First of all tell us about the start of your professional career?
Since I was about 7 I had been doing a lot of local performances. Talent shows, family reunions, birthday parties ect. When I was in 8th grade I joined the local theatre company, Wescoast Black Theatre Troupe, under the direction of my mentor Nate Jacobs. I got ALOT of my professional training from there. I had also began back-up dancing for one of my fellow troupe members, Christopher Eisenberg, who is now signed to SONY/ATV with boy band Next Town Down. I used to watch him and think, “That’s it? That’s all I have to do?” What am I so scared of?” Being with him and learning so much from the Troupe really gave me the confidence to finally step out on my own and start performing my original music. So my 10th grade year of high school, I started performing again, but this time I added singing to my show. I would do maybe two of my songs and a Bobby Brown or Michael Jackson cover. Nowadays I perform only my original songs.
What attracted you to begin a career as singer?
My dad is a VERY big music lover. Most of my memories as a young child are of my siblings and I singing along with my dad to songs by artists like Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Nas, Damian Marley, Collie Buddz, Sade, Wu Tang Clan and New Edition. I believe that’s where my love of music started. I can destinctly remember being at a Taco Bell drive-Thru, we were moving from Florida to Texas. It was about 2 o’clock in the morning. My dad was playing this really funky song. It was “Can You Feel It” by The Jacksons. I said, “Daddy’s who that?” “That’s Michael Jackson,” he replied. I instantly fell in love. A couple of years later we moved back to Florida. Me and my siblings used to attend the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club. At the end of the day we would watch movies until our parents came and got us. One movie they constantly showed was “The Wiz”. One night in the car we were listening to the Jacksons like we usually do and my sister said, “I know Michael Jackson, I seen him in the movie, The Wiz.” I didn’t know that was him. Seeing him move like that made fall in love even more. After that, it was Michael Jackson this, Michael Jackson that. I would hear “Rock With You” on the radio every morning on my way to school. One night on his birthday, B.E.T. was running a special, they were showing all of his videos. And the moment I seen “Thriller” I knew that i wanted to be just like him. I wanted be a singer and dance just like my hero
Why do you feel this is the ideal profession for you?
I don’t know how to do anything else. Everything I know is apart of the arts or music in someway. Acting, producing, dancing, playing piano, choreographing, songwriting, singing and even drawing. It’s my true passion and my god given gift. I also feel like the best way to change the world is through art and music. As artist, we have the power to literally change how people think and perceive certain situations.
How do you like to be managed?
I LOVE TO LEARN! I’m constantly studying my craft. So I like when I can learn new things about the business side of music. I like when a person can help me ENHANCE who I am as an artist, and not CHANGE who I am. I’m very open minded to new things. So new ideas are always welcomed.
What sort of management style gets the best out of you professionally?
Honesty. I love for people to always be honest with me. I have a great work ethic, so anything that’s helpful that i can apply that’ll help me grow is always appreciated.
What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
Trust your ideas!!! Create what makes you happy. I see alot of times that artists tend to create things that they think their friends are gonna like. Worry about creating what you like. What you wanna hear. Somebody is gonna like it.
What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
Love Is My Message
What was your most memorable performance to date?
I went to this Def Jam Showcase just to watch. Somebody there knew me and wanted me to perform, so i did. I believe that was one of my best performances to this date. Everybody stayed til the end to see me and as soon as i hit the stage, the crowd went nuts!!
Since beginning your career tell me about a situation that has made you proud. Why was this, and what was the outcome?
Performing at that Def Jam showcase was probably one the proudest moments of my life. It got me alot of recognition and alot of respect from my peers.
Who is your role model and why?
I have a bunch. My biggest role model would probably be Michael Jackson. Not only did he have uber amounts of talent. He stood for pure love and peace. If there’s any part of his legacy I wanna carry on, It would be his message of love.
How can we follow you on social media ?
Facebook: Derric Gobourne Jr.
Youtube: Derric Gobourne Jr. Music