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| June 24, 2017

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Pretty Lights – The best Electro Hip-Hop Soul you never heard of

Pretty Lights – The best Electro Hip-Hop Soul you never heard of
Charles Chong

If you haven’t heard about Pretty Lights, it’s about time you did.  Pretty Lights is the musical brainchild of Derek Vincent Smith, an American electronic music artist.   The smooth, upbeat tracks break barriers by combining hip-hop beats with soul and funk samples and synth lines.  Smith considers his music as “Electro Hip-Hop Soul”.


Originally hailing from Fort Collins, Colorado, Smith dropped out of University of Colorado at Boulder in his freshman year to pursue his musical career.  And by 2006, Smith teamed up with Cory Eberhard and played late nights for acts such as STS9, The Disco Biscuits and Widespread Panic.  Then by the summer of 2009, Pretty Lights was born and played in large American music festivals such as Bonnaroo, Rothbury, and the Electric Daisy Carnival.  Many more festivals later, Adam Deitch replaced Eberhard as drummer and debuted at Red Rock on August 7, 2010.  Then in 2011, he created his own label called Pretty Lights Music and released two albums.  Currently, there are several artists of similar genre under the Pretty Lights Music label.

Pretty Lights Music currently operates on a donation basis – meaning it won’t take a single penny from you to download its music.  Instead, next to every download button on its website ( is a donation button where you can contribute as much as you want, or nothing at all.  In addition, every song has been uploaded onto its Youtube, Spotify, Soundcloud, and profiles.

Pretty Light’s newest song, “Around the Block”, is probably the best one yet.  And even better, this song has an accompanying music video – only the second music video ever to be released.  “Around the Block” is a little different from the majority of his songs in that it seems to rely more heavily on a smooth soul infused hip-hop beat and features Talib Kweli as a guest rapper.  If anyone ever wanted to know what electronic soul hip-hop sounds like, this is it.


So kick back, turn up the volume, and enjoy the music.