A DAY IN THE LIFE (BELFAST TELEGRAPH FEATURE)
Irish Country Singer
The Post Holder
Derek has dreamt of a life in the spotlight since he was 12 years old, and with hard work and dedication to music, he has become one of Ireland’s biggest country stars.
Growing up in Garyhill, Co. Carlow, Derek was brought up into a very musical family. After finishing school at 17 years old, Derek’s showbiz dreams started to become a reality when he became lead singer with Irish boy band D-side. With no limit to his potential, Derek will keep striving and working to the best of his ability.
“Being in a boy band was everything you would expect it to be, an unbelievable experience, hectic! We were international, and even made number one in Japan. But then again, I’m still so busy now, still pretty nonstop, just minus the jet lag!
“There’s never a dull moment, I love every minute of it. It’s hard to call it a ‘job’ when you enjoy it so much. Every day is different; I get to play in different venues, meeting different people and singing different material. Playing gigs and concerts isn’t where the duties stop either, there’s radio interviews, photo shoots, recording albums and videos, but I manage to fit in sleep too, so I’m happy.
“It’s great to work in an industry that you are so passionate about, and not feel like you’re constantly ‘working’ as such. I love what I do, and even when I’m taking some time to myself, I’m still writing new material, even if I’m just thinking up some new lyrics in my head.”
A lot of people would say this is a lie in, but really when you’re up as late as I am, 10am is still not a long enough lie in! I usually get up around this time, get a cup of coffee, a slice of toast and get straight into my studio office at home. I usually check in on facebook and twitter keeping connected with everyone that follows me and my career. If I’m working on lyrics or melodies for new songs, this is normally the time I begin, fresh mind and fresh ears in the morning!
I try to get a few more hours sleep during the day, our show is high energy and requires a lot of stamina, especially when there is a long drive to the venue – also it’s good to the rest the voice for the show. Most of the time I find a walk or a quick run, it’s a nice break from the noise and buzz of the night time gigs.
After my second sleep, then it’s time to go over my set list for the evening’s gig. Every show we play is different, different songs for different crowds, so getting the list sorted before the gig is a must! I then email it to my Musical Director for him to prepare the rest of the band members.
As well as touring, I’ve also just finished recording my fourth album, ‘Country Soul’ which will be on sale from the 25th October. I would usually spend a couple of hours recording during the day – but now it’s finished, it’s a matter of getting everything on the album perfect before the release.
With the release of the new album coming up, there’s always something I need to be doing, so I would use this time to take calls for a radio interview, do a magazine interview, or a photo shoot. When a photo shoot or video recording is coming up, I like to use this time to go shopping to pick some new clothes for the event.
Time for a quick shower before I hit the road for the night!
Being on the road means getting on the road early and coming home late – depending on where the gig is – I usually give myself around 3 hours travelling time, so I set off on the journey to the venue.
I meet up with the band and do a sound check, making sure everything is perfect for the gig. We would rehearse a few songs that have been added to the set list and prepare for the crowds to arrive.
I love to meet my fans, so I try to spend at least an hour before the gig for a quick hello and picture. I get to see familiar faces and am always meeting new people. It’s great to get talking to my fans’ before a gig – really gets me in the mood to go out and do a great show.
After a brilliant gig with a fantastic audience, I like to hang around for a while to meet anyone that I missed before the show and hear the feedback from the audience on the night. I love to hear everyone’s opinions on the show. There’s always room for improvement in my book, and I always give the fans what they want. After all, if it wasn’t for my loyal fans where would I be?
I always like to go home to Carlow after a show if possible. It is late but there’s nothing better than getting into your own bed after a long day. It’s now time to make the long journey home, for a few hours sleep, and get ready to do it all over again tomorrow.