The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
Third-year Niagara College student Derek Veenhof doesn’t limit his creative outlet to graphic design.
The 22-year-old St. Catharines native, otherwise known as Deek on the Beat on stage, is set to release a 19-song collection of hip-hop beats/collaborations that he has produced over the past few years. It’s called Deekcomposed.
Derek Veenhofs design of the Deekcomposed CD cover. Submitted by Derek Veenhof
As Veenhof enters his third and final year of Graphic Design at the Welland campus, what started as "a kid on a personal PC making beats" has turned into an adult with a full-fledged studio of musical innovation.
"I started making beats using a program called Free Loops on my personal PC," says Veenhof. "Eventually I added more equipment and got some friends to contribute either with vocals or instruments, and it kind of turned into studio."
The album is primarily instrumental, with a few tracks featuring local hip-hop artists such as Moofeek, Stakes High, Ayedruw, Ill Bread Versifier and many more.
Veenhof has always been into art and music, and since entering theGraphic Design program, he gets the best of both worlds.
"I’m basically a computer nerd, so I have always messed around with different programs and liked drawing and doing graffiti. Graphic Design seemed like a practical use for all my different art skills," says Veenhof.
"As far as connecting that with my music, I think art and hip-hop go hand in hand because your creativity is limitless, and the flow and rhythm used for both skills is similar."
Earlier this year, Deek on the Beat was named winner of one of the 2010 Rap Battle TV Producer Battles held in downtown St. Catharines. The style of music, as described by Veenhof, is "glitch-hop, electronical, hip-hop with a spacy, bass heavy, up-tempo sound blending various musical genres."
"Deek’s beats are dope. He has a whole different sound, and it’s right up my alley," says local hip-hop artist Moofeek, 24. "He sent me some tracks and the one we did together, Hell’s Yeah, was just a banger right off the top, just an ill track and I knew right away it would be a great beat to write to."
Influenced by artists such as Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, J Dilla, and others from the East Coast hip-hop scene, Deek provides a unique, inventive sound that stays true to the underground artistic values.
Deek lends his beat production skills to a local hip-hop live band called Grizzley Planet, also featuring Moofeek.
He performs live at local hip-hop shows around the Niagara region.
His music has been featured on and can be heard on Brock University’s radio station, CFBU 103.7 FM.
The Deekcompsed CD release party is set for Saturday, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m. at City Lights, 67 St. Paul St., in downtown St. Catharines. Tickets are $4 in advance and $6 at the door.
For more information, visit Deek at www.facebook.com/deekmusic or www.twitter.com/deekmusic.