Derek Ryan Smith (born March 10, 1987), known professionally as Mod Sun[a] (stylized as MOD SUN or MODSUN), is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and drummer from Bloomington, Minnesota. He has released five solo studio albums, three EPs, and six mixtapes. He is also a member of the alternative hip hop duo Hotel Motel.[2]

Mod Sun
Mod Sun in 2015
Background information
Birth nameDerek Ryan Smith
Also known asDylan Smith
Born (1987-03-10) March 10, 1987 (age 36)
Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.
EducationJefferson High School
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • author
  • drummer
  • musician
  • Vocals
  • drums
Years active2004–present
Member of

Beginning his musical career by playing drums in pop punk band the Semester and post-hardcore groups Four Letter Lie and Scary Kids Scaring Kids,[3] Smith began a solo rap career in 2009 under the name Mod Sun. The release of his fourth solo studio album Internet Killed The Rockstar saw a stylistic shift back to pop punk.[4] His fifth studio album God Save the Teen, released in 2023, followed in its footsteps.[5]

Early life edit

Derek Ryan Smith was born on March 10, 1987, in Bloomington, Minnesota. Later his father left for California and his parents divorced, after which Smith spent some time living with his father in Long Beach, California. From age five to 10, he moved frequently due to his mother having to relocate for various jobs.[6] He spent much of his time growing up on a farm in Corcoran, Minnesota.[7] Smith's father lived next door to Bud Gaugh, drummer of Sublime, who influenced him to become involved in music.[1]

In his teens, Smith began attending concerts in his local pop punk scene. He became an increasingly prominent figure in the scene through his mother encouraging him to attend concerts and ask the touring band members whether they wanted to stay the night at their house. In the following years, Smith and other local bands and musicians in the scene became increasingly interested in fashion and influenced by New Jersey and Drive-Thru Records emo bands, leading to them becoming members of the scene subculture.[8] In eighth grade, he designed merchandise for bands.[1]

Music career edit

2004–2010: Career beginnings edit

Smith's first band was the pop punk band Sideline Heroes.[9] He then began playing drums for local pop punk band the Semester in his sophomore year of high school. He spent the following four years in the band, before being kicked out three months after his graduation.[4] In 2005, he became a member of the post-hardcore band Four Letter Lie.[10] In 2009, he left the band to pursue his passion in rap and Mod Sun endeavours. He went on to be a drum tech for Scary Kids Scaring Kids. He was eventually asked to be the drummer for Scary Kids Scaring Kids, which he accepted under the condition that he could open for the band on tour as a solo artist.[1][11]

2011–2019: Solo career and Look Up, Movie and BB edit

Mod Sun has released five mixtapes and three EPs throughout his solo career. His style of music has been described as "hippy hop".

Mod Sun's debut album, Look Up, was released on March 10, 2015, through Rostrum Records.[11] It peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart.[12]

On March 10, 2017, his second studio album, Movie, was released, also through Rostrum Records. It peaked at #16 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart.[13]

His third studio album BB was released on November 10, 2017, and spawned the single "#noshirton".

2020–2022: Switch to pop punk and Internet Killed the Rockstar edit

In early 2020, Mod Sun announced he had started working on his forthcoming fourth studio album.[14] Its lead single "Karma" was released on October 30, 2020.[15] The accompanying music video was released three weeks later on November 16, 2020, and was directed by Machine Gun Kelly.[16] The song "Bones" was released as the album's second single on November 27, 2020.[17] The music video for "Bones" was released on December 21, 2020, via Mod Sun's official YouTube channel and was directed by Charlie Zwick.[18] The album's third single, "Flames", was a collaboration with Avril Lavigne.[19] On January 18, 2021, Downfalls High, a film Smith co-directed with Machine Gun Kelly was released.[4] On 25 January, 2021 Mod Sun officially announced the album title, Internet Killed the Rockstar, and its release date, February 12, 2021.

On March 12, 2021, he released the single "Heavy" featuring blackbear.[20] The same month he signed a long-term deal with Big Noise.[21]

On August 26, 2021, it was announced that he would star in and co–direct the film Good Mourning With A U, alongside Machine Gun Kelly, Dove Cameron, Megan Fox and Becky G.[22] The film was later retitled to simply Good Mourning, and was released on April 20, 2022.

