Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Artist Spotlight - Dress Code

Derek Holley has been successfully creating his own eclectic-electro for over a decade as Dress Code – Examining, dissecting, and getting to the heart of what’s most important to his own ears in music have led Derek to play his music with humble confidence and intense conviction. 
Based in Dayton, Ohio – Derek originally co-founded Dress Code; at inception the band was a duo steeped in musical experimentation. With their clever infusion and combinations of rock/pop/dance/funk, they quickly formed their debut album. The instant critical-acclaim & success put Dress Code in line for opportunities to showcase their music, including having their tunes featured in indie-film projects and involved with big-name-players of the music-industry, MTV and VH1. 
With a break-up of the two occurring shortly after, Derek Holley all of a sudden found himself on his own, but more creatively-inspired and free to truly express his musical-vision through the music of Dress Code. Returning as a ‘virtual band’ – Holley now writes, creates and performs the atmospheres, tones & sonic-textures in this second-incarnation of his band with a much more intertwined combination of electronic, dance & rhythmic beats meeting dynamic bass-lines, rock guitars and innovative funk. 
Since confirming his solo-status, Holley has experienced success with his music & dedication to Dress Code. His music has been featured in indie-films & on music-compilations; his determination to succeed knows no limits as he writes, refines & readies new material with vibrant, dynamically-charged rhythms, beats & electro-sounds – Derek Holley is here to play & here to stay in Dress Code. 
Why the name, Dress Code? Derek explains, "The name is sort of an irony, since a dress code is a rule about style or appearance. I want to do the opposite of that in a musical sense--to mix different styles and influences." 


1.) What made you want to get into the music business in the first place? Did anyone influence you to do music? If so, who? Influences? Role Models?

I wanted to get into the music business because it's something I've always liked. I've been playing instruments since elementary school and have kept going ever since then.

I'm a fan of different kinds on music (rock, funk, dance/electronic, etc), and I wanted to play the guitar because of Jimi Hendrix (I play left-handed, too), but I got the idea from Prince to mix genres of music and to play, write and produce my own tracks. To me, he brought a rock & roll style and attitude into funk and R&B that was different from what other people were doing. I got into electronic music from Kraftwerk and Daft Punk. Kraftwerk was the first electronic band I had ever heard and was a completely new style of music to me. Daft Punk got my attention because their tracks are so catchy and they have their own style.

2.) Unfortunately the music industry is full of talented individuals who just don't get any recognition for their talent and/or work. What do you plan to do to make sure you stand out and get noticed?

Part of the plan is doing this interview! I have to keep trying to reach more people and introduce myself and my music to them. Another thing is I'm trying to have a different sound than some other dance music/EDM, by adding the rock and funk influences with live instruments. I also use the same band logo everywhere I can online and on social media. I've used to same logo for years, and people remember it.

3.) Would you rather be on a major label or would you rather stay independent? Why or why not?

For now, I need to stay indie and get more of a following before even thinking a major company who would be interested in me. It's a lot harder to get the majors' attention and have them want to promote you if you don't have any momentum going into a deal with them. 

4.) Do you think that the traditional music industry model as we know it is dead? Why or why not?

I think the traditional model is dead! There are really only 3 major record companies left and they don't even make all their money strictly from music sales (physical or digital) like they used to. People still like music and buy it, but consume it in different ways. 

5.) How do you think the internet and social media affected the music industry and how musicians are able to market themselves?

The internet and social media have opened opportunities to reach people directly, make new fans, and sell music without a record company.

6.) What is the most difficult thing you've had to endure in life and has that had any effect on your path to becoming a musician?

The most difficult thing is to keep going even when there are setbacks, either in life or in the business. I've had injuries that have stopped me from playing and I've been involved with companies that have either gone out of business or been bought out by larger companies while still being signed. It's really hard when something goes bad and it's not your fault, but still affects you. This has made me more careful about who I work with and want to succeed even more!

7.) Artists who try to make music for the general public and make more money are usually seen as "sell-outs." Do you see it that way and if so, what do plan to do to make sure you make music that is true to your brand and make a good living at the same time without having to "sell out"?

It's not a "sell-out" if you can make money doing music that you like to play and a lot people are willing to pay for! Some people need to get over the "starving artist" mentality and thinking you always have to suffer to be creative.

8.) When you do music, what would you like your listeners to get out of your music?

What I'd like people to get out of my music is to enjoy it and have fun with it. I hope it makes them feel good!

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