We had the good fortune of connecting with dev11n and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi dev11n, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I first started my company, my goal was to create a business through which I could manage and protect my music. I also wanted to separate my personal finances from the income I began to generate as a professional artist and creating an LLC was the simplest way for me to do so.
Once I founded the company, I began to curate events which led to me working with other artists and creating opportunities for them as well. Muziqly Devine Entertainment is always evolving. We currently host creative workshops, curate exhibitions, and provide one-on-one consulting to independent artists and emerging entrepreneurs. My main goal is to empower women of color to transform their gifts into successful businesses by sharing the resources they need to grow and creating spaces for them to be celebrated.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My name is dev11n. I am a multidisciplinary artist and curator focusing primarily on music and creating spaces where women of color who don’t fit into typical genre boxes can be seen and celebrated. There are several projects that I’m really looking forward to sharing this year.
Recently, I had the opportunity to partner with Facebook for their ‘No Award For That’ series – celebrating Black creativity and encouraging Black creatives to stay true to their unique path regardless of awards or acknowledgment. I was able to work with an incredible team and create a song titled ‘Rose Water’ that’s meant to encourage individuals that battle with self-doubt. Projects such as this fill me with the most joy and gratitude because the work I’m doing is aligned with what I truly believe in. I always hope that I’m remembered as someone who did her best, gave 100% to the things she committed herself to, empowered others, and remained honest and authentic through it all.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I enjoy being in nature or being in more artsy environments. For activities, bike riding or roller skating are things that I’d take my friends or siblings to do. Grant Park and Piedmont Park are pretty cool areas but they can get busy when the weather is really nice. Like me, most of my friends eat pretty healthily. There’s an outdoor area called Triton Yards where people can hang out and eat, I’d definitely take my friends there. Other food and smoothie spots that I enjoy are Tassili’s Raw Reality Café, UpBeet, and Juice Heads ATL.
For shopping and hanging out, Little Five Points is great. The High Museum is another great place to hang out and enjoy the afternoon or evening. I’m not much into nightlife but, when I do want to go out comedy shows and live music are what I’m looking for. One of my favorite comedy clubs is in Hapeville called Uptown Comedy. Edgewood is another cool area for entertainment and food.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many individuals who have played a role in my journey thus far. God is number one on the list. I sincerely believe that all of my success is only by Divine design. Outside of that, when I think back to my childhood, my family has always supported me. My mother and father never made me feel like I had to be one specific thing in order to be successful in life. My parents always allowed me to pursue whatever I was interested in and were willing to invest in the hobbies and other activities that I showed real interest in.
From there, my teachers, particularly my professor at SUNY Fredonia, Armand Petri, taught me everything I needed to know about the music business. To this day there are still contracts that I’m so glad I did not sign because I was able to recognize terms and other red flags that he always mentioned. After graduating, my team and my hometown, Buffalo NY held me up and showed so much love as I endeavored to release my first projects, and curate my first events. It’s always meant a lot to have their support.
Since moving to Atlanta in 2018, I’ve also gained great mentors. This year, I am part of the Inaugural Cohort of The Fearless Artist: Young Curators Program coordinated by Kiki Somerville. This program has already provided me with so much knowledge and the opportunity to connect with industry veterans as well as network with other emerging artists. Ultimately, my success has always been in collaboration with my community. So many people lift me up to be able to share my gifts. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
Photos By: Alex D Rogers (@alexdrogersstudio), Idris (@Sirdified), Deseri Rice (@au.courag)