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Pretty Lights tours India

The Grammy-nominated artist on picking his moniker and wanting to play house parties

By ELLE team  April 3rd, 2015

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 4Vh1 Supersonic Arcade, blueFROG, Pune, on April 5