The roll call of success for the multi-talented Irish man is long and much deserved – with number one albums, sell-out shows in Ireland, UK and further afield, with a fistfuls of Awards to his name.
It’s been a long road for the Garryhill, County Carlow born artist who first developed his life long love for music when as a four-year-old, Derek’s parents bought him a drum kit one Christmas. That childhood passion was further nurtured when his dad brought him to fleadh cheoils (Irish music festivals) with young Derek truly proving ‘I Got Rhythm’ – winning two All-Ireland titles in bodhran and ceili drumming.
Tunes from his mum’s favourite country music radio shows – with songs by favourites including Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and George Strait – also engrained themselves deeply in a young Derek’s heart.
It was pop which first drew a blond-haired, fresh-faced 17-year-old teenage Derek into the music business. He followed in the chart busting footsteps of Irish boybands, Boyzone and Westlife – as part of new Celtic teen pop phenomenon, D-Side in 2001. Managed by Kim Glover – the same woman responsible for Dublin born UK chart toppers, B*Witched and TV superstars, Ant & Dec’s singing years – Derek enjoyed three UK top ten hits with D-Side.