Whoever said drum machines have no soul probably never listened to Pretty Lights.
The DJ and producer, known to the government as Derek Vincent Smith of Colorado, has crafted a sound all his own by blending hip hop, electronic, jazz, and more to create a sultry style that is immediately recognizable. He pumps these tunes through Pretty Lights Music, under which he’s given away almost three million free downloads of such tracks as “Finally Moving” and “Hot Like Sauce.” The label is also home base to other eccentric talent such as Paper Diamond.
With a mission to create more of a grand live experience than just a DJ twisting knobs on stage, Pretty Lights is out to please his fans — whether it be by building a glowing city of lights on stage, performing one-time-only remixes, or posting fans’ #PLPIX on his Instagram account.
He’s got a background in punk groups, funk bands, and hip-hop troupes, and it’s all melded together in a sound that is both progressive and timeless. He stays busy in the booth with relentless tour dates around the world, and just as busy in the studio, with a handful of albums already on the streets, not counting the EPs and singles he releases in between.
Smith dropped out of the University of Boulder his freshman year to work on music, and the risk brought reward: He’s headlined stages from the muddy pits of Lollapalooza to the dry desert of Coachella. The musical visionary will no doubt continue rocking the big stages in the future while bringing with him a world of light and sound for his adoring fans.