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About Derk Boss


Derk Boss was born Derk Olthof at Stanford University Hospital on March 31, 1983 and was raised in Sandy and St. George, Utah. He served a two-year French-speaking mission in Montreal for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After his mission service, he studied English at Brigham Young University from 2006 to 2011, obtaining bachelor of English and master of fine arts degrees. In 2008, he completed his first album, The Price of Wings, which is best known for “Anomaly,” “Stutter,” and “Diamonds Under Glass.” As a graduate student, Derk’s poetry placed first in the Mayhew and Academy of American Poets contests and some of his poems have been published in Inscape Journal. He has taught English composition at BYU, Dixie State University, and Southern Utah University. Derk is working on lyrics and orchestral arrangements for more great music you will be sure to enjoy.

Putting a puzzle together one evening in my sister's room, I started la-dee-da-ing and humming a melody. She said, "Hey, what song is that?" "Oh, I made it up," I told her. Then she said something I would never forget, "When you grow up, you're going to write songs and become famous." So far, she's half right.

About a year or two later, I began my artless artistic phase. I drew badly proportioned super-heroes and villains and created my own monthly comic book. I think I finished six or seven issues before I admitted to myself that in spite of the vast improvement I had seen from the time of my first sketches, drawing was not my gift.

Derk Olthof Soon after (I think I was twelve or thirteen) music reappeared in my life. I heard a song called "Belfast" and decided to save enough money mowing lawns with my father each summer buy a piano. But I only made $4.00 an hour, so the $1,500.00 I would need for a halfway acceptable piano would not appear any time in the near future. Naturally, I decided to buy a guitar.

When I entered high school, I made plans to create a band after graduation, but as that moment approached I was faced with the challenge of deciding between the pursuit of my dreams in music or serving a full-time mission for my church. At the time I did not feel it was possible to do both. Ultimately, I decided to serve a mission and a year later I was in Montreal, Canada learning French and teaching the people there.

A year before I went on my mission, I stopped playing the guitar. When I returned home, I went to Dixie State College for two years for an associates of arts degree. By the time I got to BYU in 2006, it had been nearly five years that I hadn't regularly practiced playing the guitar.

Young Derk Then in 2007, I had some unfortunate things happen to me, which caused me to suffer from post-traumatic stress and depression. My first semester at BYU, I had a 4.0 GPA, but the following semester I failed all but one of my classes. Since my scholarships were taken away, I couldn't afford to go back to school, and since I wasn't in school, I couldn't stay in my on campus apartment. So from the beginning of September 2007 to the middle of December of the same year, I ended up living in my car in Provo, Utah. Some people have asked me why I didn't just find another apartment, but that year Provo had a severe student housing shortage. Some property managers said they were receiving hundreds of phone calls a day from students desperately searching for a place to live. I'm sure most of them ended up finding a place to stay, but I didn't mind being homeless for a while.

It was during that gray period of my life that I started playing the guitar again. "The Price of Wings" was the first song that came.

Derk Olthof I was able to straighten things out with BYU and come back to school the Fall 2008 semester. I continued writing songs and met Bryan Densley at the apartment complex where I lived. I found out he had recording experience so I played "Stutter" and a few other songs for him. I said I was interested in making an album and soon after we formed a kind of partnership and started working on it. Due to constant busyness and conflicting college schedules, it took us a little over a year to complete The Price of Wings from start to finish, but we did finish it! And what a tremendous learning experience it has been for both of us, something to be proud of.

Now, I'm fantastically excited to get the next record started. I already have a pool of about fifteen song ideas that I'm swimming in, but making The Price of Wings has taught me that some songs are bound to evaporate or get splashed out of the pool before the album is completed. Fortunately, however, I have also learned that the sky always replaces our losses with something better.


You can contact Derk by email dapperkerk@gmail.com

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