Derek Stroker
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Derek Stroker

Orlando, Florida, United States | INDIE

Orlando, Florida, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Soul




"Derek Stroker- Rise and Shine"

This latest release by Nashville ’s Derek Stroker is a terrific example of how he has grown as an artist, his complex song arrangements, skilled musicianship, and heartfelt lyrics are enriched by his stronger, smoother vocals.

The music on Rise and Shine is diverse and captivating, owing to Stroker’s influences from blues, jazz, soul, and rock and are masterfully interwoven throughout each song. The opening track, “Rescue’” features varied tempos that eventually merge, swirling together in a rhythmic dance. “Move Your Feet” is an up-tempo jam song that encourages the listener to feel the music. The soft, easy flow of “Sweet Dreams” is enhanced by the gentle wail of the cello throughout. The call and receive between the guitar and organ on “Believe” make it a stand out track.

As with his earlier release, Take A Picture, Make A Promise, Stroker mines his innermost thoughts and feelings for his lyrics, taking the listener along on an introspective journey of life, love, and loss. In “Rescue” Stroker contemplates life’s mysteries “I've been meaning to sort things out / my mind is in the clouds / why is everything so complicated?” The simple, but very important message in “We’re All In This Together” is love, a major theme in Stroker’s lyrics. The EP closes with “Be Strong,” a slow, tender song of loss, “No one lives forever / they will live on / with the words of this song.”

Stroker crafts timeless music – it only takes one listen to become hooked on his music. (Self-released)
By: Kat Coffin - Orlando Examiner


written by Rick Amburgey

Music City. The Country Music Mecca. The Home of Country Music. All of these phrases have been used to describe the country music scene in Nashville. Although Nashville will always be primarily focused on creating country music, there’s been more and more artists that have chosen to record non-country projects in Nashville.

Enter Derek Stroker. The Nashville-based singer/songwriter is not country, but he’s created his own sound and he’s getting attention – both in Nashville and on the national level. He’s going to be playing at 12th and Porter in Nashville on Nov. 6. His song “Believe” has been featured in “The Real World” on MTV and “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” on the E! Channel.

Stroker describes his sound as a blues-infused approach to pop-rock music. Eric Clapton’s influence is often evident in Stroker’s music. “I’ve always wanted to share the stage with Eric Clapton. He’s my cream of the crop idol among idols,” he said.

In addition to Clapton, Stroker said the new project “Rise and Shine” was really influenced by The Beatles. “I am excited about this record.” The CD is available is the usual online locations, such as ITunes. In addition, he has also been able to get the self-released CD in Best Buy stores between Florida and Nashville.

Despite Stroker’s talent and success, he hasn’t been singing very long. He started singing when he was 19 or 20 years old. He’s been playing drums since age 12 and guitar since age 14. Stroker said he began writing songs around age 16 or 17. It started by writing instrumental pieces. “You can touch a lot more people when you tell a story,” he said.

Stroker is one singer that’s looking to do more than make good music – he wants to make a difference. The cause he’s most interested in raising money for is cancer research. “I don’t think I know one person who’s not been affected by it,” he said.

Stroker’s life has been touched by cancer more than once. He explained that he’s lost both of his grandmothers to it and he also lost an aunt to breast cancer a couple of months ago. “The last song on the record, “Be Strong,” I wrote right after my grandmother passed away,” he said. Another one of his aunts was diagnosed with it. Fortunately it was caught early and she’s now in remission.

“I’m on a mission to raise $20,000 to donate to various cancer centers in the United States,” Stroker said. Fifteen percent of the proceeds from his CD will be donated to cancer centers.

Aside from his music and charity work, he has started a new company called Love.Music.Entertainment, LLC. The company offers professional Photography, Custom MySpace Profiles and Graphic Design, as well as Music Production for independent artists. Stroker describes it as a “One-Stop shop for everything an independent artist needs to boost their career to the next level.”

- Strum Magazine

"Review of Take a Picture, Make a Promise by Derek Stroker"

Upon first listen of singer/songwriter Derek Stroker's CD, I am drawn to the first song, "Lose Control". The fun, jazzy beat is catchy, and while contemporary, also encompasses elements that could be compared to some great 1960s or 1970s musicians. My initial comparison of Stroker's overall sound was to some modern artists like Gavin DeGraw and Maroon Five. At times, hints of Edwin McCain-esque vocals caught my attention. I find it difficult to place Stroker's music stylistically; there are elements of many music genres, thus appealing to a wide range of music lovers. Rock meets jazz meets the blues is the best way to describe it.

