The lifestyle of the artists we follow and enjoy is a crazy one, requiring abnormal work hours, ridiculous travel, and a lot of caffeine. Few are good enough to attempt this lifestyle, and even fewer can pull it off while keeping their sanity and quality of product high. Up and coming northwest DJ Derek Lombardo, aka Sixfour, is learning to adjust to this new lifestyle, should it come calling after college.
The 20-year-old Washington State University junior, who is majoring in communication, is making a habit of making the most of his time and balancing priorities.
As much as I dislike it, I have to pretty much dump all my time into school, and work on music when I can, which usually involves a few 3 a.m. production sessions. It is tough balancing school and music, and often results in a massive lack of sleep, but it’s sometimes the only option for me.
When he’s not working on homework, studying for exams, or performing his duties as an executive member of his fraternity, the Tri-Cities, Wash. native is doing everything he can to make time for music.
“Whenever I get a free moment at home I’m writing up drum lines or trying to create new basses to make those times when I do get time to produce much more streamlined,’ Lombardo said.
Initially drawn to EDM after listening to deadmu5’s Random Album Title in high school, Lombardo investigated this new interest in his life until it became a passion.
“I became really intrigued with the more minimal sounds on the album, Sometimes Things Get, Whatever being the main one,” Lombardo said. “I had played both the drums and bass guitar earlier in life so I was intrigued by the way he maintained a groove with such a minimal use of sounds.”
Taking the next step and going to his first live show simply cemented the obsession.
I actually got to see deadmau5 live very shortly after I heard that album. It was a stripped down, very minimal set, in a small club in Portland. I got very close up to him and his gear and was fascinated by the massive array of technology and I wanted to be able to use technology like that to bend and mold sounds and provide an experience for people.
And that’s exactly what he has done ever since. Producing music and improving his mixing skills, while attending WSU and living the ‘college experience’, Lombardo has put his countless hours of practice to good use. It was announced that he was the winner of a contest held by StarDust Events, the company putting on White Winterland on Friday December 27th in Bellevue, and played from 7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Meydenbauer Center.
“I’m unbelievably excited for White Winterland. Scale-wise, it’s definitely my biggest show,” Lombardo said. “I’m going to make the best of my 30 minutes and I’m really excited to play out some material I’m really feeling lately!”
Lombardo definitely made the most of those 30 minutes, creating a highly energetic and enjoyable set, a mix of which can be heard here.
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