Save the Arc­tic with song

Rishi Deva on mu­sic man­age­ment, Al Gore and a UN treaty

North York Post - - Life - by Sarah Kidd

I had a lot of ex­po­sure to mu­sic that was do­ing well in Europe.”

To lis­ten to Rishi Deva talk about his work is to hear an in­spired and driven man. Deva says he al­ways lis­tens to his heart, and the ca­reer that has de­vel­oped from that mantra com­bines his love of mu­sic, his artist man­age­ment skills and his de­sire to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment.

Deva’s pas­sion for mu­sic be­gan at an early age, when he was grow­ing up in Eng­land, and fol­lowed him when his fam­ily moved to Toronto.

“I had a lot of ex­po­sure to mu­sic that was do­ing well in Europe, be­fore any­body knew of it in North Amer­ica and cer­tainly in New­ton­brook,” he says. “I knew a lot of artists be­fore they were pop­u­lar.” After grad­u­at­ing from New­ton­brook Se­condary School, Deva went on to post-se­condary and com­pleted a BBA in ac­count­ing and MBA in mar­ket­ing.

After univer­sity, Deva worked for a small record la­bel in Toronto and gained valu­able in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore start­ing Kupid Records, his own record la­bel and artist man­age­ment com­pany .

Over his ca­reer, Deva has worked with Prince, the Grate­ful Dead, Tri­umph, Feist and Ar­cade Fire. But one artist in par­tic­u­lar has had a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on Deva’s work: Par­vati, a chart-top­ping Cana­dian artist and en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivist.

“She is an in­cred­i­ble per­son who is pas­sion­ate about the planet and so tal­ented,” he says. “She’s able to con­nect with peo­ple on a very unique level.”

United by their love for mu­sic and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, Par­vati and Deva have col­lab­o­rated to­gether on sig­nif­i­cant cam­paigns and have trav­elled to the North Pole to raise aware­ness of melt­ing po­lar ice.

They have be­come cer­ti­fied Cli­mate Reality Lead­ers and were trained by Al Gore through his Cli­mate Reality Project. They bring this knowl­edge to their not-for­profit en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cacy group Par­vati.org. Their work with that not-for-profit put an end to Shell’s seis­mic test­ing in the Cana­dian Arc­tic.

Their new­est pas­sion project com­bines a love of mu­sic and the en­vi­ron­ment in an am­bi­tious cam­paign. Along with 12 friends, they are work­ing to es­tab­lish the Marine Arc­tic Peace Sanc­tu­ary (MAPS). This ini­tia­tive will cre­ate an in­ter­na­tional park to pre­vent the ex­ploita­tion of the Arc­tic.

“We’ve cre­ated an ad­den­dum to the United Na­tion’s Con­ven­tion on the Law of the Sea,” Deva ex­plains. “The treaty only re­quires 99 UN mem­ber states to sign, so we are work­ing to do that.”

To achieve their goal, Deva and Par­vati are plan­ning a five-day sym­po­sium in Toronto called NOW: New Or­ganic World, fea­tur­ing dig­ni­taries and celebrities, that will kick off a 24-month global aware­ness cam­paign for MAPS. Deva is also ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ing a star-stud­ded ben­e­fit con­cert in Lon­don, U.K. in 2018.

“My role is to bring to­gether the work that I do as an artist man­ager, while sup­port­ing a cause that re­ally im­pacts peo­ple’s lives — peo­ple that I will never meet,” he says.

Deva opened his own mu­sic busi­ness called Kupid Records

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