Set to play Counterpoint, Hang Out, Firefly, and Sónar Barcelona music festivals so far in 2014, Derek Vincent Smith better known as Pretty Lights has already been getting his fans hyped all year.The Fort Collins, Colorado native began his musical endeavors in 2007 playing shows at local venues. Since his start, he has become one of the most influential EDM artists, sweeping the nation with his synthy, hip-hop, funk, and soul inspired beats. Pretty Lights began his career releasing dozens of free albums and EPs for free, making his music easily accessible for anyone to hear. On July 2, 2013, he released his first commercialized album A Color Map of the Sunwith its accompaniment A Color Map of the Sun Remixes launching on December 10. A Color Map of the Sun streamed a musical repertory encompassing all ranges of music to his listener’s ears. Using live recordings of bass, keys, and modular synths, both from himself and other contributors, Pretty Lights created a formula for music created outside of the method of borrowing pre-recorded samples. The sounds of A Color Map of the Sun create an abstract musical experience that symbolizes Isaac Newton’s 1670s-era experiments surrounding his breakthrough findings of visible light’s color spectrum. Derek was inspired by Isaac Newton, stating that his discoveries symbolized “the idea of an artistic eye always looking at the world, searching for beauty and new inspiration,” that encompassed the meaning behind his stage name- Pretty Lights. Like with his latest album, Pretty Lights is dedicated to creating a listening experience to his audience that opens the listener’s mind to new music and colors.
Genre: Electro Soul
Label: Pretty Lights Music
Over the years, Derek has created an entire job dedicated to bringing all of the elements necessary for his listeners to have an amazing, uninterrupted experience. The Pretty Lights “illuminators” can be found walking through Derek’s crowd giving people water, candy, and even handmade bracelets. After raver Courtney Mullins saw Pretty Lights for the first time it was clear EDM created an environment unlike any other type of concert, “Pretty lights made me feel connected with everyone around me, not a single person stopped moving in that place. The lights were incredible, and the outside venue made his entire setup and energy more effective on all of us. You didn’t feel like if you didn’t know a song you were an outcast; everyone was enjoying the show together and letting all their negative energy out through dancing.” Derek has created a Pretty Lights movement of peace that encourages nothing but love from every angle. With a place like this everyone can come as they are to love and be loved by everyone around them.
Derek is the owner of Pretty Lights Music, representing artists such as Michael Menert, Grizmatik, and Break Science. In the past, he has played festivals such as Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, and Coachella, and has been making an appearance on festival lineups for 2014 across the board. Pretty Lights is a strong component of today’s EDM scene whose organic beats will inspire for years to come.
Written By: Andrea Inscoe