Bandier student releases single ‘Bedroom Disco Ball’ with a second album to follow

Bandier student to release second album

Syracuse junior Derek Ouyang won the Asian Pop Music Award this year and will be releasing his second album soon.
Published: November 1, 2022
Derek performed at a house show
Derek Ouyang performed at a house concert at Syracuse University on Oct. 22.

Derek Ouyang, a junior in the Bandier program at Syracuse University, performed at a house concert a week before the release of his new single. The show reached capacity half an hour before Derek started to play, where a huge crowd lined up in the backyard waiting to get in. 

“This show is crazy and has so much energy,” Ouyang said. “I remember having all the adrenaline and excitement to go on stage and then being completely exhausted after the performance and losing my voice just because of how much energy we gave and how crowded the venue is.

It’s Ouyang’s enthusiasm for producing and playing music that allowed him to grow big in the music industry. During Ouyang’s first year in college, he wrote three EPs for Yuqi Zhang, a Chinese pop star with more than three million followers. Ouyang established a genuine friendship with Zhang after the productions. Early this year, Zhang’s song ‘Moonlight,’ co-written by Ouyang, won the Asian Pop Music Award.

“Despite that the label only puts my name as lyricist credit, I indeed wrote all the music and did the primal productions for her EPs, ” said Ouyang.

Derek Ouyang's photoshoot
Ouyang will release new songs from the album leading up to its release date.

Now an award-winning musician, Ouyang gave us a sneak peek of his new album with the release of the single ‘Bedroom Disco Ball’ on Oct. 25. Ouyang has been working on the new album for almost two years now, spending days and nights in the studio and his bedroom. 

“My life is filled with emotions and contents, and music is my way of documenting it and trying to make sense of it, ” Ouyang said. In conjunction with his new single, he wrote a poem as an abstract concept derived from the new single ‘Bedroom Disco Ball’.

In my bedroom 

Crave for the dopamine intake that devours my soul

Just so we can escape from facing ourselves for one more second 

Restrained by 4 walls

But protected by the facade  

Somehow I realize 

That It is the fear to face myself that has stolen me

Bedroom Disco Ball
Ouyang's new single, 'Bedroom Disco Ball,' was released on Oct. 25.

Influenced by Bruno Mars, Dua Lipa, Katy Perry and Troye Sivan, Ouyang’s second album ‘Bedroom Disco Ball’ is a disco-funk dance album with a meaningful lyricism that allows people to dance and listen along when they need a little uplifting spirit from music.

The singer hates how depressing music and lyrics have been oversaturating the music market and becoming increasingly popular.

“Emo has gotten way too far,” Ouyang said. “I think it’s healthy to be sad and write honestly about it, but now people wanna just be extremely sad in their music because that’s what’s popular. I want to make a dance album that makes people feel like it’s okay to be sad, but will dance through it.”

Besides producing and writing music, Ouyang founded a music management company called Planet Derika. He signed his first artist Mike Spector this summer while interning at Atlantic Records in LA, where he was inspired to begin his own business in the industry. 

“I know the way that I want to be, but I’m not the person who thinks expectations can be met easily,” Ouyang said. “I hope that my music career takes off, but I can’t set a specific goal because what if life doesn’t go that way.”

“What Ouyang did in the music industry was phenomenal among his peers, and people loved him for his straightforward but also caring personality,” said James Xu, a junior in the Bandier Program.

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Ouyang's newest album contains meaningful lyrics with disco funk beats.

Ouyang took down his debut EP ‘Forest Flame’ (2019) from all platforms because he sees himself as more mature in songwriting and production now. He is more confident now to release new music that showcases his ability to put out quality and meaningful bops. 

Along with releasing his new song, Ouyang’s music video for ‘Bedroom Disco Ball’ is also coming out soon. He plans on releasing songs every three to five weeks for his second album, which will be available on all platforms. He criticizes the current fast-paced music production for new upcoming artists, commenting that a quick single can’t always show the full picture of the music production. He chose to make his album with consistent storylines, and every song is supporting the big picture of self-saving therapy.