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