run.
Plans for the future: Someday I’d like to be a system engineer for Clair Global. I love our company and the business model it holds. I plan to be a great leader in this company that makes those around me want to be better.
Other interests: To be honest, I don’t really have many interests other than touring at the moment. I am out on the road more than 300 days a year, so it makes it hard to really have other hobbies, since I am rarely home. However, when we do have days off in different places, I love to get out and explore the city and try all the different types of food! There is so much to see and so much to eat!
Awards and honors: This past winter I took home a Pensado Award for Live/FOH, and it was a complete honor. For all the people who work behind the scenes of the audio industry, that night is our Grammys. It was incredible just to be there.
Organizations/memberships: I am a proud member of the Audio Engineering Society.