Nashville, or Smashville–as they like to call it here, captured my eye several years ago when I realized that it was a city built upon storytelling, artistic creation, and–most importantly–southern comfort food. I didn’t know much else about the city, but I had always been curious to learn more; to see why it was not just home to country music, but what made it Music City, USA. Now that I’ve been here for a few months, I can admirably say that this city has not only captured my eye, but has captured my heart as well.
There is a unique pace to Nashville that I think every region in the United States could benefit from mirroring: the people are hardworking and focused, but are also supportive and relaxed. Take the CMT Awards, for instance, where hundreds of workers came together to put on an event that went nearly flawlessly–even with people being calm and friendly to one another. Another example can be seen in my weekly music video acquisition meetings, where I sit next to some of the most respected names in country music and get to be a part of the music video selection process. Before interning at CMT, my vision of the music video selection process consisted of harsh criticism and pure self interest for the network. To my surprise, however, I have discovered that these powerful people who I have the privilege of working with are also some of the most supportive, caring, and risk taking people I have ever met. When watching a video, the music strategy department works to figure out how they can support up and coming artists, rather than just move on from them. Furthermore, this team at CMT works hard to empower artists (especially female artists), rather than intimidate them. While I cannot speak for any other region, I have a strong feeling that this supportive energy is particularly unique to Nashville, TN.
Living and working in Nashville has been a dream. There is a kindness here that still manages to charm me–even as a Midwesterner. The people that make up this beautiful town are caring, sweet, and thoughtful, while the food is comforting and the music is moving. I’m not sure where my life will take me, but if it somehow leads me back to Nashville, I certainly will not complain.