Derek The Prodigal Son
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Derek Hooten was born on September 18, 1971 in Cincinnati, Ohio. At a very young age, Derek shocked his parents with his musical abilities when he began playing various songs that he taught himself on a recorder instrument.
After graduating from high school, Derek acquired a love for writing lyrics in the form of poetry and rap music. Motivated by his older brother Chuck, he learned the basics of studio recording and live performances.
As a college student working two jobs, Derek continued to pursue his dream of success in hip-hop music by forming a group called The Derelics. Without a producer, Derek and his brother Chuck saved money to purchase their first piece of equipment, a keyboard/sampler sequencer. Derek would stay up for hours mastering the equipment and creating musical tracks for the group to rap to. Through hard work and determination, their group obtained notoriety in the Cincinnati area through performances and competitions. Along the way, he continued to save money to purchase more musical equipment to perfect his sound.
While producing and writing on occasion, Derek began spending more time reading the Bible and praying. Baptized at 8 years old, he never forgot about his background of attending church regularly and his mother's religious ways of raising him and his siblings. However, years of performing secular music and hanging with the wrong crowd had taken its toll.
One day, while struggling with what direction to take his music, he was watching a musical performance on a television show. It featured a Christian Rap group called "The Cross Movement". Derek was amazed at how inspiring and talented the group was. Days later while praying, the Holy Spirit told him, "Now can you see what I gave you this talent for?" Derek rededicated his life back to Christ, and ever since it has become his heart's desire to please God and use his talents for the sole purpose of bringing people closer to Him.
Derek who now goes by the name, "Derek, The Prodigal Son", has written, produced, performed, and recorded many songs in his home studio. He has also been performing his Christian rap songs for many events, outreach ministries and churches. With his music, Derek's dreams and goals are to bring lost souls to Jesus Christ and to release anointed songs to help further spread his music ministry.

Why this name?
Well, Derek is my birthname and later in life I learned the significance of the word derek in the Hebrew scriptures, meaning way, path, or journey. The Prodigal Son was inspired by my own life, very similar to the parable of the prodigal son in the Bible. The difference is that I was received back with open arms by my heavenly Father. Now I'm Home Where I Belong.
Do you play live?
Yes. I perform for churches, youth groups, outreach ministries, and any positive events. I do like performing. All of the performances were special.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
I think it's really helped increase notariety for many groups.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Maybe, but I would still like to build my label Be Blessed Recordings
Band History:
Be Blessed Recordings started out as a dream, inspired by God. The road leading to Be Blessed Recordings began with two talented brothers (Derek and Charles Hooten, Jr.). These brothers continued for years to pursue careers in the music industry; however, through many years of attempting to land a record deal with secular labels, their talent usually fell on deaf ears. Instead of getting discouraged, Derek and Charles (Chuck) vowed to start their own Christian-based record label. They decided to record their own songs and release themselves as the first act on their label. After recording a couple of songs together, Chuck was suffering from health issues from kidney failure in which he was diagnosed with a few years earlier. Not long after, Chuck developed complications from his kidney disease, and on November 15, 2001, Chuck went to be with the Lord. Devastated from the loss of his brother, Derek kept dwelling on the vow that he made with his brother. Derek then continued to honor that vow and began recording songs for a solo project, which included the songs that he previously recorded with his brother. During the recording project, Derek developed a close friendship with now co-owner of Be Blessed Recordings, Louis Selkirk. Derek instantly recognized Louis' commitment and drive that reminded him so much of his brother's, and there was an instant connection. Derek and Louis also learned that they shared the same dream in starting a Christian-based record label in the Cincinnati area. In 2004, Derek (The Prodigal Son) finally finished his solo project entitled Home Where I Belong, which was released on Derek and Louis' label, Be Blessed Recordings. Three years later in 2007, Be Blessed Recordings released their highly anticipated second CD project entitled Poetic Preachin’. The response of both CD projects have been phenomenal, as Derek and Louis agree to use the label as a tool to reach lost souls and also encourage Christians through the medium of music. Not focused on getting rich from record sales, Be Blessed Recordings concentrates on seeking first the kingdom of God and ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ for His glory. Be Blessed Recordings pray continually that lives will be changed by the Home Where I Belong and Poetic Preachin’ projects as well as all of its future releases.
Your influences?
I enjoy listening to The Cross Movement, DA TRUTH, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, and anyone who reps Christ.
Favorite spot?
Atlanta
Equipment used:
digital recording studio
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