Photographer: Mica Schettini
Musician: Derek Day
Location: Griffith Park Observatory
Derek Day is a screaming, 23 year-old Los Angelino solo artist from Eaglerock , CA that infuses the power of Rock N' Roll N' Other Genres (R&B,Soul,Progressive Rock,Punk) who engages with and captures the audience theatrically. He's on the lead, licky, riffy, stylistic Electric Guitar to accompany his lead, burning, gritty, soulful contralto Vocals. Finally releasing his first EP in Spring 2017, he's been performing over 10 years with influences ranging from Led Zeppelin through Coltrane, stopping for minute at Tom Waits, to Kendrick Lamar meets GN'R while Stevie Ray Vaughan has breakfast with Mercury n' MJ. It's always a BLAST!
The child of honorable working-class parents, Derek Day was born & raised in and around Downtown Los Angeles. "He had started vocalizing when he was a baby", his mother recalling, "singing along to 'We Will Rock You' during a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial when he was only 4 months." He picked up guitar playing around 6 years old- writing his first melody on a plastic guitar with 4 strings. Being raised on classic and hard rock styles since the day he was born, eventually Day started performing out on the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade as well as Venice Beach at age 13. He quickly learned to love styles of Motown, Jazz, Funk as well as Progressive, Alternative and Experimental music. Street Performing taught Day how to deal with audiences- whilst the cover tunes he was performing taught him how to emote, scream, and feel what really meant the world to him. Now, he has something to say of his own, something new to show you- A reason to look up.
In 2014, Day & brother Waldemar formed the Radio Rock band HOTSTOP and were signed to Blue Elan Records, but after tours and record sales did not pan out, Day left to pursue his solo career.
January 2016 marked a turning point for Derek Day: music manager Ali Shayestah heard him backing actress and fledgling singer Rachel Fox. Ali booked Derek at the infamous ULTIMATE JAM NIGHT, produced by Quiet Riot bassist Chuck Wright who immediately noticed Derek’s star quality. Derek is now a weekly, regularly featured artist at the historic Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, sharing the stage with: bassist Paul ILL (Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Pink); bassist Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai, Slash); drummer Brendan Buckley (Shakira); dance music chart topper Debby Holiday; guitarist Scotti Hill (Skid Row); frontman Eric Dover (Jellyfish & Slash’s Snake Pit); drummer Mike Dupke(WASP); keyboardist Michael Klooster (Smashmouth); Johnny Martin (Tracii Guns), Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot) among other notables.
For Derek Day, “3” seems to be his lucky number: He had 3 brothers who gave him a passion for literature and music; at age 13 he watched a video of the G3 CONCERT— Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen — and fell in love with the sound of electric guitar; after his first 3 years as a professional musician in LA, Steve Vai saw a video of Derek on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade and saw a spark of magic that inspired him to say, “This guy has a nice fire in him…he has a powerful charisma…”. Via then invited the wild, young Pop/Rock Derek Day to open for him in concert on 3 concert dates. So, on Saturday, December 10, 2016, Derek Day got to do what others only dream of: open for his guitar idol, Steve Vai.
It is easy to see why Derek is excited to play with his idol, Steve Vai: Vai’s work has been recognized with a long list of awards, including an even dozen from Guitar Player. The TEC Foundation honored Vai with the prestigious Les Paul Award, created in 1991 to salute those who have set the highest standard of excellence in the creative application of technology (past winners include Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Herbie Hancock and Steely Dan). In bestowing it on Vai, TEC noted, “Steve Vai’s sheer breathtaking facility on the guitar is acclaimed in the rock world and beyond… Vai has dedicated his talents to creatively advance the language of music. While many artists fit easily into a single category, Steve Vai remains unclassifiable. He is a musical alchemist of the highest order.”