BHB (Ballas Hough Band) – On September 9, 2008, Derek and Mark’s group, Almost Amy signed with Hollywood Records. Due to copyright issues, however, they ended up having to change their name from Almost Amy to BHB (Ballas Hough Band). On March 10, 2009, their debut album was released, peaking at No. 98 on the U.S. Billboard 200. In November of 2009, Derek and Mark performed Move, on Dancing With the Stars. By March 2010, however, the band had quietly disbanded without fanfare or announcement. It is believed that the guys felt that Hollywood Records took them too far away from their roots — vocals and rhythmic guitars. Ironically, in October 2010, one of BHB’s songs, Together Faraway, was used on the Vampire Diaries TV show.
Almost Amy – (circa 1999) Almost Amy was a pop rock band started by Derek and his long time friend and ‘brother’, Mark Ballas. Both Mark and Derek were lead singers and played guitar. Joining them were Emily Grace, vocals and keyboard; Sam Marder, bass guitar; and Harry Sullivan on drums. The group moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 2008, and began their pursuit of a record company to sign them. Later, after Almost Amy became the Ballas Hough Band, the group performed many popular Almost Amy songs on Tuesday nights from March to May of 2009 at The Grove, an outdoor mall close to the CBS Studios where Dancing With the Stars is staged, songs such as Get Through, Millions, and Model in the Making.
2B1G – (1998) 2B1G stands for two boys and one girl. This young band was started with Mark Ballas and Derek’s sister Julianne while the trio were living in London (Dulwich).
MUSIC VIDEO DIRECTOR
• Hold On
• Ashes of Eden
Derek conceived, starred in, and directed a music video called “Ashes of Eden” (2017). As part of Derek’s Passion Project series, it can truly be said that Derek has an incredible ability to tell a story through movement, and an amazing eye for determining background scenery that fosters the emotion and the feeling of his tale. Give it up for Derek Hough! His creativity knows no bounds! (See his other Passion Projects here.)
Derek does not dance in this video; that is left to others. Rather, he sings, covering the song Ashes of Eden by Breaking Benjamin. This video was choreographed by Rudy Abreau and produced by Big Man Productions. Derek says of this creation:
Last year I lost my voice and had to have surgery to fix my vocal chords. I couldn’t speak a single word for over a month. Not even a whisper.
This forced me into a place of listening and stillness. Within that place I started hearing old questions echo in my head. “Is there something or someone out there guiding me?
Over the years my relationship with a higher power became distant. But through several powerful experiences, it has become very clear to me that the energy and power of something greater is within, guiding us all.
When I finally got my voice back I felt nervous to speak or even utter a word in the fear of my vocal chords snapping. But when I heard this song it resonated with me so much and motivated me to sing again.
I hope you enjoy this little passion project I put together. Perhaps inspire a question or even an answer.
• I Believe in You
Derek directed, choreographed, and starred in I Believe in You (2017), a single from Michael Buble’s Nobody But Me album, released in October 2016. Warner Brothers asked Derek to fill-in for Michael Buble who was taking a break from career commitments while his son was being treated for cancer. The video, which focuses on everlasting love, was inspired by Derek’s grandparents’ life-long love story. The video shot to the top ten on YouTube within a day. As of July 2017, the video has over 10 million views on YouTube. Derek danced with Jenya Shatilova and directed this video for Riveting Entertainment.
• Get My Name
In the fall of 2013, Derek joined Riveting Entertainment, a company for directors that produces commercials, music videos, and feature films. In 2014, as an official director, Derek directed Mark Ballas’ music video, Get My Name, which debuted at #1 on MTV.
• Do You Love Me?
In April of 2009, Derek produced and directed his first music video to the Ballas Hough Band’s single Do You Love Me?
In November 2017, Derek released his first music solo single. See Songwriter, “Hold On”
In March of 2017, Derek released a new Passion Project video entitled Ashes of Eden in which he covers the song by Breaking Benjamin. Listen here.
In July of 2013, the California Philharmonic presented two concerts, Dance Fever, at the Santa Anita Racetrack and in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Derek was their featured singer, having been asked to perform by Maestro Victor Vener who was a huge fan of Dancing With The Stars and of Derek in particular. Derek also danced with Emma Slater, a DWTS pro/troupe member. Below are the two songs he performed.
Among the repertoire of Derek’s many talents is that of songwriting. Here are a few of his published songs.
“Hold On” – This song is Derek’s first solo single. Released on November 1, “Hold On” is a piece that spreads awareness of the importance of mental health, with emphasis on the need to remain hopeful no matter how dark things become in one’s life. Derek sings the song that he wrote years ago when undergoing the stress of the suicide by a family member. He also stars in this dramatically emotional music video. His co-star is Kayla Ewell (Vampire Diaries). The song is produced by Jayson DeZuzio and Joseph McQueen and is a creative endeavor that partners with Movember Foundation, an association that promotes men’s mental health. The music video is produced by Riveting Entertainment and directed by Derek. Click here to read the deeply personal and moving story of Derek’s motivation for writing “Hold On.”
“Breathe You” – Music and Vocals by Derek Hough. This song is on the video of the same name which was conceived by Derek and produced by BigManProductions. See Passion Videos on the Choreographer page here.
“Move” – Written for Derek and Julianne’s Move Live on Tour, Summer 2014
“Let Me in” – Written for the movie soundtrack of Derek’s first movie in a leading role, Make Your Move, 2013 (Derek Hough, Michael Thomas, Eric Goldman)
In an exclusive interview for MakeYourMoveFans, Duane Adler, the film’s screenwriter and director, described how Derek came to write “Let Me In”, the movie’s featured song. “Derek played me a melody early in pre-production, it’s something he created in his house on his laptop with a keyboard. When he played it, he said it represented Donny and Aya [characters in the movie, Make Your Move]. I listened, and there was a beautiful piano melody that became the melody and hook for “Let Me In,” and around that melody were big drums that Derek told me represented Aya’s taiko, and a guitar that represented Donny’s edge. It was beautiful and powerful and romantic – I loved it. So I played it for the film’s producers, as well as music supervisor, Joel C. High. They all loved it, too, and Joel suggested we get Derek in studio with our composers, Michael Thomas and Eric Goldman.
Once in the studio, the trio of Michael, Eric, and Derek teamed together to create the song! They all collaborated on lyrics and defined the layering. Michael actually sings lead on the track. Derek is also a very good vocalist, but we all thought it would be strange to hear his voice singing on a major set piece that he and BoA (as their characters) were dancing to!”
“Closer“ – Written for the BHB Album Soundtrack, 2009
(Mark Ballas, Derek Hough, John Fields, Dan Wilson)
“Fall” – Written for the BHB Album Soundtrack, 2009
(Mark Ballas, Derek Hough, Emily Grace, Harry Sullivan, Sam Marder & Joanna Pacitti)
“Break Through” – Written for the BHB Album Soundtrack, 2009
(Derek Hough, Adam Watts, Mark Ballas and Andrew Dodd)
Accomplishments (continued) : Choreographer