Many Festival fans will remember Derek G. from his incredible performance with Hana Bushara when they opened for Nobuntu back in February. What you may or may not know is that Derek is a staple of the Bermuda music scene and has worked hard at making a career as a musician and producer. 2020 has been filled with challenges but it has also been filled with creativity, some behind closed doors and others out in the open air. Derek shared with us his experience of this past year.

“Since my Bermuda Music Festival performance in the beginning of the year I set out to continue with my “Indoor Outdoor Vibes Series” and feature more local artist and musicians. I got off to a great start with a back to back Kiskadee Series featuring My Father Derek E. Simmons, Tino Sax, Sidney Simmons, & Purple Ferdinand. We did back to back recordings live in my front yard and shortly after the world came to a sudden holt due to a pandemic.

What is the Indoor Outdoor (IO)Series?  The #IOVibesWDerekG is a collection of raw uncut performances with Bermudian artist & musicians hosted, recorded and edited by myself. There are many series within the collection such as The Sunset Series, The Kiskadee Series, and Tree Frog Series, to name a few – The names came from the nature of the locations. The I/OVibes roster features some of the best Artist & Musicians Bermuda has to offer. I wanted to feature artist that I felt were exceptional but in a different context from what people are used to seeing. So far in the project I’ve featured new and legendary Bermuda entertainers including; Buzby, Sinead The Flower, Arijahknow Live Wires, Raven, DIA, Hana Bushara, Da’khari Love, Wency Woolridge, Amora Rose, Purple Ferdinand, Desta Zion Wilson, Rivah, Mr. Fotogenik & many more!

As the world started to move again after the lockdown, I continued to carry on the project. The 1st I/O vibes I did was with Sinead The Flower. Probably one of the best ones to date musically and aesthetically! As the months pushed on so did the project. I had an aim to do 12 altogether for the year but so far I’ve reached 16 and counting. So despite losing half the year to lockdown I still managed to reach my goal.

Outside of the I/O project, The Birdcage has opened their doors to welcome the live acoustic performances every Thursday from 6:30 – 8:30pm which has been an amazing experience. I have worked to feature a different artist, live and acoustically, to a new audience each week.  It has been a huge learning curve for both and the performers, but our audiences have enjoyed and appreciated the uniqueness and diversity.

All in all, 2020 hasn’t been too bad but hopefully we can get back to the real swing of things in 2021!”