Today we’d like to introduce you to Devin Pruden.
Hi Devin, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Growing up, I was a pots and pans kid. I have memories of trying to piece household items together to play on with chopsticks or cooking spoons. My early musical history involved playing in a hand-bell choir in my elementary school and also picking up the guitar for a few years. While in high school, I connected back to percussion as a member of the drum line. That was my lane for most of that time period until my senior year when the school jazz band needed a drummer. The band leader wanted me to get onboard, but at the time, playing drum set seemed like a whole different world. To convince me, he offered to loan me a drum set to take home for the rest of the school year and also give me lessons when he could.
Looking back, I think it was evident at that time that my love and passion for music was genuine. As my skill set was blossoming on the drums, I began connecting with other young like-minded musicians, and we would get together and jam and play around the city. During this time, I was also in college, studying at California State University, Dominguez Hills. The balance of receiving formal training and also informal training really had a positive impact on my musical development. But to sum it up, upon graduating, I have consistently been focusing on continuing my journey. This has looked like; expanding my knowledge and skills, teaching and investing in the younger generations, and working with other great and like-minded music industry professionals.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I’ve had my share of difficulties, and I’m confident that more hardships are ahead. It has been a big walk of faith through the years. However, I’ve been able to observe enough growth in myself to feel content and certain that I’m moving in the right direction. There have been equal external and internal struggles that I have had to endure. With being a creative, there are a lot of factors we face that oftentimes are outside your control. The job can be very stressful if you let it. Letting yourself invest too much thought into people’s approval of your sound, or trying to fit in with a certain group of people, will drain you! It can all be so subjective and trying to force certain connections just doesn’t work. At the end of the day, you have to be yourself.
I have had periods where I have battled with doubt in myself and my skills. Becoming more knowledgeable about my instrument and competent in my musical identity helped diminish the negative feelings. What also really helped the internal and external struggles was finding and staying connected with my “Why?”. In doing that, it showed me what truly matters and what doesn’t. All of that helps me stay focused on what I’m working to accomplish in through music and life.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a professional musician and my main instrument is the drums. I currently work with a large pool of musical artists who I play with in live music situations. Also, I don’t only play one style of music, I do my best to be effective and authentic to the music in whatever genre it presents itself in. With my beginnings being rooted in jazz, it has made for a valuable launchpad into the other styles of music. This year alone I’ve most notably performed at SXSW, Cal World Fest, San Jose Jazz Festival, and many other venues. In addition to performing, I also currently teach private lessons on multiple instruments at Maurock music academy in Gardena, CA. As I continue to meet more and more people within my industry, I notice something that sets me apart from others is my attitude. I treat every opportunity I get with respect and gratitude. I always make a point to study and learn the music, and also do my best to uplift and show love to everyone I meet along the way. “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.”
- Instagram: @Devdomp
Ma’athew James Photography (For the personal photo)