By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Florida-based country musician Derek Lersch serenaded Summer’s return in style, with the energetic single release of “My Baby’s Summertime,” which takes the best of country rock and adds a ’90s edge.
Over the span of his career, Lersch has become a stage warrior, with 350 shows played in just four years, some of which have been at venues like Raymond James Stadium and Amalie Arena, alongside acts like Rodney Atkins and Jay Allen.
“My Baby’s Summertime” gives fans a taste of his demanding stage presence, inspired by the likes of Aersomith’s Steven Tyler, Luke Combs and Jason Aldean.
With his debut EP due out later this year, Lersch’s Fall will look to have the same amount of momentum as his Summer. He’s betting on it.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with him about “My Baby’s Summertime” and more.
Music Bugle – What has been your proudest accomplishment so far?
Derek Lersch – On the personal side of things, my daughter is my proudest accomplishment. She’s about a year right now and that little girl brings me so much joy and she’s such an inspiration to my everyday life. On the music side of things, I’d have to say it’s the growth I’ve had as an artist in just a few years. I really feel like as a musician, I’ve learned so much in the last few years and I’m doing things I didn’t think I could do.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for your new single “My Baby’s Summertime”?
Derek Lersch – My goal for “My Baby’s Summertime” was to be a big hit! (Laughs) but in all seriousness, I really want to have people enjoy this song, crank it up and have a blast this Summer! It’s so different from all the other songs that I have, which is why I wanted to release it as the first single! It’s a fun singalong song that just makes you feel good!
Music Bugle – How would you describe Florida to someone who has never been there before?
Derek Lersch – Well, don’t read the news stories, because I promise we’re not all crazy! Florida is honestly the best! Where I live, I can go 20 minutes inland and be as country as can be with cows, farms – you name it! I then, can go 20 minutes to the coast and be in tropical paradise at one of the best beaches in the world – Siesta Key Beach. That’s a fact, not an opinion, so it’s really the best of both worlds. We have big cities with the best theme parks and also have some of the most beautiful nature this country has to offer! Florida is where the party is at!
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Derek Lersch – It’s full of energy and I think that’s what I love about music in general, not just my style of music. The different moods and energy that songs can bring are just incredible and I really tried to incorporate that in my upcoming EP.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Derek Lersch – Well, right now, I’m honestly listening to a lot of my music! Each day, we’re getting new mixes back for the EP that I need to listen to or I’m needing to listen to a track before I record vocals on it, so lately, whenever I’m listening to music, that’s what it’s been. Whenever I get a break from that though, I’ve been listening to a lot of Cody Johnson and I’m still obsessed with Morgan Wallen’s new album, so that’s always on too.
Music Bugle – What has it been like putting together your debut EP?
Derek Lersch – Putting together this EP has been a lot of work, but so rewarding! I definitely had a vision for how I wanted it to sound, look and feel and so far, it’s going as planned. It’s tough being an independent artist, because it’s really all on you! Creating the album artwork, the songs and everything in between. I’m the type too where I can’t shut it off, my mind is always thinking of something for it!
Music Bugle – What has been your most memorable moment while onstage or at a show?
Derek Lersch – I’d have to say my most memorable moment on stage was opening for Rodney Atkins to a sold out crowd and having that entire place sing along! The power of having a crowd that large sing back to you is just incredible and there’s no better feeling!
Music Bugle – In what ways have you felt yourself mature as an artist?
Derek Lersch – Throughout the process of making this EP and in the last year, I think I realized just how much growth I’ve had just in the last couple years as an artist. I’ve had so many people that I’ve learned from on how to write better songs, how to operate a band and how to take the next step of my career. I learned very quickly that I don’t know everything and the best thing you can do is ask for advice from people that have been there and gone through it. I definitely hear the growth in my songwriting, the production of my songs, even my performing on stage. It’s like anything – the more you do it, the more confident you feel and that’s where I’m at right now. I’m confident in my songwriting and performing on stage and that’s a very good and contagious feeling to the people around you.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Derek Lersch – Like everyone, COVID-19 was tough and shut down our shows for a while. We started 2020 off really strong with some big shows – opening for Rodney Atkins, playing at Amalie Arena and Raymond James Stadium – and it was really starting to have a snowball effect for us, with landing bigger shows – opening for Travis Denning, along with a few other large events. Unfortunately, before those things could come to fruition, COVID shut everything down. It was tough, because that stuff is really a momentum kind of thing and boom, it was gone. I feel like now we’re getting back into the swing of things and I’m hoping the new music and this EP can get us really rolling.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Derek Lersch – My parents have a beautiful house on the river that leads out to the Gulf of Mexico. It’s actually where we shot the music video for “My Baby’s Summertime.” That’s definitely where I go when I need a break and I’ll just take the jet ski out and clear my mind!