Derdy Harry, also known as Harris Freedman, grew up in the small town of Edgemont, New York. Being just outside of Manhattan gave Harris easy access to fully immerse himself in the music scene. Through this immersion, he ultimately discovered his taste in music and developed into a producer and a creator.
Derdy Harry describes himself as always having been a huge fan of music, as well as a musician. He began playing guitar in elementary school and it became his whole world. His passion was rock music and he one day dreamed of being in a band. His world changed when he went to his first music festival when he was in 8th grade. At the end of the night, an Electronic group came on. “I remember thinking oh my god, this is crazy. I had never seen that amount of energy come from the audience before and all I could think of was wow, I want to do this.” After that moment, Harris started making mashups.
Harris began moving away from his dream of being in a rock band and started producing his own electronic music in the early years of high school. “The more I got into it, the more I felt sucked in.” His newfound love in electronic music pushed him forward to turn his hobby into something much bigger. This lead him to create a stage name for his first DJ gig while he was only in 10th grade. “My brother had a huge impact on what I was doing… I had my first gig in 10th grade and didn’t have a name yet, so my brother came up with [Derdy Harry] and it just kind of stuck from there.” From that point on, Derdy Harry started performing more frequently, often playing at teen club nights. However, the door didn’t fully open up for him until he went on to college.
Once in college, he found a way to combine what he loved with what he would study. “Once I got to school, I started looking through the majors that were offered… It’s awesome because something I would just do for fun in high school could now be turned into something that I can actually do for school.” From there, Derdy Harry got into deejaying house parties. “I really got lucky. I was playing at frat parties, but I had to compromise with what I wanted to play and what other people wanted to hear. When you are starting off, you really have to compromise.” This was tough for him because he wanted to find a way to get the music he had been producing out while still continuing to have the opportunity to perform live in front of an audience. A year and a half ago, Derdy Harry joined a group of collective producers, based in Boulder, Co, known as Keepin’ It Real Records.
Every producer in the group has their own unique style, so each set is always different. Being a part of this group opened many doors for Derdy Harry. “We started off by mostly playing at house parties to rarely playing at them and now we get to throw our own events or do takeover nights at clubs… If it wasn’t for Keepin’ It Real, I would still be playing music I don’t want to play. I now get to play what I want because of these guys.”
For someone like Derdy Harry, living in Colorado has been extremely beneficial. “The whole Boulder scene has been really influential for me. People in Boulder seem to be more open to hearing something new every time they go out. The electronic scene is so great out here.” This has provided him with ways to share new music with an audience and receive feedback. “One of the greatest feelings is testing out a song that no one has heard and watching the crowd react to it.”On top of producing music, Derdy Harry has recently started creating visuals to accompany his tracks. “I would really like to get more into that. Anytime I go sit down in my room I have to make a choice [between working on music or animation]. I wish I didn’t have to sleep so I could just work on stuff. [Animation] is a whole other world I’m only hitting the tip of the iceberg at.”
Derdy Harry and Keepin’ It Real, recently performed in Denver, expanding their audience even more. Lately, Derdy Harry has been working hard on trying to create a more concrete aesthetic for is sound and has been very excited with its outcome so far. In terms of moving forward, he is extremely excited about what is in store for him in the future.
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