Derek Vincent Smith (born November 25, 1981) is an American electronic music artist who performs under the stage name Pretty Lights. He is also the proprietor of an associated music label, Pretty Lights Music. Smith's music relies heavily on digital sampling and crosses many genres, forming a combination of "glitchy hip-hop beats, buzzing synth lines, and vintage funk and soul samples.". Pretty Lights' sound is generated by manipulating samples and organic beats using the Novation X-Station, monome and the Akai MPD32.
Smith uses these digital controllers to program the music production software Ableton Live 8. When performing live, Smith uses two Macbook Pros running Ableton Live 8 and two Akai MPD32s. Smith usually considers his music as "Electro Hip-Hop Soul", a mix between elements of electronic based music, and beats from hip-hop and soul music. Pretty Lights released A Color Map of the Sun on July 2, which is Grammy nominated for the Best Dance/Electronic Album.
The two-CD collection contain the 13-song album A Color Map of the Sun plus a second album, Live Studio Sessions From A Color Map of the Sun. A Color Map of the Sun builds on the original Pretty Lights sound and style that Smith pioneered. He spent a year composing and recording music and vocals that emulated genres and time periods that spanned the last century, then pressed it to vinyl. He used that vinyl along with a custom built analog modular synth to create A Color Map of the Sun.Make Pretty Lights Playlist