Fusing a love of music with meditation and philosophy, Derek Corr is trying to express the raw nature of being through songs. His debut solo album This Now is available to hear with ‘If I Was The Devil’ being the first single. We had a chat with this Irish artist about his latest single, discovering new music and future plans.
Why did you choose to enter the music industry?
I guess I would differentiate between the word ‘music’ and the word ‘industry’.
As a songwriter, I make the song number one. The song is everything. Music begins with a hum, a lyric or even just a kick and snare beat. There’s always a specific feel or tone to songs when they come to me. It’s always natural.
When that’s all done and recorded then it’s industry time, getting the song out to people who may connect with it. It’s only natural to want people to hear your work once it’s done.
What can you tell us about your release ‘If I Was The Devil’?
This song all came out of reflecting on how the devil is in the detail. We often portray good and evil as being a battle between super-beings or superpowers, but so often the devil is in the small stuff. An unkind word or a throwaway comment that sits in someone’s mind for days.
Small things can become very big things very quickly. We can see that in the world today. We think our actions are not connected, but we live in an interdependent world. We know this but our actions don’t reflect this. So I’ve tried to capture that in this song.
What was the recording and writing process like?
I recorded this whole album by myself in my home studio, so I was lucky to have the time and space to be able to craft it. This song was fun to record. When you break it down it’s not complicated; drums, bass, two guitars and the synth to give it some sweetness. The driving force is the voice and the lyrics. I knew the take had to be as good as it could be. It’s still a bit of a tongue-twister to sing live.
What do you hope people take from your music?
As a songwriter, I’ve always strived to connect with people through music. There’s always a specific message in the words I write; a feeling that people can connect with. Some of these tracks do call for a deeper listen and I hope that people can benefit from the meaning that I try to transmit.
Which is more challenging – melody or lyrics?
Without a doubt, lyrics! Music flows no problem, but I often write melody for voice with no lyrics, just mumbling. Then there’s a long process of finding the word in the song, like filling in a crossword puzzle. It’s not always like that. ‘If I Was The Devil’, for example, was lyrics first, then melody, then music.
Describe your music in three words.
Genuine, contagious, growers.
What do you think is the best way to discover new music?
Recommendation has always worked for me. Surround yourself with people with better musical tastes than yourself.
What does the future hold for you?
I’m working on another album right now. I’m also working on a more synth-pop side project called Adwip with my friend Keith. I continue to guide meditation at the Buddhist Centre where I work, so there’ll be more of that this summer. Looking forward to more music and peace, and to bring more of that into the world.
What advice do you have for any person planning to become a musician?
What a beautiful way to connect with people. It’s always good to play, write and record music in all its forms. It’s not an easy path to follow, but what genuine path is easy? Burnout is common in the music world, so don’t lose hope. Mind your mental health and never give up on yourself. If you have a story to tell, find a way to tell it.
Do you have any message for our readers?
Look after each other by looking after yourself. The world is a beautiful place that needs us to be kinder to each other. I think kindness for self and others is the next revolution. Just might save us, in fact. Music can transmit anything, so let’s transmit good vibes when we can.