The third track from Derek Stroker's CD, "Reality", is an honest look at the downward spiral of our country. Hitting on issues like violence and war, the song touches your heart without bringing you down. It brings awareness to the state of our nation while keeping a positive energy to the music, which I find inspiring and hopeful. As with any great album, Stroker incorporates both upbeat songs and some mellow ballads, like "Struggle". The jazz-like arrangement on that song adds a nice element and with the picture painting lyrics, the song could easily be used for a movie soundtrack. On the whole, Stroker is a unique songwriter with great energy and originality. To really get a feel for Derek Stroker's music and talent, one should grace their CD player with a copy of his new CD Take a Picture, Make a Promise.

While listening to Derek Stroker's music, you know that he has fun when he is performing. His energy and passion is evident on this album and he passes along that energy to his listeners. A graduate of the Music Production and Technology program at Valencia College, Derek Stroker hopes to create "timeless music that anyone can relate to." There is definitely something for everyone on Stroker's album; with topics like love, loss and inward growth, Stroker knows how to appeal to the masses on an emotional and realistic level. The Miami born singer/songwriter has released his latest album, Take a Picture, Make a Promise and additionally released and independently produced an EP titled "Acoustic EP". Stroker found opportunities in radio while living in Orlando, Florida, with stations like 105.9 playing his music. Currently a resident of Nashville, Stroker can currently be found performing around the Nashville area.

For more information on Derek Stroker and his music, visit

- Article by: Leena Ingegneri

"Review for : " Take A Picture, Make A Promise ""

Counting just this past hour, I believe that this is the eighth time, that I have listened to Derek Stroker's newest CD, " Take A Picture, Make A Promise ". I feel so peaceful and relaxed after listening, that if I didn't have other things, that needed doing, I definitely would listen to this CD over and over, just as I listen to " The Nutcracker's Suite " during the Christmas holiday season...

Now, that I hopefully have everyone's attention, wondering how I could compare Derek's CD to " The Nutcracker's Suite ", I'll give you my reasons. First " The Nutcracker " is a symphony, full of love and wondrous emotions during a special time of the year... after listening to Derek's " Take A Picture, Make A Promise ", I find that it is also full of love and deep emotions. " Take A Picture, Make A Promise ", is a modern symphony about love and understanding, and the same emotions gathered together. If you follow the parameters that make up a symphony, Derek has given us a look at love, in a symphonic form. Especially noteworthy, is the " tie in " from the " Interlude ", to the 3rd movement of the album, which defines a symphony. He uses a very good musical method of sliding from " Interlude " right into the song "Goodbye". In fact, this little bridge is hardly noticed, unless you listen as a beautiful piano part is carried over to the next track and we hear the richness of Derek's voice.

" Take A Picture, Make A Promise ", is full of delicate expressions of music, that some will have to listen close, to understand. Others will notice these expressions all at once. This is the first CD that I've received from Derek, but I hope that many, many more will follow. Derek has found a way to blend both words and music into a perfect work of human emotions, from the beginning by " Lose Control " to the end using " Realize ", Derek ties every song together into a symphony of love and life, as well as the ups and downs that we all encounter, especially in a relationship... This is a must have CD for those warm emotional evenings, that need a start and an ending: unless you want to set the CD player to " repeat ", so that special time never really ends...

Kindest regards, Derek

- Phil Grohs

"Derek Stroker- Take a Picture, Make a Promise"

Derek Stroker's debut full-length release, Take a Picture, Make a Promise is well worth more than a cursory listen. The top-notch production is a masterful infusion of blues, jazz, soul, and rock with poignant lyrics and stunning musical arrangements.

“Lose Control,” “Green Eyes,” and “Reality” are jam laden songs that bring to mind sunny Sunday afternoon music festivals; the listener can almost smell the BBQ on the grill and feel the sun on their face. In “Reality” the organ, piano, and guitar are interwoven in a sweeping musical dance. The next three songs prominently focus on the piano, “Struggle” also features a wailing, mournful guitar, while “Interlude” is a short, dramatic instrumental leading into the touching “Goodbye.” “Naturally Together,” “Story,” and “Stay With Me” return to the more up-tempo beats that started off the CD. The last listed song “Realize” has added depth with the addition of strings. Two minutes after “Realize” ends there is a bonus hidden acoustic track, “One.”

The impressive musical arrangements are enhanced by Stroker’s inspiring lyrics and impassioned vocals. The Nashville based singer/songwriter mines his innermost thoughts and feelings for his songs, it’s up to the listener whether it’s a pep talk for himself or serving as inspiration for everyone. In “Goodbye” he sings “you can hold your head up high / you can overcome this / you can start over again” and in “One” he sings “One does not have to understand how love works to feel it.”

The combination of professional production, skillful mastering, and talented song crafting on Take a Picture, Make a Promise makes this CD a worthwhile addition to any CD collection.

