Discover Derek Adam: A Life of Music

Today, we are extremely excited to bring to you a unique story: the
Odyssey of Gigmor Rising Artist Derek Adam. Guitarist, singer,
songwriter, lifelong music lover and entertainer, he performs throughout
New York City at private events, various restaurants and bars, and the
famous Paramount Theatre. We spoke with Derek to learn more about
his work and experiences thus far, and to be able to share with you his
background and some of his plans for the future.


Derek first became engrossed with music when he was in the fifth grade,
but music has been in the family for his whole life. “My father was in a
band and had played guitar for a huge part of his life. I was always
surrounded by music.”

He told us the story of how he knew he wanted to be a musician: “It’s
such a core memory. It kicked me over the edge and got me started. It
was fifth grade, one of the last days of school, and we were blasting
music in our classroom. I think it was Good Charlotte or something…
and I saw this girl I had a huge crush on absolutely rocking out to it and
I was like… I have to learn how to play this stuff.” It wasn’t long after
this moment Derek picked up his first guitar at age 10.

So, What Kind of Music?

In our conversation with him, he told us the vibe of the music he writes
and performs is largely based on his early influences: “My parents were
never shy about playing their favorite records in the house. My father is
a big classic rock and blues guy. So, that’s kind of hardwired into part of
my influence even if I may not even know it at times.”

He told us some additional influences on his guitar playing include
Randy Rhoads, David Gilmore, Eric Johnson, Paul Gilbert, John
Petrucci, Joe Satriani, Guthrie Govan, Richie Kotzen, and Andy
Timmons. For vocal inspiration he pays homage to Chris Cornell, Matt
Shadows, Richie Kotzen, Paul Rodgers, and Chris Stapleton.

But of course, deciding on one’s sound is a dynamic process with plenty
of twists and turns. “It’s a collective kind of having grown up listening
to what my parents listened to and then getting into the guitar virtuosos
of the seventies and eighties up until modern day.” He can pull from his
early training in high school jazz band, study of classical guitar at SUNY
Potsdam, and his early environment and of course his preferences to
form the unique rock fusion coming through hit song “The Circle” on
the 2021 EP “Silver Lining.” His songs have amassed more than 60,000
streams on Spotify alone, and his audience grows every day. He also has
singles “Truth,” (2020) and “The Road I Know” (2022).

Being Your Own Everything:

One of the major topics of our conversation centered around his
experiences with the various responsibilities of being a modern working
musician. He told us, “I certainly wish there were two of me. I think that
the biggest stressor that comes from the seemingly necessary
requirement of having to be on social media.” Being a musician in
today’s world requires a few steps beyond the music one creates. It
requires fluency with an entirely separate skillset sometimes equally or
more important than the art itself: “I have a much easier time writing a
song or playing in front of a couple thousand people than I do getting in
front of a camera and attempting to be “relevant” or “kooky” or
“engaging”…and being so concerned with what’s going to get me all the
views and likes … you know?”

Beyond social media, rising living costs across the country and the
world, and worst of all in New York City, is also a perpetual challenge
for musicians everywhere. Keeping consistent work is an extremely
important element of making a living doing music, and a popular and
consistent act that utilizes the skill set of musicians like Derek are cover
gigs. “I feel like we’re in an age of tribute bands,” he said. Establishing
oneself as an original artist in this environment is exceptionally
challenging. Derek shared that his usual gigs predominantly feature
covers, with a few original pieces mixed in, even if people are coming
specifically to see him play.

“I’d say to be generous, it’s 80/20 when comparing covers to originals in
a live set. I like to think I know how to read the room. If I’m doing a
cover gig where I know that it’s not the time to whip out an original, then
I’m going to keep giving them something that I know they love. But by
the same token, if I have the right audience and the vibe is great then I’ll
decide to play one of my own. If they respond really well to it…I think
that is an effective tactic.”

Looking Forward:

As an in-demand gigging musician and growing artist, the future is
bright for Derek. His music is awesome, his personality is radiant and
he’s a hardworking, dedicated artist who has a very respect-driven
perspective and plenty of creative ideas. He plans on releasing new
music during 2024, so look out for Derek Adam! Find out more about
Derek on his Gigmor profile, or follow him on social media. Stay tuned
for more!

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