Men We Admire: Zameer Rizvi

Recently dubbed by Billboard Music as the #1 fastest growing artist on social media during the week of March 17th, 2012, Canada’s Zameer was predicted to likely achieve success based on activity on a wide range of social media and music outlets. Measured by Next Big Sound, a data tracking and monitoring website for musical artists’ behaviour both online and off, Zameer’s social media movement has ranked him as the fastest accelerating artist across the internet most like to become the “next big sound”.

Having performed alongside Grammy Award winning John Mayer and Colbie Caillet on the Mayercraft Carrier, Zameer is now set to release his sophomore album, Generation Z. This album follows his smooth debut album, from under the bleachers, featuring the hit single “Win or Defeat.”

Name: Zameer Rizvi

Age: 31

Occupation: Musician

What are you driving: Audi TT, upgrading to an R8 soon, real excited about that.

Gadgets: Blackberry Bold 9900, Blackberry 64Gb Playbook and a slew of Blackberry accessories – I’m all Blackberry’d up.

Stats: 6ft, 175 lbs

Favorite Instruments: A Gibson Les Paul and Fender Strat are all I need.

Sports: Squash; trying to learn golf so I can start making more money.

How did you get started on your current career/lifestyle path?

There are an abundance of career paths we all have to chose from. Doctor, Chef, Pilot, Lawyer, Musician etc. However, I realized pretty early that there was one thing I was better at than most other folks in that profession — music. So I decided to wager my life on that fundamental realization, and decided to pursue music.

Did you have any mentors who helped steer you on this path?

Yes, some I know personally, some I don’t. The ones I know personally are of course my family, father, mother, sister, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. Some folks who probably don’t know it but have been huge mentors for me, i.e. Rich Titcombe, Asim Khan, Spencer Bachoo, Dave Smiderle the Noori brothers, James Beswick and a few more I’m forgetting at this time. Some famous people: Sting, Dave Matthews and AR Rahman.

How has your work contributed to your development as a person and/or the lives of others?

My work is my passion. It doesn’t just play a role in putting a roof over my head. It teaches me fundamentals of how I should conduct my life, decision making, emotional fulfillment, ethics, raising a family, perseverance, sexuality, empathy, spirituality, good, evil, the meaning of life, and all that good stuff. My work is me, without it I’m as good as dead.

I don’t calculate ROI in dollars; I calculate it in human connections. My job, and my purpose in life, is to connect with others through my music. I’ve spent the last 15 years trying to develop strategies to create real connections with real people. Hopefully some of that has resulted in some positivity for those I’ve connected with.

If you had one piece of advice for someone just entering your field, what would it be?

Don’t do drugs, and try to avoid alcohol. Find inspiration elsewhere.

Do you have a personal work philosophy?

Aim for the stars, shoot for the moon.

What do you do for fun?

I’m a big family guy. Any spare time I have is spent with my family. I also like to be active, be out doors, etc. I’m a history and nature junkie and like traveling to get my nature and history fix.

What motivates or inspires you?

Sadly, adversity and hardship inspires me.

What has been your greatest achievement?

Quitting smoking after 8 years, and losing 30 pounds.

What is the one thing you hope to achieve?

I hope to meet my dad again. He died when I was 20. He was awesome.

What is your super power?

I can cut a mean piece of music.

Who’s your hero?

Cheesy, I know, but my father.

What are you reading (or watching) these days?

I’m beginning to really dig the show ‘chopped’ on the food network. I read a lot of emails.

Thinking back to a time when you had to make a hard choice, how did you decide, and do you feel, in retrospect, that you made the right move?

I made a tough choice deciding to pursue music after completing a degree in electrical engineering. I decided by figuring out which out of the two professions I was better at. Electrical engineering or music. Truth is, I was as good as any other engineer, but was better than most musicians. So the choice was easy.

If you had it all to do over again, would you change anything?

Yes, I’d push my dad to get scanned for cancer every six months so he could still be around.

What’s next for you? What’s your next big idea, project etc.?

My new album, Generation Z, is set to release soon. 2013 is going to be a big year. If we get past December 21, 2012 that is!

What one piece of advice would you give to your own son (hypothetical or otherwise) in the hope of making him a better man?

Family, health, philosophy, leadership and wealth – prioritize life in that order. Also – you are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol and heart disease. So either find a damn good doctor and get to the root of your cholesterol imbalance, or get on a statin ASAP.

Zameer Online: www.zameermusic.ca

Zameer Rizvi on Twitter: @zameermusic

Zameer’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/zameermusic