North and South Carolina: are YOU ready? For Derek Olds and his new album, that is. The 2010 Grammy Association finalist and The Noise Group production guru is set to release his long-awaited album, Are You Ready? this September.
Derek Olds is Memphis born, but Carolina raised. Oddly enough, he gave up music and singing at the age of 12, and did not really immerse himself again until he taught himself how to play the guitar at age 20. Ultimately, he fell in love with music all over again, and even studied Psychology at UNC to improve his songwriting (among other reasons).
Olds describes his songwriting style as very “organic,” he does not force it, and simply writes about life and his experiences; something he is certainly not short of. He has been on the road for the past ten years and consequently has lived in a number of musical hot spots such as Miami, Brazil, New York, and various cities in Europe. He claims Miami is where he had the opportunity to “really go to school” and learn the ins and outs of studio production (under a 12 time Grammy recording engineer, no less), and Brazil is where he learned how to truly become a solo singer/songwriter.
All of these experiences have culminated into his upcoming album, Are You Ready? When discussing the overall genre of the album he laughs and says, “I’m a producer at heart…so my whole record is like, 10 different genres. I say rock-soul. It’s not really a genre, but I’m gonna make it one!” Some of his biggest influences, particularly for the album, include Bjork, Peter Gabriel, Garth Brooks, Matchbox 20, and Radiohead, so the diversity is no surprise.
Are You Ready? has been a work in progress for about six years, and Olds says, “where the record is now is exactly how I would have always wanted it.” Although the album features dozens of different musicians, he has finally selected a band which is “all [his] favorite musicians from any band [he’s] played in.” All of these musicians: Chris Ellis, John Briggs, Shedrick Williams, and DJ A.D.Dict, hail from the North Carolina scene as well. It is this wealth of talent that leads Olds to believe that North Carolina’s music scene is “on the verge of something [big].”
What can we expect next? Olds recently recorded live music videos for the entire album, and will release his first single, ‘My Only,’ in early September. He plans to release a new single and video approximately every three weeks. Additionally, he has a dance track with EDM artists Mysto and Pizzi that will be released soon as well. And, of course, he will continue his production work with The Noise Group.
With his eclectic genre-defying style, industry knowledge, and invitingly genial personality, Derek Olds is definitely one to keep an eye on. Between his sought-after production talents and his upcoming album, there is a lot to look forward to!
We leave you with Derek’s Video Release Promo for his debut single ‘My Only’.
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Cover Image: Libby McGowan