On May 7, 2021, a deluxe version of Internet Killed the Rockstar was released. It features five new tracks as well as acoustic versions of "Karma" and "Flames" and a piano version of "Bones".

2022–present: God Save the Teen edit

On February 18, 2022, Mod Sun released a documentary about his life entitled Remember Me Just Like This on his YouTube channel. The documentary included a teaser for his next single "Rich Kids Ruin Everything", which was released on March 11, 2022.

On February 25, 2022, Avril Lavigne's seventh studio album Love Sux was released. Mod Sun produced, provided drums for, and cowrote every song on the album (with the exception of "Dare to Love Me" and "Break of a Heartache", which Lavigne wrote alone).

On June 10, 2022, he released the single "Perfectly Imperfect".

On August 19, 2022, he released the single "Battle Scars".

In November 2022, Mod Sun announced the title for his upcoming fifth studio album: God Save the Teen. The album was revealed to be released in early 2023, though an exact release date was yet to be announced.[23]

On December 9, 2022, he released the single "Sexoxo" featuring Charlotte Sands.

On January 17, 2023, he revealed the album artwork and tracklist for his fifth studio album God Save the Teen, and announced that it would be released on February 3. The tracklist contained twelve new songs, including a cover of the song "Iris" by The Goo Goo Dolls.

On February 3, 2023, God Save the Teen was released.[24]

Personal life edit

Beginning in October 2018, Smith was in a polyamorous relationship with internet personality Tana Mongeau and actress Bella Thorne. After the throuple's breakup, he began a monogamous relationship with Thorne.[25] Smith and Thorne became engaged, got married and then subsequently divorced, all within 15 months.[26] In early 2020, he began a monogamous relationship with Mongeau, but they broke up by the end of the year.[27]

In early adulthood, Mod Sun was a heavy drug user, but quit in 2019 after he overdosed on a number of drugs and almost died. According to a 2023 interview with Spin magazine, Sun admitted to feeling guilty about his drug use and said, "One thing that'll make everything stop for you in life is walking around carrying shame. Every time I did a line of cocaine, I felt absolute shame. I knew in my heart I was like, 'This is going to kill me.' I had to eliminate that. It's like...I [had] my suitcase of trauma that I was carrying around every single day, and I traded that in for a toolbox to give me the tools to really bring my life to where I wanted to go."[28]

From 2021 to 2023, he was in a relationship with Canadian musician Avril Lavigne.[26] They later got engaged in Paris in April 2022, but subsequently broke off the engagement on February 21, 2023.[29] A spokesperson for Sun initially appeared surprised, saying "they were together and engaged as of 3 days ago when he left for tour so if anything has changed that's news to him." Lavigne was photographed hugging rapper Tyga after the split, sparking rumors that the two were dating.[30] On February 28, Sun confirmed the split, saying "In 1 week my entire life completely changed… I just know there's a plan for it all… I'll keep my head up + always listen to my heart, even when it feels broken. Being surrounded by love every night on tour has been an absolute blessing. I have the best friends in the entire world, thanks for always having my back. See you on stage."[31]

Discography edit

Studio albums edit

List of albums with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Details Peak chart positions




Look Up
  • Released: March 10, 2015
  • Label: Rostrum
  • Format: CD, Vinyl, digital download
120 6 13 1 7
  • Released: March 10, 2017
  • Label: Rostrum
  • Format: CD, Vinyl, digital download
16 40
  • Released: November 10, 2017
  • Label: Rostrum
  • Format: Digital download
Internet Killed the Rockstar
  • Released: February 12, 2021
  • Label: New Hippys/Big Noise
  • Format: CD, Vinyl, digital download
God Save the Teen
  • Released: February 3, 2023
  • Label: New Hippys/Big Noise
  • Format: CD, Vinyl, digital download

Extended plays edit

Title Details
The Hippy Hop EP
  • Released: January 15, 2010
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
In MOD We Trust
  • Released: February 8, 2011
  • Label: New Hippys
  • Format: Digital download
Happy as Fuck
  • Released: June 13, 2012
  • Label: Bananabeat Records
  • Format: Digital download

