"A love of nature keeps no factories busy."
The first song Derek ever released was a cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” with a band called Barbara. The song garnered a fair amount of attention: solicitations from record labels and ad agencies, hype from the music blog world, and interest from a grammy award-winning producer of hip-hop's golden era. Barbara had a number of shows scheduled, including some on Sunset Blvd and one at UCLA. The band was right on the cusp. Then a tragedy struck Derek's family and brought him home. The band cancelled all shows and soon fell apart, losing all momentum. In this period of grief, Derek reinvented himself as an artist and got in touch with his musical roots: he comes from a long line of folk singers. Fast forward to 2017. Derek is an independent artist with two self-produced albums under his belt and more projects in the works.
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1: What artist would you most love to work with?
Pharrell Williams, Andre Benjamin, Weyes Blood, Andrew Wyatt, Leon Bridges, Angel Olsen, Q-Tip, Justin Evan Thompson, John Prine, Kacey Musgraves, Justin Vernon, Kanye West
2: What instrument brings you the most joy?
Music is sexy.
3: What was the worst advice?
"Maybe you should try American Idol or The Voice."
4: What was your first concert?
I played a few songs in a warehouse art space in Culver City.
5: What/where is the best road food?
Authentic New Mexican cuisine.
6: What’s the best music advice you ever got?
A friend and fellow artist once said that our vocation as musicians is simply to broadcast the signal and that this signal will find its intended audience. For me this distills the process of music-making down to its purest intention. When I am overwrought by all the frustrations that can visit an artist, I return to this idea: I am merely broadcasting a signal.
7: Who is your most surprising inspiration?
Joseph Mitchell and hip hop.