Save the Arctic with song
Rishi Deva on music management, Al Gore and a UN treaty
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