Mixtapes edit

  • 2009: I'll Buy Myself[37]
  • 2009: Let Ya Teeth Show
  • 2009: How to Make a MOD SUN
  • 2011: Health, Wealth, Success, & Happiness
  • 2011: Blazed by the Bell
  • 2012: First Take

Singles edit

Title Year Peak chart positions Album





"Need That" 2010 In MOD We Trust
"Paradisity" 2011
"All Night, Every Night"
(with The Ready Set)
2012 Non-album singles
(with Ab-Soul, Rich Hil and Metasota
"My Hippy" 2013 Look Up
"1970" 2014
"Howlin' at the Moon" 2015
"Pound on the Way" Non-album single
"We Do This Shit"
(with DeJ Loaf)
2016 Movie
"Two" 2017
"Beautiful Problem"
(with gnash & Maty Noyes)
happyBB" BB
"address on the internet"
"Runaway" 2018 Non-album singles
"Burning Up"
"Psycho Smile" 2019
"Tell Me All Your Secrets"
"Blue Cheese"
"Tipi/2005 Flex Up"
"I Remember Way Too Much"
"Uppers & Downers"
"Stay Away"
(featuring Machine Gun Kelly)
2020 27
"Karma" Internet Killed the Rockstar
(featuring Avril Lavigne)
2021 21 35 50 40 74
(with blackbear)
Internet Killed the Rockstar (Deluxe)[44]
(featuring Travis Barker)
Non-album singles
"Rich Kids Ruin Everything" 2022
"Perfectly Imperfect"
"Battle Scars"
(featuring Charlotte Sands)
"Strangers" 2023
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released.

Featured singles edit

  • 2011: "Good Times" by Swimming With Dolphins
  • 2012: "I Think It's Hot" by Def Gone Graphic
  • 2012: "Catch Me Smilin" by Joe B.
  • 2013: "Right Now" by Goody
  • 2013: "Get Loco" by T.T.
  • 2013: "The Tortoise and the Hare" by The Weekend Hustler
  • 2013: "Let It Bang" by Jbre & Dougie Kent
  • 2014: "All I Need Is Sunshine" by The Gooneez & Sidereal
  • 2014: "Raw Cypher" by Dizzy Wright, Like, and Sir Michael Rocks
  • 2015: "me you & the moon" by Call Me Karizma
  • 2016: "Sublime" by Machine Gun Kelly
  • 2018: ":)" by Lil Phag and Dr. Woke
  • 2020: "Bullets in the Dark" by No Love for the Middle Child
  • 2021: "0X1=Lovesong (I Know I Love You)" by Tomorrow X Together
  • 2021: "Ocean of Embers"[45]
  • 2021: "Empty Bottles" by Bryce Vine[46]
  • 2021: "Broken in All the Right Places" by Lost Kings[47]
  • 2022: "Timebomb" by Two Friends
  • 2022: "Movie Star" by Steve Aoki
  • 2023: "Still the Dumb One" by Pardyalone
  • 2023: "Blame Me for Everything" by Lil Lotus
  • 2023: "Figure Me Out" by weknewnothing

Books edit

Non-fiction books edit

  • 2012: Did I Ever Wake Up?

Poetry books edit

  • 2015: My Dear Pink
  • 2018: So Long Los Angeles

Journals edit

  • 2015: "Happy to Be Here"
  • 2016: "Happy to Be Here Pt. 2"
  • 2019: "Happy to Be Here Pt. 3"

Filmography edit

Film edit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2021 Bashira Club Owner [48]
2022 Measure of Revenge Lord MacBeth [49]
Good Mourning Dylan Also director, writer, and producer
Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director

Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture
Nominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
Nominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay
Nominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Combo


Television edit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2018 Cooking on High Himself 2 episodes [51]
2021 Ridiculousness Episode: "Mod Sun" [52]

Internet edit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2017 Album Himself credited as writer [53]
2019 I Remember Way Too Much Himself [54]
2021 Downfalls High Director, writer, cameo [55]
2022 Remember Me Just Like This Himself Subject of documentary [56]

