Pretty Lights

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About Pretty Lights

With a blend of electronic music, hip-hop, and soul—filtered through an immersion in skater culture—Derek Vincent Smith has made a name for himself as Pretty Lights. • Pretty Lights began in 2004 as a collaboration between Smith and Michael Menart, who had previously played together in bands called The Freeze and Listen. Smith and Menart made Pretty Lights’ first album, 2006’s Taking Up Your Precious Time, while they were on a trip to Europe. • Menart left the group late in 2006, after an altercation with drug dealers left him hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. Smith continued with drummer Cory Eberhard, who had carried over from Listen, and began landing gigs in support of bands like Sound Tribe Sector 9, Disco Biscuits, and Widespread Panic. • The 2008 double album Filling Up the City Sky marked Pretty Lights’ first album after Menart’s departure. • As Pretty Lights became festival mainstays in the late 2000s and early 2010s, they continued to release music at a steady clip, including a full-length album in 2009 and three EPs in 2010. • Pretty Lights’ 2013 album A Color Map of the Sun was their first not to rely on samples of work by other acts. Instead, Smith recorded with session musicians, pressed the tracks to vinyl, and sampled his own music. The album reached No. 24 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Album.

Fort Collins, CO, United States
November 25, 1981

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