Story by Ollie Fadipe
Derrick Lane, better known under the moniker ‘localgirlinyourarea’, has been messing with guitars since the third grade, and he began writing music in the eighth.
“I started reading biographies of artists I loved – [people like] Ozzy Ozbourne, Slash, Keith Richards, [and] Anthony Kiedes. They all talked about the euphoric rush of playing in front of people, and how it’s incomparable,” Derrick said. “Countless videos of Keith Richards of the Stones smoking a cigarette while playing a solo in front of tens of thousands of people, without a single care in the world.”
Derrick adopted the moniker in March of 2018 for an upcoming project of his.
“It was in May of 2018 that I played my first show. It was a small camping festival type thing that a friend put together,” he said. “I had a couple of songs written, and I was absolutely terrified. I was playing in front of all my peers and the girl that I wrote all my cheesy love songs about, and, despite being terrified, I reached that level of euphoria I had read about.”
Although his sound is distinctive and unique, Derrick admits that he finds it difficult to label it under any one genre.
“I’ve made so many jokes about what genres I’d be classed under,” he says. “I can’t sincerely give you a label for myself; I’m just a kid with a guitar trying to make music.”
His inspiration comes from the musicians he grew up watching.
“Anybody who sat down and took the time to write their feelings onto a piece of paper, and tried to make people feel something.”
Derrick lists The Lumineers, Vance Joy, Modern Baseball and The Rolling Stones as being some of his favorites.
Derrick’s messages in his music are designed to evoke secure emotions within the listener.
“I like to write songs that will make people feel. I struggle quite heavily with mental health, and I want people to listen to these songs and know that they may be struggling, but they’re not struggling alone.”
A few of his songs have a lighter tone to them.
“There’s also songs about being in love, and hating your job, I’ve got one about my dog, but I really just want people to feel something.”
He’s managed to create a respectable body of work in a short amount of time.
“My first EP was a milestone because that was the first time I ever walked out of a recording studio with something I wrote entirely by myself,” he said. “But I’m really proud of the album I’m in the process of recording right now. It’s a lot less sad. It’s more honest.”
He’s also very happy about being able to refer to bodies of his work on streaming platforms.
“Being able to ask Alexa to put on my songs is a huge confidence booster, and I laugh every time I do it.”
It’s clear that Derrick has big things in store for his audience.
When asked about his upcoming work, he said, “The new album of course. I’m also about to go into the studio and record an emo-rap demo.”
He then went on to describe the incorporation of smoke machines for his next show, as well as his upcoming demo.
“I asked if we could get a smoke machine, and was hit with a rhetorical ‘Why would there be a smoke machine at a folk show?’ Which is really fair. I couldn’t argue that, but ten minutes after that conversation, the producer of the emo-rap project asked me about working together, and I said ‘Only if we can get a smoke machine’ and, from there, we were golden.”
Honesty is an element that Derrick employs into his own lyrics, but he believes that it is also important for any singer and songwriter who wants to hone their craft.
“Be honest with yourself and your music. Make music for yourself. Practice every day. Keep a notepad on you to write lyrics that come at you throughout the day. Try your best, have fun doing it, and always reach out to your friends for advice!”
You can follow Localgirlinyourarea at his Facebook page, as well as his Instagram, under the handle @localgirlinyourarea. He currently has two EP’s out, Letters To My Dead Friends and Cigarettes & Late Night Conversations. They’re available to listen to on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, rdio and Tidal.