Music videos edit

List of music videos directed, showing year released
Year Title Artist Ref.
2014 "Sail" Machine Gun Kelly [57]
2016 "All Night Long" [58]
"Shoot 'Em Down" (feat. Machine Gun Kelly & Blackbear) Mod Sun [59]
2017 "Sublime remiXX" Machine Gun Kelly [60]
2020 "Concert for Aliens" [61]
"Drunk Face" [62]
2021 "Flames" (Feat. Avril Lavigne) Mod Sun [63]
"Amnesia" [64]
"Bite Me" (Acoustic Version) Avril Lavigne [65]
"Down" (Feat. Travis Barker) Mod Sun [66]
2022 “Rich Kids Ruin Everything" [67]

References edit

  1. ^ Smith has said that "Mod Sun" is both an abbreviation of Modern Sunshine and an acronym standing for Movement on Dreams, Stand under None[1]
  1. ^ a b c d Adam22 (June 22, 2016). "The Mod Sun Interview" (Podcast). Retrieved April 24, 2021.{{cite podcast}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ HAVENS, LYNDSEY. "How Mod Sun Became Pop-Punk's Go-To Songwriter, From Machine Gun Kelly to Avril Lavigne". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  3. ^ "Here's How Mod Sun Ended Up Singing with Fall Out Boy at an Early Gig". Alternative Press. November 5, 2020. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c MCCARTHY, LAUREN (February 8, 2021). "THE NINE LIVES OF MOD SUN". Nylon. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  5. ^ "Mod Sun Announces New Album 'God Save The Teen' And Previews New Song". SOUND IN THE SIGNALS. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  6. ^ Mod Sun - Topic (November 30, 2015), Did I Ever Wake Up? (Pt. 1), retrieved April 15, 2017
  7. ^ Mod Sun - Topic (March 10, 2015), Mod Sun: "Hip-Hop Is Ready for Positivity Again"
  8. ^ "HERE'S HOW MOD SUN ENDED UP SINGING WITH FALL OUT BOY AT AN EARLY GIG". Alternative Press. November 5, 2020. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  9. ^ Finn McKenty. "Mod Sun" (Podcast). Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  10. ^ Baker, Brian (February 11, 2013). "Mod Sun". CityBeat Cincinnati. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Mod Sun - Biography". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 13, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  12. ^ "Mod Sun Look Up Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  13. ^ "Mod Sun Movie Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  14. ^ Dolby, Nuha (March 9, 2020). "Mod Sun talks growing up in the Midwest, sobriety, new album". The Badger Herald. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  15. ^ Stagnitta, Ally (November 24, 2020). "Mod Sun Emotionally Reveals Putting Down Drugs & Alcohol Has Shaped His Career Upon Release Of "Karma"". Hollywood Life. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  16. ^ Wilcox-Adams, Deidre (November 16, 2020). "Mod Sun's "Karma" Video is Here & MGK Directed it". The Honey Pop. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  17. ^ Shamim, Aman (December 4, 2020). "We Can Fell It in Our Bones, Mod Sun's Latest Single Really Hits Deep". The Honey Pop. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  18. ^ "Mod Sun Drops Cinematic Visual for Recently Released Single "Bones"". Broadway World. December 21, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  19. ^ Wass, Mike (January 1, 2021). "Avril Lavigne & Mod Sun Team Up For "Flames"". Idolator. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  20. ^ "Mod Sun And Blackbear Join Forces For New Song "Heavy" — LISTEN". March 12, 2021. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  21. ^ "The Deals: MOD SUN Signs With Big Noise, ADA Pairs With Billy Mann". Billboard. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  22. ^ Carter, Emily (August 26, 2021). "Machine Gun Kelly and MOD SUN are co-directing and starring in new movie Good Mourning With A U". Kerrang!. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  23. ^ Rogers, Jack (November 10, 2022). "MOD SUN Announces New Album 'GOD SAVE THE TEEN'". Rock Sound. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  24. ^ God Save the Teen by MOD SUN, February 3, 2023, retrieved May 9, 2023
