FOLLOWING A FIVE-YEAR HIATUS, THE FAMOUSLY ELUSIVE ELECTRONIC MUSIC PRODUCER PRETTY LIGHTS MAKES HIS EPIC RETURN TO THE STAGE IN THE SOUNDSHIP SPACESYSTEM TOUR, COMPLETE WITH NEW TUNES TO BOOT
BY DAN SALAMONE
BORN: Derek Vincent Smith was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, on November 25th, 1981.
SOUND: Dispensary-scented psychedelic electronica, rooted in a kind of ‘70s prog-rock retro-futurism.
BIG BREAK: Pretty Lights actually began his ascent to stardom in the mid-2000s not in the burgeoning American rave culture of the era, but in the jam band scene that was (and still is) so popular in the Boulder, Colorado, area, opening for the likes of Widespread Panic and the Disco Biscuits. Within five years, he was already playing festivals, among them Bonnaroo, Forecastle, Electric Daisy Carnival, and the 10,000 Lakes Festival.
NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Pretty Lights was a major fixture on the festival circuit for many years, playing iconic sets at all the places that helped the electronic genre go supernova in the U.S. – Coachella in California, Ultra Fest in Miami, Nocturnal in Texas, and Electric Zoo in New York. In 2013, his album A Color Map of the Sun was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album. By 2014, PL was declared “the future of American electronic music” by no less an authority than super-producer Rick Rubin (who’s worked with Beastie Boys, Kanye West, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more on basically one-third of the biggest albums in rock and hip-hop in the last three decades).
LATEST WORK: After so many years watching his stardom soar (and performing mesmerizing live shows equally famed for their spectacular visual splendor as for the music accompanying them), PL suddenly decided to take an extended sabbatical for his “mental and physical health.” Just this year, fans of Pretty Lights were overjoyed to hear the announcement of not only brand new singles “Spaceship Spacesystem” and “Astral Projections,” but the artist’s first live tour in five years, kicking o where his journey began, in Colorado.