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Pretty Lights - #1 Funk and R&B act on The DJ Rankings

14:05 Mar/18/2014

Hailing from US, Colorado, PRETTY LIGHTS manages to shine bright in the midst of the endless LEDs of the modern dance scene. Born Derek Vincent Smith, the versatile DJ and producer brings a much needed variety to the game. The name is derived from a Pink Floyd concert poster that read: “Come and watch the pretty lights!”





There are a lot of people who enjoy old school funk, hip hop and soul tracks in the comfort of their own home, at a house party or an alternative venue. But rarely do you hear these genres being played in a club situation, not to mention on a festival stage.  has solved this problem in a tasteful manner, giving new life to ever-inspiring funk and soul samples. He's mastered the art of digital sampling, resulting in an ecclectic style that’s got the old-school breaks combined with glitchy bass, hip hop beats and riveting synth lines. Smith himself has described it as ’electro hip-hop soul’. In The Official Global DJ Rankings, he's #1 in the genre of Funk and R&B!


Although Pretty Lights is usually associated with only Derek V. Smith, the first record was poduced in collaboration with Michael Menert. ’Taking Up Your Precious Time’ was released online in 2006, and given away for free, like all PL's releases this far.


Listen to the most widely appreciated track from the album. The soulful 'Finally Moving' samples Etta James' 'Something's Got Hold on Me' and a Nightmare on Wax tune called 'You Wish.'



The composition is generated using Novation X-Station, monome and the Akai MPD32. The digital controllers are connected with Ableton Live 8, which he also uses for the live shows.


The next album will be released July 2, 2013. 'A Color Map of the Sun' sees a fresh direction for Smith, as he's found a new source for old school samples. Namely, he didn't dig the crates to find the sounds he was looking for, but instead bought a bunch of old instruments from antique shops and went to the studio. The interesting approach was captured on a documentary, so we can all get a better idea how it went down. Right now we've got the 'making-of' teaser video for a sneak preview.



Besides the new way of doing the album, and the documentary accompanying the effort, Pretty Lights has decided that he wants to sell the album as well. As you can imagine yourself, for someone whose putting everything he earns back to his music, a little extra buck means a lot more possibilities. Read about why Pretty Lights is selling the album, here! However, this doesn't mean that he isn't giving away the download, which will be available at the homepage: http://www.prettylightsmusic.com. It will also be available as a double-disc CD, on vinyl and on iTunes.


The video for the lead single has also emerged. 'Around The Block' sees Pretty Lights going back to his earlier vibes, a surely great development for his die hard fans. The track's got naturally upbeat flow, and featuring Talib Kweli, it sure as hell has that extra hip hop in it to make your day.  As accustomed to Smith, the tracks up for a FREE download!



Directed by Anthony Dickenson/Pulse Films


Additional footage by Krystle Blackburn/Pretty Lights Music







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