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But entertaining audiences never took one form for Mark or Derek. The two best friends have been playing and making music together for more than a decade, in between touring theatrical productions and ballroom competitions. And like every achievement they've crossed off their collective to-do list, a career in music was a dream they worked towards tirelessly. "To play gigs in London, we often had to take the Tube," Derek recalls. "We'd carry all our gear -- amps, guitars, keyboards -- down those mile-long escalators and onto the train. For a while, we were doing that almost every weekend!"
Mark and Derek's love of music was apparent from a very young age. Mark got his first guitar when he was seven, around the same time Derek began playing the drums. By the time they were in their early teens, the two had both mastered the guitar and began writing songs that showcased their unique talents: three and four-part harmonies (a skill honed during years in the musical theatre circuit), Mark's percussive, Flamenco-flavored playing style and a natural affinity for irresistible melodies.
Music of all forms and genres constantly filled the Ballas' London home, where Derek lived since the age of 12, and was also a key component to their dance routines, so the pull was natural. The guys' musical bond, however, came from a seemingly unlikely place: a Korn concert at London's Wembley Arena. "Until that point, I wasn't allowed to listen to bands like Nirvana," says Derek, who, along with his sister Julianne (herself a two-time Dancing with the Stars champion), was raised in a very conservative household. Mark, however, was determined to open his friend's mind. "I was like, 'Dude, stop being a wuss,' and I took him to see Korn for his first concert," he says. "We threw him on top of the crowd and it was like the transformation had been made."
While still years away from entering a pub legally, the conversion stirred hopes of becoming a touring band and Mark went to task finding players to round out the as-yet-unnamed project. He didn't have to search far. Harry Sullivan, whose parents were close with the Ballas family, was enlisted to play drums, and Emily Grace, a classically trained pianist and classmate from London's Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, was a no-brainer for keyboards. They found their bassist, Sam Marder, by cold-calling Surrey's prestigious Academy of Contemporary Music. "We phoned up the school and sort of made up this story about how we were getting signed and needed a bass player," says Derek. "They gave us three phone numbers and Sam was the first person we called."
That impulsiveness served them well in the years to come. Case in point: when the guys were both offered spots on the U.S. version of Dancing with the Stars, they accepted, though they worried that music would end up taking a backseat. "Moving from London to Los Angeles, where we didn't know anyone... We just weren't sure," Mark explains. "But then we thought, we've been sitting around in England for years struggling. Forget it, let's just go. So we arrived in LA with no car and nowhere to live, just a guitar and a suitcase. And since then, we've been working towards our dream."
Love these guys. Great talent: dancing, playing instruments and singing.Published 12 months ago by DeniseG
I really like Mark Ballas and Derek Hough. They seem to be very unique and talented young men. This cd lets you in to know them a bit more through their music, and at the same... Read morePublished on May 26, 2013 by Scott Patrick
It is not worth. I made a mistake to buy. God bless them. Mr. Mark Ballas & Mr. Derek Hough are a very very dancers, but not a good singers. - J. modyPublished on May 6, 2012 by Jay B. Mody
I am quite impressed with the musical ability of the Ballas and Hough. The album is great.Published on December 16, 2009 by S. Blas
I have to be honest - I originally ordered BHB because I watch Dancing with the Stars and because I was impressed by Derek's performance in his duet with his sister on her album. Read morePublished on October 26, 2009 by Barbz
Very nice mix of pop with a bit of techno sound. Defintely great driving music. Highly recommended!Published on May 23, 2009 by J. Parris
I don't know what happened to my review but I guess I will have to gush again! I've been following these guys since the fall of 08 when they were Almost Amy. Read morePublished on April 21, 2009 by Missy
I have no idea who these guys are. I don't watch "Dancing With The Stars" or any other such competition shows, and all I know of Ballas Hough Band is what I just browsed on the... Read morePublished on April 16, 2009 by tehuti_88
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This song is about a guy how wants to be important to his girl and take care of her. It was written by the most gifted musician that i've seen in a while. You need to listen to the whole song because this one line takes it out of context. It was written because of past relationship experiences... Read More
Feb 12, 2009 by Missy | See all 4 posts
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