"By combining engaging storytelling techniques typical of tradition country music with the tranquil, easygoing sounds of the ocean shore, Derek James delivers an undeniably infectious score that plays well anywhere."
-SLO LIFE MAGAZINE
2020 New Times Music Awards
"Derek's infusion of beach and coastal inspiration with country music has branded him within the San Luis Obispo community."
2018 Nash Next Competition
KAT COUNTRY 103
Derek James was born and raised in Modesto California. An agricultural town in California's central valley, the valley lifestyle taught Derek the values of grit and hard work. After moving to San Luis Obispo to attend college at Cal Poly, Derek developed a passion for songwriting and performing.
During his college years is sunny San Luis Obispo, Derek took a liking to the coastal lifestyle that the central coast offered. His country roots from the valley paired with this laid back beachy charm created the idea for a new kind of country music - coastal country. Coastal country combines traditional country storytelling and instrumentation with a fresh, west coast flair.
Acts like the Beach Boys and Eagles impacted Derek greatly as a kid. His love of harmonies and complex vocal arrangements have made their way into his music. On the country side of things, artist such as Kenny Chesney and Jake Owen inspire Derek.
Today, Derek continues to gig all over the state of California and put out original music that he writes, produces, and releases himself.