In this sense he is a poet’s musician. Born in the South Bronx, Derek Lassiter spent the first eleven years of his life moving around the neighborhoods of that New York City borough. At age 11 he moved to the suburbs of Pennsylvania to live with his maternal Grandmother.. “Both places had a profound effect on me and I learned at an early age just how disparate the world could be. My mother listened to Soul and 60’s folk music, my Grandmother didn’t have a stereo and only listened to Country and Western on a little radio in the kitchen. But then again my Grandmother also sent us to a Baptist church where I heard Gospel for the first time.” When his Grandmother became too ill to care for him and his siblings, Derek spent his teen years moving between foster homes in Pennsylvania.
He recounts that with each move he was exposed to an ever growing list of musical genres. “I can track the movements of my life through music. Whenever I talk to my older brother about a song and we’re trying to remember the year we’ll say; “oh yeah, that’s when we lived at...” Eventually Derek settled in San Francisco where he currently lives and works. In the early 90’s he fronted several bands and played many of the local clubs including Slim’s, Great American Music Hall, Café du Nord and numerous cafes and private events. In 2006 he embarked on a “solo” endeavor composing his own music and writing lyrics. He’s collaborated with some of the finest musicians for his live shows including Tammy Hall, pc muñoz, Marc Weibel, Art Khu, Alcide Marshall and Tom Freund to name a few. Derek Lassiter's EP, Witness, is a breath of fresh air: earthy, percussion-driven, spiritual and sensual.
From the opening rocker Hunger to the jazzy workout Ill Grow, Lassiter's poetic songs explore the deep roots of Africa and Africa-America, powered by the sound of the drum. Featuring special guest musicians Tom Freund (fresh off of a tour with his former songwriting partner, Ben Harper), Louisiana Blues legend Lady Memfis, and San Francisco guitar phenom Marc Weibel. Produced by pc muñoz. A few years have passed since the release of Witness. Shortly after the completion of that project he started writing a song called Music Outside.
The inspiration for the song came when he remembered that at one point in his life he had consciously made a decision to stop doing anything creative: no music, no writing, acting or photography. Those years were very dark and desperate times for him. Music Outside is an account of the toll it takes on us when we abandon our spirit. The stories tell of people he met along the way who faced their own challenges to create the music of their soul when mentally, physically, financially it seems impossible. With this new project he hopes to inspire others to finally start living out their truth.
To follow their dream. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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