Derek Stroker

15 Nov

“I’d like my music to convey the feeling of hope.”

One of the reasons we all love and cherish music is because it gives us hope. Days where you feel as if there is no end to your problems, you turn on your favorite music and it fills your voids. Artists write their feelings down, convey them in a song, and make you feel like that particular song was written about your life. Derek Stroker, a young up and comer, has such a beautiful way of composing his music and making each song stand out, giving it a life of it’s own. When I speak of songs giving us that hope we need, Derek Stroker’s music comes to mind. With his latest EP creating a buzz, Rise and Shine, has easily become one of my favorites, and showcasing an artist who’s truly genuine and heartfelt is a fantastic success. I wanted to learn more about the artist who spews so much emotion in every song, so I went straight to the source. Here is my interview with the talented Derek Stroker.

Q. How did you get your start in music and has it always been your wish in life to be a full-time musician?

A. I started playing music when I was about 12 years old, fiddling around with an acoustic guitar. Within a few years, I realized that music was not only something I enjoyed to do, it was something that I was meant to do. My main objective has always been to make a difference with my music. Being a full-time musician is something that many seek and few are able to achieve. In contrast to how some other musicians think, I’ve always thought of my music as a business. Unfortunately, there is a lot more to it than playing music and writing songs.

Q. These days, it’s very hard to live off being just a musician. Do you find yourself having to support your family by working other jobs?

A. Yes. With the economy being the way it is today, it is very difficult being a musician, or anything else for that matter. I feel that it is essential to have multiple income streams coming in at one time. As a musician, it is hard to know when the next paycheck will come in, and how much it will be for.  Some ventures will pay more than others. As far as doing other work besides being a musician, I currently own and run two companies, Love.Music.Entertainment, LLC (http://lovemusicent.com) and Bright Lab Media (http://brightlabmedia.com). Love.Music is a one-stop shop for independent musicians and artists. We offer everything from Music Production to Professional Photography. Bright Lab Media is a web and graphic design firm centered on helping creative and inspired individuals and businesses. Unfortunately, being involved in just one thing these days is not enough.

Q. Your music has a hint of blues in it. Who are some of the artists that inspire your songwriting?

A. My songwriting is very much influenced by music of the 60‘s and 70’s. A few artists that I can always draw inspiration from would be The Beatles, James Taylor, and my favorite guitar player Eric Clapton. As far as artists currently, I would have to say James Morrison, John Legend, and Death Cab for Cutie are all in the mix.

Q. In your bio, you say your greatest accomplishment is your latest EP, Rise and Shine. Your main objective was to create an album full of timeless music. In your opinion, do you feel that a lot of artist these days are creating “timeless records”?

A. I feel as though popular artists these days are too caught up in trends. Whether it is a ‘dub-step’ bridge, or a ‘four on the floor’ with some syncopation, a lot of music today is just a carbon copy of the next cool trend. Of course there will always be artists that will stay true to themselves and their art. Sadly, the mainstream audience will never hear most of these artists. It seems like artists nowadays are just in the industry of making money, they are not thinking about the music that is being released. In my humble opinion, that is the worst possible way to create music.

Q. You were living in Nashville, but just recently moved back home to Florida. Do you feel like the music scene has a big impact on your current city?

A. The Orlando music scene is very different than Nashville, but when it comes down to it, there will always be different musical styles and movements within any given city. That is what I love about music; these days a listener doesn’t just like one style. In iPods and iPhones all over the world, Rap, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Soul, Pop, and just about any other style of music all live in harmony.

Q. If you had to choose your most inspiring song, which one would it be and why?

A. I’d have to say the song that has had the most impact on listeners is a track called ‘Rescue.’ This is a song about overcoming situations in your life that you didn’t see coming. Everyone, at some point in their lives, will need someone or something to “rescue” them. It’s a beautiful thing when someone can admit that.

Q. Is there one song by any artist currently that you feel should be heard by as many people as possible?

A. Anything’s Possible by Jonny Lang. A very powerful uplifting song that proves that all we have to do is keep our head up and keep fighting for what we believe in.

Q. You say love is what you’d like to convey with your music. Is there anything else you would like people to know about your music?

A. Love is what makes me wake up every morning, it is the reason I write music. Honestly, more than anything, I’d like my music to convey the feeling of hope. When you have hope there is nothing in the world that you can’t do, no goals or bars that you can’t reach. When hope is in your heart, anything’s possible!

Q. If you could change one thing about the music business today, what would it be and why?

A. These days it seems that there are a lot of people that expect you to provide your services for free. Whether it is playing music at their establishment or using a recording on a video. Musicians, such as myself, work very hard to make a living. We can’t just give away our time and talents. We should receive fair compensation. Accountants spend years learning how to deal with our money and lawyers spend years in law school learning how to defend our rights. Musicians spend years educating themselves and learning the skills necessary to entertain. I don’t understand why we should be expected to give away our services for free when no one else is expected to do the same.

Q. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which would it be and why?

A. I think I would bring along one of my new songs called ‘Blue Skies’. It is one of those feel good vacation songs that will get you in a good mood no matter how you are feeling. It is one of my favorite songs to play and listen to. You can get a sneak peek here.

Here is Derek’s official video for, Love Still Remains.

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