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Rochester’s Elvio Fernandes went from playing tiny clubs to playing with ‘Daughtry’

Extraordinary People

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — You might recognize Elvio Fernandes. The Rochester resident is a long-time member of the band Daughtry!

He sings, plays the keyboard, and writes songs, including one titled “Just Found Heaven.”

Elvio says, “It was just a hook that came to my head. I don’t really care where I go when I die because I just found heaven! Meaning this woman that you’re with, my wife, whatever the case is. How can it get any better than that? So that’s heaven to me.”

While music has always been his passion, fame didn’t come overnight. Elvio performed in various bars and clubs for years and he used to work as a real estate agent. In fact, he was showing a house in Rochester when he got the call from Chris Daughtry, eight years ago.

Elvio explains, “I’m sitting with a couple and my phone is on the countertop and it rings. It says Chris Daughtry on it and they freak out! Oh my God! You gotta answer it! He’s (Daughtry’s) like I need a guy to play acoustic guitar and keyboards and do all the background vocals. Are you interested? I was like, yeah, I’m interested but I can’t! I’m married. I’ve got kids. I’ve got a career here. I’ve got real estate, Uncle Plum! There was just no way in my mind that that was even a possibility.”

He told his wife about the call later that day, “I said to my wife: ‘You’re never going to believe who called me!’ She said, ‘Who? I said, ‘Chris Daughtry.’ She said, ‘Well what did he say?’ He said, ‘He wants me to go on tour with him.’ And I’m laughing it off like this isn’t even a possibility, and she’s looking at me all straight-faced and she said, ‘What did you say?’ I said, ‘No!’ she’s like why? I said, ‘How are we going to do that?’ We have a mortgage. We have cars, we have kids. How’s this even possible?? And she said, ‘Let me get this straight. You’ve been playing in these little crappy bars since you were 21, been in the studio for hours, you just got the call and you said no? Call him back.'”

Elvio did and he’s been with the band ever since! But he says he really wants his legacy to be about his business here in Rochester, Camp Roc Star. “I see how it changes their lives. These kids.”

The year-long day camp is a music academy for young artists. Elvio says, “It’s simple. I want kids to feel like rock stars. We live in a world right now where social media is the barometer of if I’m cool or not and it’s terrible. They come to me, they get in this program, they get on stage and they feel cool!” 

Elvio says there’s no magic answer to the popular question: “How do you make your dreams come true” but for him, he reached a point where he just knew this is what he was destined to become.

“I got to a point where I always saw myself doing this. Like when I would go to a concert. I used to go see Daughtry in concert and I could picture myself up there, knowing I could be in that situation, and help that band. The universe does things in funny ways and there are a lot of things that aren’t accidents. I think if you put that energy out there and you can see it,  you can visualize it and see yourself in a certain situation, like me you wake up one day you’re in that situation!”

And now he’s using his talents to help others make their dreams come true through Camp Roc Star. Click here to learn more about the camp.

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