Derek Morris is here to spread a message of love and positivity to the world. Morris has struggled with his own demons over the years but never let it stop him from chasing his dreams– and he wants to help others do the same. Check out WOD Magazine’s exclusive Q&A to find out more and check out his new music video below.

In 50 words or less, give us a short biography of yourself.

My name is Derek Morris and I have always loved music and art. I’ve published 29 children’s books, traveled playing in bands, and have a huge heart for people. I have seen a lot of struggle from being raised by a single mother with 5 kids on welfare. I was never good at understanding school or “typical life,” but it never stopped me from pursuing my dreams. For the past fifteen years I’ve struggled with PTSD- but I never gave up! My main goal in life is to touch people that have had a hard life and show them that anything is possible. Plus encouraging others to NEVER GIVE UP ON LIFE.  

How did you get involved with U-Jam Fitness and World of Dance?

 I was introduced to U-Jam Fitness and World of Dance from an awesome friend Ania Flatau, who is a WOD U-Jam Fitness dance instructor. Ania is such a passion person and so inspiring to others. I love it. I’m so grateful she showed me all this. 

What have been some of the highlights of your career? 

For me, the accomplishments haven’t been as great as much as the live’s that were touched through my highlights. I’ve owned clothing companies, published books, and traveled making music, but the greatest thing is the reaction of those I have helped. I love to inspire others to never give up. It means the world to me. I feel so honored to have helped others change their lives. 

Tell us about your new video, what inspired you? Talk a bit about the message of the video.

The new video “You Are Loved” was inspired by just seeing a lot of other artist not really touching on these issues. I feel like a lot of music videos these days are focused on fame and fortune- which is cool, I’m not judging- but I wanted to touch on actual problems in the world today. Mental illness, drug addiction, and psychical disabilities to name a few. I want to shine hope on these issues and send the message that you can do anything in life. Just don’t give up on yourself and know YOU ARE LOVED. It saddens my heart to know how much people struggle with self worth. I know we are all made for an amazing purpose, no matter what you suffer from. We can all make it through the rough times. 

What are some issues/causes that are important to you that you would like to promote? 

I really want to focus on mental illness awareness, drug addiction, physical disabilities, and people knowing their self worth. That’s why I named the song “YOU ARE LOVED” 

Do you have any upcoming projects in the works? 

I’m releasing the song “You Are Loved” on my new album which came out September 13th. I’m focusing on making more music videos and getting more of my books published. My goal is to give as many as I can away for free. They have always been free and I have been blessed to give away 5,000 on my own. The book is called “You Are Loved”  and is all based on affirmations and uplifting quotes I wrote. 

Do you have any hidden talents?

Some may say I’m the “Cat Whisper.” For some reason they listen to me.

Anything else you think our readers would like to know?

That YOU ARE LOVED. NEVER GIVE UP. YOU HAVE A PURPOSE. NEVER LOSE HOPE. YOU ARE UNIQUE AND SO WORTHY OF GREATNESS. Regardless of your situation and struggle or anything that you think makes you not worthy. YOU ARE WORTHY. 

Want more World of Dance? Check out our 41 city International Live Tour featuring NBC World of Dance’s The King and Unity LA. The World of Dance Live! Tour is sponsored by urban dance fitness program U-Jam Fitness. Go to http://WorldOfDanceLive.com for tickets and details.