“Raise capital before beginning this journey and draw out a three year plan. That is if you’re passionate about this and it’s not a hobby. Treat your craft as a business from day one.”

Check out the interview with Just Derek exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Just Derek:
I feel like I started at two different points in my life with music. The first was in my early years around 10 or 11, but I didn’t realize it yet. The second came when I found dance to be natural for me in my freshmen year of high school. After high school I found a network to start building with where I could do some background work and the story is still building from there.

What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
Actually I’m in the process of putting together a contest for dancers where they’ll get a signed copy of my latest project Make It Happen, an invite to my next studio session if they can make it, and a special surprise. In my camp we call this the roundtable discussion. Finding ways to promote is just as creative as making music and you must be open to ideas.

What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The greatest challenge is building the proper network of people to work with. If there aren’t people like Skilly who want to see others achieve success, the odds aren’t in favor for someone to succeed. I overcome the challenges by not being greedy. Everything isn’t about me and I make sure I can always do something in return if possible.

How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
Where I’m from there isn’t much to do unless you go out of town, but we’re blessed because we have two major cities close by. I take advantage and go to both markets. What I love about our music scene is that it speaks to the diversity of the people. If you need a negative, I just wish we had a venue that was large enough for me to throw a show in.

Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
To me, the future of music is bright with shades of gloom here and there. You always have to take the good with some bad. I believe this because barriers are being broken throughout many genres. We’re receiving music that we never would have thought to be created back in the 2000’s and back.

What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Raise capital before beginning this journey and draw out a three year plan. That is if you’re passionate about this and it’s not a hobby. Treat your craft as a business from day one. No one becomes successful by chance or luck. Hard work is everything in this business and if you want this, invest in yourself.

What inspires you to write your next song?
I’m inspired to ignite the flame in the next generation with music as the vehicle and eventually I’d like to grow my career into involving humanitarian work. At some point we all have to figure out who we are and drive our path to our destiny.

What are the steps you take to make a song?
I start by first developing an idea around a hook, chorus, or verse. Then I have the production built to fit the idea of where we’re taking it with a few select producers I’ve built networks with. The most important part to the process is time. Anything rushed most of the time isn’t ready to be presented to the world.

What do you think makes a great song?
A great song requires timelessness of its lyrical content and production. Apply common things that all walks of life can experience and you’ll have something special. Never forget that the songs you write need an intro, a buildup, climax, and resolutions to take them to the next level.

Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Official website: www.JustDerek.net
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/justderekmusic
Twitter: blxjustderek
Instagram: blxjustderek
Snapchat: blxjustderek