The talent in St. Louis is rising and recording artist Lil Derik has been making noise in and out the town with his latest releases. Check out his latest interview with Du’Lanci Vallie below.
What do you think makes you stand out from all the other aspiring and upcoming artists in your genre of music?
I think what makes me stand out from other artist is not only my versatility, but my willingness to show off my versatility. It’s a lot of Hip-Hop artist who can rap on any kind of beat, or make a song in any of the sub genres of Hip-Hop, but very few actually show off this ability. You can see it from my first project of the year “Wintertime In The Bay” with Bay Area Producer Dope Sean, which has a Bay Area sound. Then my second project of the year was “Mean Gene & The People’s Champ” with Pennsylvania Producer Skip The Kid, which has more of a East Coast, Soulful sound . Both projects have done pretty well and received a ton of praise despite having completely different sounds.
Are you able to make a living with your music? If so, how were you able to attain a career doing what you love? If not, what do you do in order to fund your music career? What advice would give to someone who's interested in pursuing a career in music?
I’ve been very fortunate to make music my main source of income, despite it not being enough to completely provide for myself. Other than the music related income. I’m also an actor & model. I haven’t been having consistent bookings with those, but for a year and half, they were my main source of income and music came second. I still have those, but I also have been heavy into the stock market as well. My plan, and this is something every artist should do, is to start going hard with my merchandise again this Fall. Even people who don’t listen to your music could see your merchandise and like it and wanna buy it. On top of that making shirts, hoodies, hats, etc., is much cheaper than making a project or sometimes even a single. So merchandise is probably the best way for an artist to make a living off of their music career.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
The best advice I’ve been given, as far as music goes at least, is to make the music you love and eventually it will reach an audience that loves it as well. If you love a song or a certain type of sound of music, then there has gotta be one other person out of 7 billion people on the planet that enjoys that sound of music, or relates to your song as well. And after that person there is gonna be another one and so on and so forth. So just focus on making music that you love and the rest will happen.
What is your creative process like?
Wether I am working on a single or a project, I love to write. So I usually get a beat and sit with it, writing the first things that come to mind. I like to formulate the hook first, if there is gonna be a hook. That way I know what the song is gonna be about for the most part, and where to go with my verses. I try not to rush or overthink the writing process. When it comes to putting together a project I typically have an idea for a theme of the project, and then I make songs that illustrate the theme of the project.
What accomplishments do you see yourself achieving in the next five to 10 years?
In the next 5-10 years I plan on owning a fully opperational independent music label. I see myself going on multiple tours, and performing all over the world. I see myself being well off fand making enough of a living from my music to provide for myself and my family. Within the next 5-10 years I see myself being one of the biggest independent music artist in the world!
What would you do if the audience was reacting negatively or being distracting during your performance?
That's a great question! I've never really had a negative reaction from a crowd and I have been performing since I was a kid. So I would probaly try to do something like talking to the crowd to attempt to reel them in to my performance. A simple call to action like "if you got some money in the bank say, yeah". Just do anything to get them cheering instead of booing or not interacting at all.
What is your latest release and where fans can find it?
My latest release is a collab project with Memphis artist Feroz Julio, called "Days In The Mafia", You can check the full EP out on all streaming platforms, just click my website link or search Lil Derik wherever you stream music.