Pretty Lights tours India
The Grammy-nominated artist on picking his moniker and wanting to play house parties
American artist Derek Vincent Smith took on the moniker Pretty Lights after he spotted a 1966 poster announcing that Pink Floyd were playing at a New Year’s Eve party. In bold letters it read “come and watch the pretty lights”. It sounded as if Pretty Lights was opening for them – to Smith anyway – and that stayed with him. “I then thought to myself, ‘Wow I would want to open for them,’ and just decided then I could take up that name,” Smith says.
The Grammy-nominated artist’s music makes for easy listening, as if his tracks were distilled through a sonic insta-filter. They are the sort to keep you company on a lazy Sunday; EDM full of soul. Remember one of his earliest hits, ‘Finally Moving’? It spread across the interwebs and was remixed by Flo Rida and closer home it got a do-over by Dualist Inquiry. Coming off his Grammy-nominated, self-funded album, A Color Map Of The Sun, Smith is currently working on a new single. “My next single will actually sound like, in large part, my experience in India,” he says.
He’s perfectly at ease performing at iconic venues like Red Rock Amphitheatre – which has seen the likes of The Beatles, U2 and Depeche Mode and The Grateful Dead – and camping festivals. But ask where he really wants to play and he’ll say, “a house party”. “It is something I haven’t done in ages and that’s always one of my most favourite experiences,” says Smith. On the Indian leg of his three-city tour he’s sticking to decidedly bigger venues but he really hopes to “throw a great party for my Indian audiences”.
Pretty Lights performs at Vh1 Supersonic Arcade, I-Kandy, Delhi, on April 3; SPIRO – An MTV Indies Takeover, Mehboob Studios, Mumbai, on April 4; Vh1 Supersonic Arcade, blueFROG, Pune, on April 5