No, it's not the latest must-have toy for your young daughter - it's a one-man band creating fresh electronic sounds. Pretty Lights, aka Derek Vincent Smith, hits the Fillmore Miami Beach on Tuesday with a show that combines dubstep, hip-hop, trip-hop, soul and funk. He talked to Miami.com about what we can expect from the show.
Q: What's a Pretty Lights show like?
A: It's like a super-classy electronic-music dance party, where kids who like good music and good art can come together to celebrate and be immersed in both mediums.
Q: What can we expect visually from the show?
A: This is the first tour where I've been able to manifest my vision on a visual basis - it's basically been evolving ever since I started touring. My music is very organic - it's electronic music, but it implements elements of styles that span the whole last century, so it's a very organic sound. And on my new record I made all my own samples from equipment from pre-1972. So I'm very idealistic about it, and so I approached the visuals the same way. I hired a crew of about eight filmers to go out and shoot crazy, cool stuff that's all real-world things that are relatable and beautiful.
Q: Is that how you took your stage name?
A: That's what the name Pretty Lights kind of means - it's supposed to resonate with the concept of beautiful moments in your everyday life. So it's a very organic, beautiful, all-filmed show integrated into lighting effects. And I've got it all linked together so I can improvise my set.
Q: Will we hear a lot of the new album?
A: Yeah. It still has the same sound and style, but it's very hip-hop. It's still really hard, but it's very organic, banging hip-hop that sounds like it was made in the '60s or something.
Q: Onstage, what's the musical breakdown?
A: Well, I stand onstage and I basically rock two full Ableton Live set-ups with MIDI controllers that allow me to arrange the songs on the fly, and then turn on and off elements of each track and switch to different samplers.
Q: Your sound is so eclectic - what musicians inspired you at an early age?
A: I was all about punk rock, and even earlier than that it was grunge. When I was a little kid I loved Nirvana, Green Day and stuff like that, and then I really got into the punk scene, and then somehow got into funk, because I was a big Beastie Boys fan. And then I got into the hip-hop thing. So somehow I made it from grunge and punk to hip-hop, electro and soul.
Q: How often do you get to Miami, and what do you think of the city?
A: Man, Miami's always shown me so much love that it inspired me the first time I went. Well, I played a really small club and I couldn't really gauge what it was like. But then the next time I played there I did my own show at the Fillmore during Ultra, and it usually stays dark that week. But we did it and sold it out and blew it up and it was awesome.
But I love renting one of the bikes and just cruising around the beach, every time I play that part of Miami. But to be honest, I haven't really gotten out to see the real deal.