Derek, can you share the story behind your latest single and what inspired it?

The story behind my latest single ‘June’ was about the day I was texting my ex, then I received a message saying ‘let’s just be friends’. We had been going back and forth for a while, and I thought we were going to try and make it work. I was heartbroken reading that, so I decided to write about it. That song has now turned into my most streamed and played song.


How did you first get started in music, and who were your early influences?

My first introduction to music was so early in age I can’t really remember. I grew up singing in church, and at family parties. My mama was and is a huge music fan. Growing up she would buy Body and Soul albums off TV, and that was where songwriting started for me. Baby face, Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, along with others played throughout the house on a daily basis. At my granny house, my cousin Dionne (Scruffy) keep music current and local. She loved usher and Tupac but we also listened to a lot of Houston artist. Lil keke, slim thug, big moe, lil flip, to many others. My musical influences are so broad and wide range.


Can you describe your songwriting process? How do you go from an idea to a full song?

My songwriting process usually starts from a conversation or situation I’m currently in. I usually try not to write about the past, unless there’s a story I just need to address. Majority of the time the songs just write themselves, I’m more so just a vessel to get them out.


What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?

The most memorable moment in my career hasn’t happened yet. I’ve had amazing experiences and successful moments but that one memorable hasn’t occurred yet. I’ll be sure to check back in After a few Grammy’s lol.


What do you think sets your music apart from other artists in your genre?

There’s so many amazing artist out there. All genres of music. What sets me apart is definitely my songwriting. It’s unique and written in a special way. It feels like love letters in song format.


Are there any artists you dream of collaborating with in the future?

My dream artist to collaborate with would be John Mayer, Post Malone and Ariana Grande. I would love to write for so many others but, those are the artist I would love to collab with.


What can your fans expect from your upcoming projects or tour?

I’m currently working on my new project at the moment. I don’t a title or release date just yet. Everything’s in the early stages, so for now it’s more so crafting ideas and melodies. Once I have a few more heartbreaking text messages, then we’ll have a blueprint for the album. lol.


How do you think the music industry has evolved since you started your career, and how have you adapted to these changes?

The music industry changes every 5 years. When I released my first album, there was no IG or TikTok. Everyone was still wearing baggy clothes and Kesha’s hit single ‘Tik Tok’ was the #1 song In the world. I haven’t had to do much adapting musically, more so social media wise. I went from standing outside selling CD’s at the local malls, to creating marketing and promotional videos to sell my singles.



Besides singing, do you have any other hobbies or interests that you’re passionate about?

I’m currently in school getting my Masters degree in Psychology. The plan is get a PhD and become a life coach/Marriage counselor. This area of my life is just as important and impactful as my music career. I hope to inspire.


How do you balance your personal life and your music/songwriting career?

My personal life and music career all intertwine. Like I previously mentioned, I write music from personal life experiences. There’s so many things to write about when having in depth conversations on a daily basis.


What does a typical day off look like for you when you’re not recording?

There’s not really a day of ‘Not Recording’. Whether it’s an idea, a melody, verse, hook or just me talking on a track, I try and get something to everyday.


Have you read any good books or watched any movies recently that you really enjoyed?

One of My favorite books I’ve read recently is ‘Think like a monk’ by Jay Shetty. I’ve read it a few times now.


What’s something that your fans might be surprised to learn about you?

My supporters may not know that I’m huge into Rom-Coms. Love & Other Drugs, Cha Cha Real Smooth, Begin Again, to name a few. I’m currently binging ‘Sex and The City’ AGAIN. lol.


If you weren’t a singer, what other career do you think you might have pursued?

If I wasn’t a singer I would be a Psychologist, which I’m planning to pursue as well. I love helping others navigate these rough waters of life.


What role has your family and friends played in your career and life choices?

I have a huge family and a very tight nit friend group. Everyone’s supporting and wants the best for me. They’ve all been here through the ups and downs, the days I wanted to quit, to the days I felt unstoppable.


How important is it for you to connect with your fans, and what are some ways you do that?

Connecting with my supporters is very important to me. I don’t have the fan base of Drake yet so it’s not hard to stay engaged. I answer every DM, every question, and I accept all criticism.


Looking back at your journey so far, what advice would you give to your younger self?

I wouldn’t give my younger self any advice. I’d let help figure it out himself. It’ll make him mentally stronger, happier, and understanding. If I had to say something to him, I’d say ‘Slow down’ it’s all Coming to you at some point.


What are some of the values that guide your life and career decisions?

Being a positive influence and role model to my kids are my core values. I never want to disappoint them and I want them to understand you can do anything you set your mind to. You’re never too old to learn.

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