“Derek Minor is a producer, record label owner, and rapper. I love Jesus and I love creating amazing art.”
The Up and Away Series is a 4 EP project that Derek Minor has been working on over the summer. The first installment, Your Soul Must Fly released today, September 1st.
Minor says that throughout the course of his career, his songs and albums have had a variety of sounds and styles. Concerning his most recent music, he said “they were such diverse sounds and they were so far away from each other and I was making so much music, I said ‘Why boil all this down to thirteen songs.’”
“I remember being on this tour and it was a great tour. I was doing what I dreamed of doing as a kid and I was depressed while I was on the tour and once I left the tour.”
Minor wondered what was wrong with him to be unhappy through these wonderful situations, and concluded that he became distracted from the reason of him making music. “Why I wanted to create music was I wanted to tell the story of my friends and my family that I grew up with and I wanted to honor God with my music.”
Since music has been his profession, “you’re on tour all the time, you’re away from your family, you’re away from the things that really matter the most.”
Minor thought in his heart that pursuing “success” was his purpose in life, but he realized the fallacy of that and “I had lost vision of what I’m supposed to be doing while I’m here. It’s not about T-shirt sales. It’s not about CD sales. It’s not about my first week numbers. It’s just about making good art that honors God.”
He believes that everyone is prone to being distracted from having their relationship with God be at the center of their purpose, and wanted the Up and Away Series to talk about that. Minor says that whether your goals are big or small, Your Soul Must Fly is the soundtrack to encourage you to pursue them.
“When everyone is born, they all have dreams and big goals and big visions and I really want[ed] to make the soundtrack for those goals.”
High Above follows Your Soul Must Fly and “what normally happens is we either achieve those dreams but question it always [wondering] ‘How high is high enough?’” Being on tour and selling music and merchandise became an idol to Minor, and “you just keep being on this quest of going higher and higher and higher and then what I realized is that’s a trap.”
He said that the reality of the trap is that the higher you go, you are more likely to get immersed in traveling in circles, chasing what doesn’t really matter. The Trap is the third project in the series, and the sound has a trap vibe.
The final project is By Any Means and is telling people “the only way to get out of the trap is to chase God by any means.”
Invisible Creature created the album artwork for the series. “He put it together and my man Don Clark beast moded it. It was such a pleasure to work with him.” If you are familiar with the cover of Derek Minor’s 2013 album Minorville, then you are have seen with the work of Clark. “I told him my ideas and he was like ‘Oh, it’s like a board game.’ He put this thing together and he sketched it together in fifteen minutes and I was like ‘I love it.’”
“I really like the idea of blasting off above your problems.”
This idea inspired the outer space them of Your Soul Must Fly.
“Takeoff” is the second song on Your Soul Must Fly and features an all-star team of KB, Ty Brasel, and Canon. “I wanted to create a moment where we got people from all different crews and cliques to come together and create this thing and I feel like it’s important in today’s culture to see unity.”
With “Astronaut,” Minor wants the listeners to know that “no matter what they go through they can fly over it. With the power of God you can fly over any problem and any issue.”
To achieve the floating effect in the music video, Minor, labelmate Deraj, and Bryon Juane used a stepladder and covered it with green screen. “When he [director Caleb Natale] told me the idea it blew my mind cause I was like ‘How are you gonna do that?’ And he literally made it happen with just a camera, [a] stepladder, and a green screen. Its super dope.”
“Each one of the songs on the whole album on the first project is just different angles of the same message, which is your soul has to fly.”