  25. ^ Contreras, Cydney (February 26, 2019). "Bella Thorne Splits From YouTube Star Tana Mongeau After 1 Year". E! News. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Avril Lavigne is dating Mod Sun!". The Times of India. February 9, 2021. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  27. ^ Briscuso, Lex (May 15, 2020). "Tana Mongeau and Mod Sun Reveal They Kept Their Distance When They First Met … Now, Not So Much". Life & Style. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  28. ^ Lentini, Liza (April 5, 2023). "It's a MOD, MOD World". Spin. Retrieved April 8, 2023.
  29. ^ Aniftos, Rania (February 21, 2023). "Avril Lavigne & Mod Sun Break Up, Call Off Engagement: Report". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  30. ^ "Avril Lavigne and Mod Sun Split, Call Off Engagement". TMZ. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  31. ^ "Mod Sun Addresses His Breakup With Avril Lavigne". Loudwire. March 2023. Retrieved March 5, 2023.
  32. ^ "Mod Sun Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  33. ^ "Mod Sun Chart History (Top Alternative Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  34. ^ "Mod Sun Chart History: Top R&B/Hip-Hop". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  35. ^ "Mod Sun Chart History: Top Heatseekers". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  36. ^ "Mod Sun Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  37. ^ "DatPiff :: The Authority in Free Mixtapes". DatPiff.
  38. ^ "Mod Sun Chart History: Alternative Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  39. ^ "Mod Sun Chart History: Hot Rock & Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  40. ^ "Mod Sun Chart History (Hot Canadian Digital Songs Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  41. ^ Peaks on the NZ Hot 40 Singles Chart:
  42. ^ "Official Singles Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  43. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". THE OFFICIAL NZ MUSIC CHART. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  44. ^ White, Logan (April 23, 2021). "Mod Sun And Avril Lavigne Release Acoustic Video For "Flames"". Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  45. ^ OCEAN OF EMBERS (Feat. MOD SUN) - Teaser. Bashira Movie (YouTube). Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  46. ^ "Empty Bottles (feat. MOD SUN) - Single by Bryce Vine", Apple Music, November 19, 2021, retrieved November 20, 2023
  47. ^ "Broken In all The Right Places by Lost Kings, Mod Sun on Spotify". Spotify. December 9, 2021. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  48. ^ Nickson, Fong, Bashira (Horror), Bashira, Egg Story Studios, Robotic Vision, retrieved May 12, 2022
  49. ^ Measure of Revenge (2022) - IMDb, retrieved May 12, 2022
  50. ^ Kelly, Machine Gun; Sun, Mod (May 20, 2022), Good Mourning (Comedy), Cedar Park Studios, Raven Capital Management, retrieved May 12, 2022
  51. ^ Cooking on High (Game-Show), Stage 13, June 22, 2018, retrieved May 12, 2022
  52. ^ Mod Sun, Ridiculousness, June 20, 2021, retrieved May 12, 2022
  53. ^ Easterling, Michael (March 10, 2017), Album (Short, Adventure), Talkboy TV, retrieved May 12, 2022
  54. ^ I Remember Way Too Much (Video 2019) - IMDb, retrieved May 12, 2022
  55. ^ Kelly, Machine Gun; Sun, Mod (January 15, 2021), Downfalls High (Drama, Musical, Romance), AS Entertainment, Moonlight Cinema, retrieved May 12, 2022
  56. ^ MOD SUN - DOCUMENTARY "Remember Me Just Like This", retrieved May 12, 2022
  57. ^ Machine Gun Kelly: Sail (Music), April 23, 2014, retrieved May 12, 2022
  58. ^ Machine Gun Kelly: All Night Long (Music), April 29, 2016, retrieved May 12, 2022
  59. ^ "Mod Sun - Shoot 'Em Down (feat. Machine Gun Kelly & Blackbear) (Official Video) - YouTube". Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  60. ^ "Machine Gun Kelly x Mod Sun - Sublime (remiXX)". YouTube. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  61. ^ Machine Gun Kelly: Concert for Aliens (Music), August 13, 2020, retrieved May 12, 2022
  62. ^ Machine Gun Kelly: Drunk Face (Music), September 30, 2020, retrieved May 12, 2022
  63. ^ Mod Sun Feat. Avril Lavigne: Flames (Music), January 22, 2021, retrieved May 12, 2022
  64. ^ MOD SUN - "Amnesia" (OFFICIAL VIDEO), retrieved May 12, 2022
  65. ^ Avril Lavigne: Bite Me (Acoustic Version) (Music), December 17, 2021, retrieved May 12, 2022
  66. ^ "MOD SUN - "Down" (Feat. Travis Barker) OFFICIAL VIDEO - YouTube". Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  67. ^ MOD SUN - "Rich Kids Ruin Everything" OFFICIAL VIDEO, retrieved May 12, 2022

External links edit