Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter Derek Sallmann, who discusses the inspiration behind his new single and more.
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Derek Sallmann: I got involved in music because my parents are both musicians. My mom plays flute and my dad plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, and sings. My dad taught me how to play when I was 13 and I’ve been a huge fan of playing guitar ever since. As far as singing goes, I was in choir at Butler Middle School and then joined the Waukesha West High School choir when I got older. I started performing and playing a lot of shows in 2014 when I did 107 that year. I also started doing a lot or writing and released my debut album “All Seasons” in 2016.
Review Fix: Who has been a mentor or an inspiration for you?
Sallmann: My dad has definitely been a huge mentor and inspiration for me. He’s the one who taught me how to play guitar, and he’s currently in his own two-piece band called “Advance” that plays around Wisconsin. He helped me pick out my sound system and taught me how to use it and how to interact with the crowd and be a better performer. I am sure I wouldn’t be as far along as I am without his help and encouragement.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone has never heard you?
Sallmann: I would describe it as “catchy, upbeat, Indie Pop”. I always try to write extremely honest songs, because I think it’s easy for the listener to tell if a song is coming from the heart or not. I also want them to be catchy, and something that will get stuck in the listeners head for the rest of the day and stick with them. When I like a song, I’ll normally note the tag or the catchiest part and even if I don’t remember exactly how it sounded later on, I can just look up the tag and find it, and I want people to be able to do that with my music.
Review Fix: How did this single come to be?
Sallmann: The single came from a really bad breakup that I went through at the start of the year. I wrote the song with my friend Kyler England (who also sings background vocals on the track), and we addressed that feeling of “things aren’t going to get better”. That’s how I was feeling in the moment and I said “I know it’s silly, but that’s how it feels”. We took that idea of putting yourself in the mindset of your future self, writing to your past self, telling you that everything will be okay, and that’s the short version of how the song came to be.
Review Fix: Who will enjoy it the most?
Sallmann: I think the people who will enjoy it the most are those who really need to hear that message. If you’re going through a heartbreaking situation where it feels like it’s the end of the world, I think it’s important to be reminded that there’s so much more to come, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Sallmann: Up next is the release of the second single, “Breakdown, Breakthrough” on November 23rd. We just shot a music video for it on the Lake Michigan Lakefront and I’m really excited to share the final product with everyone. Then the whole 5-song EP Will come out on December 14th.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Sallmann: Yes, I made an exclusive 10 minute “behind the scenes” video of the making of the first single “Love, Future You”. You can unlock it by clicking this link https://show.co/TaQKlwZ and either following me on Spotfiy, or if you’re not on Spotify, you can enter an email address. I wanted to share the journey with my strongest supporters and the video includes the original voice memo, and a more in-depth look at the writing and recording process.