My name is Deven Bridges, at the CMC a lot of people call me Mickey (my stage name). I’m a hip-hop artist, which has made my experience at the Contemporary Music Center (CMC) an interesting one. Since production isn’t my MO, one of my biggest challenges has been figuring out how to create the music I write. I am a lyricist and I primarily work with topline (lyric and melody), yet I had to learn to operate software that I’m used to someone else operating. That was a challenge.

The experience here has been great for me, with a lot of growth, a lot of learning, and a lot of development in areas of professionalism. One great word to describe the CMC experience: BUSY!!! It is a scary fast pace in the music industry, and they are doing a great job priming us for that. My greatest memory here comes from all of the outside networking I’ve done since coming here. Natalie, our business director, let me know about a networking event called PopOff Nashville — started by CMC alum, Tom Daniel who also does a lot of topline. I went to that and met so many of my current contacts here, God really showed me favor that night.

After being called out numerous times for lapses in my professionalism, I think God has been teaching me how to have thicker skin. People are going to have opinions and thought processes that are different than yours, and you have to have the love, discernment, and peace within yourself to eat the meat and spit out the bones. Taking the lessons given, and not taking them personally, has been a huge challenge that I’ve only been able to navigate through vulnerable conversation, reflection, and deep prayer. Leaving the CMC, I will be paying a lot more attention to how I represent my brand, and how my actions really do affect my interactions with other business professionals.

What is the key takeaway from this semester? It’s hard to pick one, but I would have to say in all areas of this industry, it is the little things that make huge differences. On stage, behind the scenes, in production, and in relationship, the subtle nuances about something can make or break it. This industry requires razor sharp focus and a lot of intentionality. We get a lot of really good lessons from the Contemporary Music Center. I’m glad I finally decided to apply for the program.

– Deven Bridges (Mickey Young)

Photography: Ashley Mae Wright

18 Comments on “Takeaways”

  1. Deven, I have noticed so much growth in your conversation since you have been at the CMC. Your passion and dedication for reaching your goals are so refreshing to see. We are all so proud of you and we love the concept of CMC. God blessed you by allowing you to be a part of it all. Keep God FIRST in all you do Deven and reap the Harvest!!

  2. Dear Deven,
    I am soooo very proud of what you have accomplished thus far in life! You possess some amazing gifts from God, and it does my heart good to not only see you use your gifts, but to watch you give God glory throughout the process. I recall several years ago sharing Proverbs 18:16 with you. It is manifesting in your life. This is only the beginning, godson/nephew! I love you!

  3. D I am very proud of you I know I have told you that often in the years that I have been your life ,but I want you to know that it is very true, I see God doing wonderful things in your life ,keep your eyes on him and him alone and all your dreams will come true, I believe that with all my heart. Love you dude , keep the FAITH

  4. Great job, Deven! So very proud of you! Continue to do great things! I pray for strength & wisdom as you continue your amazing journey!

  5. Deven,
    Keep grinding my dude. Your passion, skill and determination to produce music that is excellent will be rewarding. Psalm 127:1-3

  6. Deven,

    Keep grinding my dude. Your passion, skill and determination to produce music that is excellent will be rewarding. Psalm 127:1-3

  7. Sorry, Psalm 127:1-2 is the verses that I meant to share with you. Let the Lord continue to build your musical “house” (career). Rest well each night knowing that He is in control and has gifted you for a divine reason. Grace and Peace fam.

  8. Deven, as I was reading your Takeaway there was an overwhelming feeling of joy that came over me. It wasn’t by happenstance that you became a part of Unity Performing Arts Foundation and The Voices of Unity because the sessions taught to you on developing a great work ethic in your business and having integrity, operating in professionalism, being a leader that is teachable and intentional has become your road map that brought you to your CMC journey. I have watched you and seen your passion for your craft and how you have taken the necessary steps of growth and experience to realize that your dream can and will come to fruition. Continue to align yourself with people that can stretch you as an individual and as an upcoming artist. As you move forward always ask God for wisdom and direction and He is quick to give it (James 1:5) make a conscious decision to never stop learning or growing and be willing to take the next young artist by the hand and share what you have learned. As Mr. White says “Reach back to give back is about making and keeping connections with others”. God bless you and may His favor on top of favor be yours as He walks with you on your journey to Destiny.

  9. I am glad to see you continuing to pursue what you love and what makes you happy. Keep pushing through all obstacles and never give up on your dream.

  10. Deven, your commentary demonstrates the genius that you possess as a young artist and spectacular creator of art. You have had an incredible support system (starting with Momma Paula), and with her direction along with countless others you have figured out what is necessary to get the job done, and you’re just beginning! Blessings to you on this journey, young man. Looking forward to what is to come!

  11. CMC has been such a blessing for you. I remember the early stages of us investigating this amazing School and not knowing exactly what the outcome was going to be, here we are almost at the end of the journey and the outcome is far more amazing than any of us could have expected! You have excelled in each way possible therefore I thank CMC for giving you the tools to succeed and most importantly I thank God for giving you the wisdom to reach for your dreams so proud of you.
    Keep up the good work

  12. Deven, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my principles in your heart, for they will give you a long and satisfying life. Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will gain a good reputation. Stay Focus and Be Consistent!

  13. Devon,

    I am so proud of the young man you have become. God has truly shown you favor and grace through your life and the talents you bring to others. Continue to shine and continue to allow God to work through you. We are here supporting you every step of the way!

  14. Dear Deven,
    I couldn’t help but smile as i read your Takeaway . We have countless memories together , bouncing ideas off of one another , playing with lyrics , and sharing our passion for something that was obviously bigger than us both . I am so proud of you and ypur accomplishments and you have so much further to go ! Reach tour dreams Deven and never forget little ole’ Fort Wayne when you blow up . Our past has a way of shaping us but not defining us . Got get em’ i can’t wait to see where God takes you .

    Your Partner In Crime

  15. Seven, I am proud of the young man you have become. Continue into your passion and gifting. Hone your craft, demand your respect and only walk through the doors GOD opens for you. You may lose some people along the way… but GOD will show you who needs to be in your path and also show you what lives you need to touch. Proverbs 3:6. In all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE will direct your path! Be blessed!!!

  16. Deven, I am so proud of the young man you are becoming. You are humble and God fearing and I know God will continue to bless you. I can only say to always stay true to who you are even when others wanna put you in a box. Anything worth having is worth working for. Always wishing you the best 😙

  17. Deven you are the spark that will ignite generations old and young. Your life’s experiences have connected you to a greater purposes and won’t allow you nothing less than all you’ve imagined you can accomplish. Yes, diving into newness can be a roller coaster ride; but, your past, your support system, God and your innermost being allows you to ride each dip and curve with a grip that’s unstoppable, unmovable and unshakable. Awesomeness follows from a man who’s lips releases powerful words, and commits to learning every aspect of production, software, music, flow, stage presentation and delivery. Keep doing it! Your gifts have made room for you. Make sure that you give to Deven and continue to build your mind, your body, and your spirit. We pour out so much giving to others that we forget to refill our own being. Yes, appreciate you because we do.

  18. Mom
    Well Deven the CMC journey is over! In the last 10 days I have seen you perform in Indiana, Michigan, and Nashville. What an honor for me to see your performance and be able to say that is MY SON! You are developing a fan base which you started in Anderson. You’ve learned a lot and a lot about yourself in 16 weeks. Now you have another layer to your foundation. Be wise in you decision making and continuously pray for wisdom and Spiritual discernment!! Surround yourself with like-minded people and people that bring value and truth to your life. Remember as for me and my house …..! Love Mom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *