|Also known as||Derek Vincent Smith|
|Origin||Fort Collins, Colorado|
|Genres||electronic music, funk, hip hop, soul, trip hop, dubstep|
|Labels||Pretty Lights Music|
|Associated acts||Michal Menert|
|Past members||Cory Eberhard|
Derek Vincent Smith (born November 25, 1981), better known as Pretty Lights, is an electronic music artist, and also the owner of the label Pretty Lights Music which has under it artists of similar genre.
Smith wrote and produced hip hop music while attending high school in Fort Collins, Colorado. After graduating from high school, he attended University of Colorado at Boulder, but dropped out during his freshman year to focus on his music instead. In 2007 and 2008, Smith began playing late nights for large acts such as STS9, The Disco Biscuits & Widespread Panic. In the summer of 2009, under the moniker Pretty Lights, Smith played at several major American music festivals, such as Bonnaroo, Rothbury, the Electric Daisy Carnival, Wakarusa, Camp Bisco, and the 10KLF. The following autumn, he went on a multi-city tour of the United States.
In 2010, Pretty Lights played at the 2010 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, the 2010 Marchone Music Productions Illumination Show in Nashville, the 2010 Evolve Festival in Nova Scotia, Movement 2010 (the Detroit Electronic Music Festival), the 2010 Starscape Festival, Camp Bisco 9, Nocturnal Festival at Apache Pass, Texas, the 2010 Electric Zoo at Randall's Island in New York City, New York, the North Coast Music Festival in Chicago, Illinois, and the Outsidelands Festival in San Francisco, California. More recently, they headlined the Snow Ball in Avon Colorado along with Bassnectar and the Flaming Lips. In June 2011 Pretty Lights had a late-night set at Bonnaroo, where he debuted the hit song "I know the Truth." Smith also debuted his state of the art light show in early 2011 involving LED towers made to look like a cityscape. Most recently in July 2011, he headlined at the Electric Forest in Rothbury, Michigan, at Camp Bisco's 10th anniversary in Mariaville, NY, and at All Good 2011 in Masontown, WV. At All Good 2011 Pretty Lights released what Smith described onstage as a special "one in a lifetime" track, a remix of John Denver's "Take me Home Country Roads".
Smith toured with drummer Cory Eberhard from August 2007 to June 2011. In 2010, Smith replaced Eberhard with Adam Deitch as drummer, debuting at Red Rocks on August 7, 2010. Smith stopped touring with a live drummer in 2011.
On January 25, 2011, Smith released two albums on his newly formed record label, Pretty Lights Music. The record label offers free downloads for any of Pretty Lights' albums plus Michal Menert, Paper Diamond and Break Science, Gramatik, Paul Basic, Eliot Lipp, SuperVision; current and past artists under his PLM record label. A donation option is available. Pretty Lights continues to distribute music for free, and frequently appears at festivals across the world.
Pretty Lights is set to release a new full-length album titled A Color Map of the Sun on July 2, 2013. This will be the first sample-free Pretty Lights album. Smith conducted and composed all music for the record himself and with musicians in studios in Brooklyn, New Orleans and Denver. He then pressed those recording to vinyl to create his own catolog of music to sample from. The album will be released at no cost via prettylightsmusic.com as well as on vinyl, CD and on iTunes.
Smith's music relies heavily on digital sampling and crosses many genres, forming a combination of "glitchy hip-hop beats, buzzing synth lines, and vintage funk and soul samples." [dead link]. Pretty Lights' sound is generated by synthesizing samples and organic beats using the Novation X-Station, monome and the Akai MPD32. Smith uses these digital controllers to program the music production software Ableton Live 8. When performing live, Smith uses two Macbook Pros running Ableton Live 8 and two Akai MPD32s. Smith usually considers his music as "Electro Hip-Hop Soul", a mix between elements of electronic based music, and beats from hip-hop and soul music.
Pretty Lights has 21 upcoming shows:
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