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Conversations with Fragoza

Today we’d like to introduce you to Fragoza.

Hi Fragoza, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
From California to Missouri- In January of 2018, I packed up all of my belongings in to my 2012 Toyota Yaris and headed towards Donner Pass. Much like my choice in winter transportation I was not well equipped for the road that had been laid out before me. I was about to move halfway across the country to take a part time worship leader position at a very small church in Farmington Missouri. As I pulled out of my brother’s driveway, ( I had been staying with him and his wife to save up for the trip) I watched my first born nephew way good by to me. Talk about my heartstrings being yanked on. As I drove over the pass-through Reno in and out of salt lake, I had more than enough windshield time to think about where God was leading me and what this transplant would look like. I was not only leaving behind my family and everyone/thing I knew. I was stepping away from a career in entertainment that was building momentum. I was coming off my first super bowl commercial and a huge Apple print ad. I was on my way to becoming local Nor-Cal famous, if I just kept it up. At the time I was also doing quite a bit of behind the camera work as well and building that side of my career. Needless to say when I told my agent I was leaving he was very confused. If my memory serves me correctly his exact words were “Fragoza we are so hot right now! what are you thinking?” Looking back now I can see that I got my “Zoolander” moment, although I did not see how funny that was a the time. The rest of this story is being published in a book next summer so I don’t want to give too much away. However, as you can imagine finding film, acting and singing work in STL was not as turn key as I hoped. Here I did not know the right people and was not sure where to start. This was not LA or San Francisco and I was not finding work. I ended up working in insurance for the next 4 years. It paid the bills and allowed me to scrape and save enough to start up my music and acting again here in STL on my own. (and when I say scrape, I mean I literally slept on the floor in a sleeping bag for two years as I worked/commuted back and forth from Farmington to STL.). Those two years set the stage and the following two years turned out the house lights. Now I am ready for the show to start back up.

I was running Fragoza Media as a sole proprietorship in California from 2015 to the end of 2017. As I mentioned above, I did a little bit of everything. Live performance, production, weddings, acting and modeling. When I left CA I had to close shop and was not able to get things going here. After 4 years of grinding out the 9 to 5 here in STL, I am so happy and proud to say that Fragoza Media LLC (Fragoza Media) was established at the end of 2021 here in STL. During my 4 years of hiatus from the arts, I picked up quite a few more skills and contacts. Fragoza Media now operates with a focus on web page development/SEO, branding, marketing and production of digital assets. I use these avenues to drive my passion, which is and will always be, my music.

I have always loved to write and sing.  Music has been a large part of my life from a very early age. Over the years I have found shelter in lyrics.  Words are powerful, they can build up or they can corrupt ones heart.  When we relate to a song, it affirms that we are not alone in our struggle.  It is for this reason I try to be venerable in the music I write.  In my story there is; hurt, brokenness, betrayal, sorrow, shame, lust, love, lefter, but most of all, “joy in the morning.”  I know that my experiences are not unique.  They look and sound just like your story.  I share my stories in the hope that others will know they are not alone.  This is the passion and truth that pushes me to be transparent and honest in every lyric, in every song.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The hardest part of my story has been operating with a support system that is 2000 miles away. My friends, family and foundation are all in CA. I have had to start from scratch here in STL. However, to paraphrase one of my favorite sayings. “no great sailor was made in the safe harbor.” We need the heavy waves and rough seas to make us into the men and women that this world needs to lead it. If not for our local communities, then at least for our families. Building a new family here, a new support system, that has been the hardest part by far.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My artist name is FRAGOZA and you can find my work on Spotify.

Writing and playing music consumes my daily thoughts. I wake up singing and go to bed in the same fashion. It is not uncommon for me to stop whatever I am doing and open up the voice recording app to get an idea down. I once read that ideas are things floating around us looking for someone that they can tell their stories to. (Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert). If this is true, then the songs floating around me, must know that I am willing to listen to their stories. They are pestering me all day in the hopes that I will write them down and bring them to life. My music is different because I am not trying to write hits. I am, however, trying to be honest to the stories that are given to me. This means that most of the time my songs are vulnerable or speaking about things that most of the time are left unsaid. Or maybe just not said loud enough. My hope is to have my music speak to others as it speaks to me. If I am being touched by what I am hearing, I have to believe that there are others that will be touched as well. A great example of this is my Single Release “DRUNK” this song talks about how we use Vices in the midst of our depression to cope. The title of the sone is deliberately deceiving. Things like alcohol are obvious vices. But what about food, social media, pornography? These things too can be used to mask out depression and loneliness. I would encourage your readers to give it a listen, it might not be what they are expecting.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I grew up in Calaveras County, Northern California. Big trees and rolling hills. It was truly a small town upbringing with all the cliché attributes. Everyone knew who you were, there were no secrets, we had one stop sine in Valley Springs (the small town) and a strong high school rivalry with the neighboring town. I always had a joy for music, but athletics was my first love. You could always find me outside playing baseball, riding bikes, skateboarding and hockey. I also truly wanted to be a ninja but i was assured by my father that this job did not exist. I did get as close as I could to the ninja profession in high school. In 2003 I was the NHSCA High Wrestling School National Champion. I guess we all know, ironically, ninja is in fact a real job. Some of my friends even ended up doing this job in the UFC. But I chose the arts. Which in hindsight, has proven to be much harder than the ninja option. (I do, however, get the itch to fight from time to time and even moon-lighted a fight here in STL a few years ago.)

Contact Info:

  • Email: fragozamusic@gmail.com
  • Website: http://fragozamusicofficial.com/
  • Instagram: fragozamusic
  • Facebook: Fragoza Live
  • Twitter: Fragozamusic
  • Youtube: FragozaMedia
  • TikTok: @fragozamusic_official


Image Credits
Jeannie Liautaud Maul
Ian Bender
Gabriel Burkeen
Adam Miller (Anagram Film)

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