Interview: Carmen Rizzo


Last week I reached to a musician who has had an interesting career exploring music. Carmen Rizzo is on the cutting edge of music production and collaboration with many talented artists across the globe. His insight into music has been substantial and I was fortunate to learn more about his simple progress in the space.

I asked Carmen how all this music began for him. “I always did music as a young child but stopped for a while to pursue playing baseball, but then around 18-19 [years old I] got back into music, when I knew I was not going to be a pro baseball player.” Well, I for one am glad that music became his thing.

Carmen has been producing music for a long time and has some amazing experiences with various artists of the genre. “Some of my most proud work is not always the biggest hits, besides my own artist records I would say not in any order but the work I have done with Grant Lee Phillips, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Seal & Niyaz and some of my remixes, like Coldplay [and] AR Rahman.” Wow, what a list! I was impressed to read through his broad list of musical colleagues. It seems like he has worked with everyone.

Performance spaces have been well sought after by Mr. Rizzo. In fact, he has some favorites and future ambitions for his next exploration. “Well, performing at [the] Hollywood Bowl three times was a great thrill, and some of the exotic places I performed with my Niyaz band like India, Morocco, and [the] Montreal Jazz festival… I really want to do a museum installation somewhere where I could almost score thematic [music] to an art installation.” I can see his work fitting in beautifully at The Whitney Museum, the new one right on the High Line. How perfect would his music be surrounded by all that great art overlooking a sunset on the Hudson? Museum visitors and High Line travellers would have a blast during that show.

Shows for Carmen have not been without some challenges. “Any performance where you don’t fit in is really hard, i.e. where the crowd has no idea who you are or style of music [you are playing], but when you win them over it is the most satisfying feeling.” He even elaborated a bit on his views with the music world today. “What music world, does it exist? Ha. That is a novel [that] cannot be answered in one question. It is not about selling music but getting it heard. I hope I am always exploring many things in my life, I really love music and technology, but I am most interested in music from different regions of the world, regardless of style, just how cultures shape music is really interesting to me.”

My favorite song of Carmen’s is Through The Storm. I asked if he would change anything about his music nowadays. “… Well, I would like to go through some of my old records and delete some songs, ha. I want to go darker, more ambient and [with] less vocals.”

Luckily, this man keeps himself busy. “[I am] always making music and producing others, but my next personal album will be under a different name and [I] want to go back to some deeper ethnic elements and even more electronic [styles].” I look forward to that. To get inspired, please take a listen to his work and be impressed. I think you will all have something to enjoy from it.


Jam On.


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