A Walk Through Fire

Over the past several months, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many great musicians about their daily lives, their music careers, their goals for their futures.

One of these great musicians that I had the opportunity to speak with was Tropidelic’s, Derek McBryde, about his first single that had released on November 8th, 2019.

Derek McBryde
📸 Lauren Graham

As many of you know, Derek is a jack-of-all trades. From busting moves on stage and vibrantly playing trumpet, to learning several different instruments and releasing his very own single, Through Fire.

Through Fire – Album Art

When he announced that he was releasing his very own single, words can not explain how happy I was. I love seeing musicians further their music careers.

On November 8th, 2019, I woke up for work, knowing it was the day of Through Fire’s release. I jumped out of bed, hit play, and began listening to it.

The story hits really close to home for alot of people out there and instantly gave me goosebumps. The lyrics were powerful and beautiful.

Many of us know the pain and heartache of a loved one who has or is currently struggling with an addiction. Some know what it’s like to struggle with an addiction themselves.

The song paints a vivid picture of what having an addiction is like and the battles that comes with it.

Lyric’s from Walk Through Fire

Having the opportunity to speak with Derek regarding his single, was a wonderful opportunity. To understand the meaning of such a powerful song and the lyrics that he was singing.

When did you decide that you wanted to create your own music and begin working on Through Fire?

I started writing around the same time that I joined Tropidelic in 2012. It was never anything I really considered to be of any value until I got sober in the fall of 2013. After rehab I lived in a residential sober house and found myself with a lot of free time. It was extremely therapeutic to express myself in my writing. The writing has always been something I tried to do when I had free time. The past four years I’ve been enrolled in college and touring with Trop. The last year of school, I was pretty burnt out. I basically made a deal with myself. “Get your bachelors degree, then you can record an album”. The banjo was the light at the end of the tunnel.

Derek McBryde

Where did you come up with the idea and lyrics for it?

Long story short, it’s kind of a narrative of my journey in sobriety. I had overdosed on my way to treatment and a friend of my dad took the time to tell me their story.

He told me that helping me was how he helped himself. He told me about the insane, destructive life he used to live, and the good life he has now. He outlined what he did to get better and offered a hand to guide me through that same process.

Part of that plan was taking the time to help others the same way he helped me. It’s a never-ending chain of people lifting each other up. It’s profound and beautiful, and I’m honored to be a part of it all.

Derek McBryde

Not only are you a member of Tropidelic, but now a solo artist as well. How does that make you feel?

It’s pretty wild. I’m very back and forth on it. It is so easy to be proud of Tropidelic. We got six guys each putting in work to create a unique and powerful sound. There is power in numbers.

The solo music is 90% my composition. I write the song, record guitar, banjo, mandolin, and sing. I get helpful tips from my recording engineer Chris Dicola, but it’s there’s a lot of room for doubt and self-loathing. I send the tracks to Frank Toncar and he sends me back upright bass parts (and kills it).

On days I’m happy with the sound, it’s incredible. On days I’m not, it’s completely terrifying. Totally wild

Derek McBryde

As a musician, who is your greatest inspiration?

Depends on the day you ask me. I started off thinking my destiny was to slap bass in a funk band. I idolized Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Victor Wooten, and Bootsy Collins.

I somehow ended up playing trumpet in a reggae band and gravitated towards the more progressive spectrum of the genre with bands like Echo Movement and Passafire

Now I’m a huge fan of bluegrass and alternative country. Billy Strings, Tyler Childers, Trampled by Turtles, etc.

Derek McBryde

What are your goals when creating music?

I think that music is a tool to express the emotions and experiences that cannot be articulated. I’m just trying to articulate the unarticulatable (I know that’s not a real word).

Derek McBryde

Are you looking to create an album?


Yes! I currently have three more songs that are finished and am in the process of finishing a couple more. I have no actual plan of when I will release them, I’ll decide when I finish recording.

Derek McBryde

Do you have any advice for any beginner musicians pursing a music career?

All I can suggest is to have fun, be a reliable hard-working person and make friends. I am by no means a great musician. I have been given so many incredible opportunities because I work hard, maintain a positive attitude, and try my best to be friendly with everyone I encounter. Also, if you’re not having fun, it’s totally pointless. You’re signing up for grueling hours, extremely low pay, and a never-ending grind. Have fun or don’t do it.

Derek McBryde
Derek McBryde
📸 Sights of Self Photography

After releasing his first single, he continued writing more. Yesterday, Derek announced that his second single, “Road Back Home,” will be released on January 31st of this year.

Derek’s New Single ~ Coming Soon

Keep up to date by following Derek McBryde on Facebook as his journey continues.