We had the good fortune of connecting with Diona Devincenzi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diona, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
“Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career”.
I have seen the most growth when taking risks. This has been a pivotal part of my life and career.
The biggest career risk I took was when I decided to uproot from CA and move to Nashville to pursue songwriting professionally. I knew it was important to put myself in a music center where I would be around other songwriters, musicians, producers and have the greatest ability to learn and improve my craft.
Full transparency, leaving my hometown with all the people and things I had known for decades wasn’t comfortable or easy for the first few years.
When I moved to Nashville (which I did alone) there were moments when I would think to myself “man, I could get run over by a bus and no one would know.”
I didn’t have that feeling of safety by having my family or friends around me. I had to forge new friendships and connections from scratch.
Despite the hardship and some lonely weekends, I knew that I had to be in that city in order to learn, grow and fulfill my artistic aspirations.
Playing it safe or staying static was not an option.
I experienced a lot of grace and grit during that time. It seemed like when I was reaching out and taking chances; the universe met me with new opportunities and people to help me along the way.
Ironically, I recently made another move and took another risk. I moved OUT of Nashville and back to operating and living full time in CA. My music business was not as focused in Nashville anymore. Instead, most of my connections and the businesses I worked with were headquartered in L.A. The most natural move was to pivot AGAIN and uproot, in order to continue to have “skin in the game”.
Making decisions that are scary and new means you have to take a leap of faith and trust yourself without seeing the outcome ahead of time.
I’m not super great at change. I don’t think most humans are, but I know it’s important for me to change and to continue to take a leap in order to STAY invested in my art and my life.
“When you’ve got skin in the game
You try a little harder
When you’ve got something to lose
Objects appear a little larger”
Lyrics by Diona Devincenzi
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a songwriter/artist/producer. I have been working exclusively in the sync. world. which means I write and produce songs that will be used in films, t.v. shows, ads and multi-media. Perhaps what sets me apart from others who are working in this space is that I’m a female. Yeah, it seems strange to say that, but ever since I started in this space, I’ve noticed that there aren’t a lot of women who are writing and producing. If you’ve studied any stats in the music industry, you know this is true when it comes to songwriters/artists/producers/engineers etc… Women make up a very small percentage overall.
If I’ve had any success it’s because I didn’t give up. I took both the highs and the lows and stayed steady in my production output. I was deliberate about my writing and practiced good habits to keep me in the flow and out of the rollercoaster of emotions where this industry can sometimes lead you.
What I want people to know about my brand is that if I can do it, then you can do it too. I especially want to address this to young women coming up in this field. Learn your craft, learn an instrument and learn how to produce. Study hard, seek guidance from good mentors, follow your instincts and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be a songwriter, artist, producer (whatever).
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hmm- I’m just moving as we speak, so this question is a hard one. I think just walking around and finding stuff you like and trying it out. I love going to farmer’s markets, seeing live bands play, going to places where I can bring my dog and just hanging out in nature (on the beach or talking a walk etc…). Or sometimes just hanging out and talking if enough for me…. I’m a more one on one person than I am in hanging out in bars and places with a lot of people.
The simple things are nice.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to give credit to my Mom. She was always supportive of my songwriting endeavors. Even when she didn’t really understand why I wanted to move to Nashville, away from family, she always had my back. She helped me move, unpack and was always there for me. She traveled to Nashville many, many times and was such a good sport. She was with me during the hard times, good times, when I received awards and when I felt down. I owe so much to my Mom.
Images by Holly Coleman.