He gives it all away for free


Electronic Dance Music has been sneaking its way into the mainstream recently. We hear it in commercials for cameras, movies and even make-up.

Leaders in the EDM scene include Bassnectar, Skrillex, Avicii, Steve Aoki and Tiesto. One artist you will not find at the top of the iTunes charts is a man named Derek Vincent Smith, also known as Pretty Lights.

Why will you not find his music at the top of the leading music provider’s charts? Pretty Lights does not believe in charging his fans for his music. That is right, it is free (a term you do not hear very often these days). His music is available on his website www.prettylightsmusic.com.

Pretty Lights began making music in 2005-06 and started his own record label in 2010-11, Pretty Lights Music. His label holds other artists such as Michal Menert, Paper Diamond, Break Science, Gramatik, Paul Basic and Supervision.

Within the year 2011, Pretty Lights has toured all over the United States. Playing at summer music festivals such as Bonnaroo in Tennessee where he dropped his hit “I Know the Truth” and displayed his new set and light show.

He played for two hours over his set time and stated at the end, “I wish I could rock with ya’ll ‘til mutha f—-ing lunchtime.” He also headlined Camp Bisco in New York and All Good in West Virginia, where he played another single, “Country Roads,” a tribute to John Denver.

At Lollapolooza in Illinois, he was shut down during his set because Chicago has strict laws preventing outdoor music past 10 p.m.

Pretty Lights ended 2011 with a two-day New Year’s Eve bash in his home state, Colorado, with the rest of his Pretty Lights Music crew.

During the 2012 summer music festival season, he is booked to headline in Arkansas and Summer Camp Festival in Illinois.

Enough of the Pretty Lights history lesson though. Was it mentioned that his music is free? Pretty Lights releases short EP’s on his site instead of posting entire new albums.

This way he can play new tracks at shows to keep fans coming back, because this is the way he makes a profit.

“I feel like what I’m doing is going to have its part in the transformation of the music industry,” he said.

“The whole music industry is on shaky ground. I’m just another person trying to find my footing,” Smith said in an interview with spinner.com.

With the threats of SOPA taking over the Internet, maybe it is a good idea Pretty Lights is trying to change the way artists handle their music.


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