His new CD, Rise and Shine is also now available check out his My Space page for details: - Kat Coffin (of Southeast Performer)


Rise and Shine [EP- Unreleased] (Produced by: Stephen Gause)- 2008 Copywright BMI Music

1. Rescue
2. Move Your Feet
3. All In This Together
4. Sweet Dreams
5. Believe
6. Love Still Remains
7. Be Strong

Take a Picture, Make a Promise... (Self-Produced and Released)- 2006 copywright BMI Music
**Currently Available at Best Buy in Orlando, FL/ Miami,FL/ Murfreesboro, TN/ Nashville, TN**

1. Lose Control
2. Green Eyes
3. Reality
4. Struggle
5. Interlude
6. Goodbye
7. Naturally Together
8. Story
9. Stay With Me
10. Realize + Bonus

Acoustic EP (Self-Produced and Released)- 2005 Copywright BMI Music

1. Stay With Me
2. Naturally Together (Acoustic Version)
3. Lose Control
4. Mirror
5. Story (Acoustic Version)

Both Albums Available for purchase at Best Buy in the Southeast US, and also on iTunes.



Today, a message of love would read something like this, “We’re All in This Together, We’re All in This Forever, Shouting Out Love!” These are words of affection and hope expressed by Derek Stroker, from his new EP Rise and Shine. Derek is a rising singer, songwriter and musician who can communicate a sense of sincerity, warmth and authenticity through his soulful approach to pop/rock music. Derek explains why he’s spreading a message of love through music very simply, “There is nothing more important than love.” Love is the message and music is the language.

Derek’s original sound has a strong connection with Rhythm and Blues. Eric Clapton has been a great influence on the young artist. “In my eyes, Eric Clapton has shaped today's guitar player. I still remember the first time I heard Layla. That riff is the reason I started playing!” Derek explains. Growing up in Miami Florida, Derek’s parents exposed him to music from classic rock bands such as The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Some of his musical influences today include John Mayer, Marc Broussard, and Johnny Lang.

As an independent unsigned artist, Derek has accomplished a great deal. His first album Take a Picture, Make a Promise placed on College Music Journal’s “Top 30” from New York to California. He single-handedly negotiated distribution deals for both of his records (Take a Picture and Rise and Shine) with Best Buy. Derek performed as a showcasing artist at the Florida Music Festival in 2008. A review from Southeast Performer describes his performance as, "Nashville’s Derek Stroker brought the house down with his inspired blues jams." His belief in giving back to society, compelled him to organize a benefit concert, and donated all proceeds towards the fight against cancer. In addition to these endeavors, Derek negotiated television-licensing deals for his music with major television networks. In 2009, he continues touring the Southeast region. His most recent, being the opening act for the well-known 90’s alternative rock band Marcy Playground.

Arguably, Derek’s greatest accomplishment to date is his latest EP titled Rise and Shine. This album is best explained as a mix of well-crafted songs that range from a “Beatle-esque” ballad to an intimate, uncovered acoustic number, and everything in between. He partnered with Stephen Gause in Nashville to produce the record. Derek’s emphasis in writing the album was “… to create a record with Timeless music.” Critics and fans agree that his objective has been accomplished.

Derek’s compassionate heart, ambition and drive to make a positive difference in the world, will continue to surpass everyone’s expectations. As his Great-Grandfather always said, “L-O-V-E is all that matters.” That is the message that Derek hopes to convey with his music.

By: Melissa Araujo

***Please Be Sure To Check Out The Official Music Video for Derek's Song 'Love Still Remains' in the Video Section***

Derek Stroker has Entered the CMJ Top 30!!

Radio Stations:
KGAR- Lemoor, CA (Charted #18!)
KLCR- Dubuque, IA (Charted #14!)
KSPU- Seattle, WA (Charted #10!)
KURA- Ouray, CO (Charted #15!)
WAIH- Potsdam, NY (Charted #10 for 2 Weeks!!!)
WUTS- Sewanee, TN (Charted # 30!!)


“Derek Stroker’s Rise And Shine is an impressive release, a masterful infusion of blues, jazz, soul, and rock with stunning musical arrangements, poignant lyrics, and impassioned vocals.” – Kat Coffin, Freelance Writer

“Derek Stroker hits you square in the chest with a powerful guitar rhythm and great vocal right off the top with ‘Rescue’, the opening track on his new “Rise and Shine” EP and you never look back.” – Steffon Hamulak, Producer

"Nashville’s Derek Stroker brought the house down with his inspired blues jams." -Southeast Performer (Review of Derek's performance at the Florida Music Festival 2008)

"Take A Picture, Make A Promise, is a modern symphony about love and understanding, and the same emotions gathered together... Derek has found a way to blend both words and music into a perfect work of human emotions.” –Phil Grohs

“There is definitely something for everyone on Stroker's album; with topics like love, loss and inward growth, Stroker knows how to appeal to the masses on an emotional and realistic level.” -Leena Ingegneri

**Please visit me at or watch more live performances at!**