Derek Sallmann makes music personal
Waukesha musician connects with local landmarks, experiences

By TOM BADGER - Special to TimeOut 

Feb. 9, 2017


Photos courtesy of Derek Sallmann

Derek Sallmann performs at Summerfest. The Waukesha musician has played at major area festivals, including Bastille Days, the Wisconsin State Fair and Waukesha’s Friday Night Live.

WAUKESHA - There will be no exploding pyrotechnics, no outrageous costuming or makeup and no scenes from a lavish high-rise celebrity crib in his new music video.

Simply put, that’s the way Derek Sallmann wants it.

The Waukesha singer-songwriter will officially debut his second music video from his 2016 CD release “All Seasons” on Feb. 17 with the premiere of “Storm.” 

Sallmann wanted his video to be filmed inside Discovery World on the lakefront and at Wisconsin Lutheran College on Milwaukee’s west side, where he currently attends.

Mission accomplished.

“Discovery World one of my favorite places to go in Milwaukee,” the 21-year local musician said. “There’s so much to learn there. It makes you feel like a kid again.”

The video is Sallmann’s second from his “All Seasons” 10-song CD. His song “When I See You” came to video-life last fall and is available on his website. In that video, Sallmann uses several Milwaukee landmarks as backdrops. The song’s catch-phrase “Every day’s a good day when I see you” offers a good glimpse of Sallmann’s musical attitude.

“I want my music to be uplifting and honest,” said Sallmann. “I don’t know if there is necessarily a theme that I want all these songs to encapsulate. I write from experience and write things that are very honest. I figure if I can connect with myself, then other people are going to be able to connect with me, too.”


Photos courtesy of Derek Sallmann

Derek Sallmann will release a second video from his 2016 “All Seasons” CD. The video “Storm” was shot at Discovery World.

Sallmann has connected with music fans at Summerfest, Bastille Days and the Wisconsin State Fair. Like a lot of local musicians, he has played at Waukesha’s Friday Night Live and The Steaming Cup was one of his first public performances. 

In 2015 and 2016, Sallmann was awarded “Best Acoustic Musician” finalist by the Milwaukee publication The Shepherd Express.  He also auditioned for NBC’s hit music show “The Voice” in Chicago. While Sallmann didn’t make it, he chalked it up as a “good experience.”

As for the new video release, Sallmann isn’t going over the top.

“I don’t have a specific party planned,” he said. “I was working on one of the local television stations to do a premiere but I not sure if that will happen yet, so if it doesn’t, it will go live that day on my website and get shared organically from there.”

And that’s just fine with Sallmann.

“Most of these songs are written in my room or basement when it’s just you and your acoustic guitar,” Sallmann said. “As a writer, you have to have the vision of what it’s going to look like when it’s done. It’s really cool to see a song that I’ve written not only get produced but making a video for it.”

For more information on the musician, visit or his Facebook page,