Pretty Lights: From BitTorrent to the GRAMMYs

Pretty Lights gets GRAMMY nod, gives back to fans with a new BitTorrent Bundle.


Pretty Lights regularly draws crowds of thousands of fans to his shows. He’s been described as the future of not just electronica, but of digital music. And he’s just been nominated for a 2013 GRAMMY award.

Until this year, he’d never released a commercial record.

Derek Vincent Smith’s experiment in analog electronica is also a long-running experiment in Internet distribution. Since 2006; since before Radiohead’s In Rainbows, since before Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts I-IV, the artist’s strategy for building an audience has been about breaking the rules. He put fans first. And he gave his music away.

The face and voice of the new American electronic music scene.

Rick Rubin

Counter-intuitive? Yes. But by doing so, he was able to build a social following of more than a million; achieve headliner status at Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Ultra Music Festival, and now, a GRAMMY nomination. All as an artist that stayed 100% independent, without a label. 2013 just became the year of the people-powered record.

So, listeners, thank you. To mark Pretty Lights’ GRAMMY nod, the artist is releasing a new BitTorrent Bundle for A Color Map of the Sun. The download includes:

1. A Color Map of the Sun Album [16 tracks]
2. A Color Map of the Sun Remixes [16 tracks]
3. A Color Map of the Sun: The Visual Project [16 videos]
4. “Let’s Get Busy”: LIVE from SF / PPV Event [1 video]


The GRAMMY-nominated A Color Map of the Sun builds on the original Pretty Lights sound and style that Smith pioneered. He spent a year composing and recording music and vocals that emulated genres and time periods that spanned the last century, then pressed it to vinyl. He used that vinyl along with a custom built analog modular synth to create A Color Map of the Sun. The resulting album is analog electronica—soulful, electro hip-hop that pays respect to music’s immense power to touch listeners, emotionally, kinetically, and inspirationally.

We’ve been part of Pretty Lights’ journey since 2011: working with the artist to release 3 EPs, live performance videos, and the launch of this year’s A Color Map of the Sun. These experiments, developed in collaboration with Fame House, have provided the foundation for BitTorrent Bundle, our direct-to-fan publishing platform.

BitTorrent is a cutting-edge technology that enables me to deliver large files of content to my fans quickly and efficiently. BitTorrent also now provides great tools that any artist can use for building and engaging audiences.Because of this, and their vast network of engaged music lovers, BitTorrent and Pretty Lights are an awesome match. We have many overlapping ideas about the intersection of art, technology, and community. I’m very excited to once again release my music and other exclusive Pretty Lights content through this revolutionary medium.

Derek Vincent Smith, Pretty Lights

Through BitTorrent Bundle, Pretty Lights has added more than 6 million downloads, 70 thousand emails, and web traffic gains in excess of 700%. BitTorrent Bundle helped Pretty Lights find fans. Fans helped the music break through: proving that the traditional rules of the recording industry don’t always apply. This is what happens when you let people listen. This might be the future of music. And this sounds: amazing.

Pretty Lights, BitTorrent and Fame House are dedicated to bringing top notch content, marketing, and technology to music consumers. This collaboration exemplifies the possibilities when cutting edge and forward thinking music and tech come together. We are honored to be a part of such an initiative.

Michael Fiebach, Founder and CEO, Fame House

About BitTorrent Bundle

BitTorrent Bundle is an Alpha project, made with and for the web’s creative community. Our mission is to help artists connect directly with fans, inside the content they share.

Each BitTorrent Bundle allows creators to distribute content to Internet audiences around the world. And each Bundle comes with a key. Fans can unlock artist content with an email address. The idea is to make each song a storefront, and each file more valuable, each time it’s shared. Got ideas for the next BitTorrent Bundle? Send us a note:

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