Born and raised in the western suburbs, Derrick was into music from a young age, but during his teens Chicago´s house scene sucked him in for good. Before long Derrick became a strong presence in Chicago´s underground dance scene. "When I got my driver´s license at 16 my sneak ability was validated," he laughs. "I was a fierce bedroom jock for a long time. After you mix for the love of it for six or seven years, you get it pretty tight and you can take it on the road." Derrick got by working at dance–music specialty stores like Gramaphone and gigging at parties.