Star Spot with Shahed Mohseni, founder and director of the intercontinental music awards, and award winning musician
Overcoming Challenges and Pursuing Musical Dreams: An Inspiring Interview with Founder of InterContinental Music Awards, Shahed Mohseni
Welcome to this episode of Star Spot! I’m Merry, and in this series, I interview InterContinental Music Awards winners and insiders, bringing you exclusive insights into the music industry. Today, I’m thrilled to have with me Shahed Mohseni Zonoozi, Founder, director and member of the judging panel of the InterContinental Music Awards.
As a prominent figure in the music industry, Shahed Mohseni’s passion for multi-cultural art activities have paved the way for a global celebration of exceptional talent. Originally from Iran and base in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, Shahed Mohseni is an award-winning artist and multimedia producer. His musical journey began at the tender age of eight when he discovered the mesmerizing melodies of the Santoor, an Iranian traditional instrument. Fuelled by his love for music composition, audio recording, and boundless creativity, Shahed’s talent flourished, resulting in five patented inventions and numerous accolades in invention and innovation-related festivals.
While pursuing his higher education, Shahed Mohseni delved into diverse fields, immersing himself in Information Technology, Music Composition, Sound Engineering, and Video Production. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the prestigious Southern Cross University in Australia in 2009. Shahed then embarked on an international educational odyssey, acquiring two master’s degrees in information systems and visual Arts from the esteemed Eastern Mediterranean University.
Shahed Mohseni’s artistic prowess transcends borders, as evidenced by his collaborations with esteemed orchestras such as the Hoora Guitar Orchestra and the Violet Symphonic Orchestra in his native Iran. Inspired by his experiences in multicultural environments and his interactions with talented artists from around the world, Shahed Mohseni took the bold step in 2011 to establish the InterContinental Concert Series (ICC), a platform that would later evolve into the InterContinental Music Awards (ICMA). Today, Shahed continues to spearhead ICMA, dedicated to recognizing and promoting exceptional artists from diverse backgrounds while embracing values that uplift humanity.
Recognized for his remarkable achievements, Shahed has been featured as a multi-talented DIY artist in Music Connection Magazine . His outstanding talent also earned him a place among the Hot 100 Live Unsigned Artists. His contributions to the field of art have been acknowledged by the United States Government, granting him Permanent Resident status through the EB-1 category for Extraordinary Ability.
In this interview, Shahed will share his insights into the challenges he has faced, the inspirations that drive his artistic endeavors, and the remarkable journey that led him to establish the InterContinental Music Awards. Get ready to be inspired by the vision and passion of this exceptional individual, whose dedication to music competition and the global music community knows no bounds.
Let’s dive right into the interview summary and tap into Shahed’s vast knowledge and experience. The full interview is available on Instagram – click here to check it out.
Could you please introduce yourself briefly to those who are just now joining us?
Sure, my full name is Shahed Mohseni Zonoozi, and I originally hail from Iran. Since 2016, I have been based in Los Angeles. I consider myself an entrepreneur, always seeking opportunities to create valuable and innovative products and services. Although I have been involved in various projects, ranging from inventing and designing engines for industrial use to developing mobile applications, my main focus and recognition revolve around my music activities.
Music holds immense importance in my life, and I have dedicated myself to the InterContinental Music Awards and collaborating with international artists. I am known as both an entrepreneur and a musician, and it’s been a fulfilling and busy journey across all aspects of my work.
What inspired you to start InterContinental Music Awards? When and where did it begin?
That’s a great question, and I have some exciting news to share! We are about to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the InterContinental Music Awards with our upcoming award ceremony this Sunday! It’s a significant milestone for us, and we’re thrilled to invite everyone to join us online via Zoom at 12 p.m. Los Angeles time. Just visit the site and you’ll find the banner with the registration links in the bio. We can’t wait to see you there!
Now, back to your question about what inspired me to start ICMA. My passion for music has been with me since childhood. Even when I was in kindergarten, I would take the stage, holding a microphone, and sing. As I grew older, I felt a strong desire to learn various aspects of media production, including photography, videography, and editing. I couldn’t explain why at the time, but I knew it was important for my creative growth.
In 2010, I made the decision to continue my education in computer science and left my home country of Iran to study at Eastern Mediterranean University on the beautiful island of Cyprus. This was a transformative experience for me as I had the opportunity to meet people from different parts of the world, each with their own unique cultures and music. Attending their events and listening to their music filled me with excitement.
I realized that although these communities were separate, I could bring them together through a project. Drawing on my background in music and media, I began contacting artists and organizing concerts. The response from the audience was fantastic, and each year, the activity grew bigger and more successful.
Under the name InterContinental Concert Series, we aimed to unite artists from various continents. As the project expanded, I recognized the need to further enhance my own skills as a producer and explore new opportunities. This led me to move to Los Angeles in the United States to study music business and find ways to expand the organization.
Today, ICMA has evolved into an online platform that allows us to work and connect with artists from around the world. Previously, we focused mainly on local and international artists in our immediate vicinity, but now we can collaborate with talents across borders. It’s been an incredible journey, and that’s the condensed version of how it all began.
InterContinental Music Awards has experienced tremendous growth over the years. How do you feel about its success and the support it has received?
The growth of InterContinental Music Awards has been truly remarkable, and I’m incredibly proud of how far we’ve come. It has become a platform that showcases and introduces artists from all corners of the world, making it truly amazing. I must emphasize that this success was not possible without the support of many individuals who have been involve in the management, promotion, and overall execution of the awards.
From the artists who have participated to the dedicated individuals who have contributed their time and expertise, I am immensely grateful for their support. While I initiated and led the project, it is important to acknowledge the collaborative effort that has made it a reality. Together, we have created something extraordinary, and I am honored to have such a dedicated team and community behind me. Their contributions have been invaluable to the success of the InterContinental Music Awards.
What would you say is your proudest accomplishment throughout your career?
Without a doubt, my proudest accomplishment would have to be the InterContinental Music Awards. Over the past 10 years, I have dedicated myself fully to this project, and it has been an incredible journey. Through ICMA, I have had the privilege of connecting with numerous artists, collaborating with them, and organizing unforgettable concerts.
In recent years, we have expanded our efforts by providing music business courses tailored for artists who are geographically distant from industry hubs like Los Angeles. We also implemented a mentorship program to guide aspiring talents. Witnessing the impact, we have made on the community and seeing how these artists apply the knowledge and guidance we provide fills me with immense pride.
The InterContinental Music Awards has not only allowed me to pursue my passion for music but has also become a platform for empowering artists and nurturing their careers. It’s a constant source of joy and satisfaction to know that our work has a positive influence on the music industry as a whole.
The music industry has undergone significant changes and faced numerous challenges in recent years. What are your thoughts on these changes? Are they positive or negative?
The music industry has indeed experienced a tremendous transformation. Largely due to advancements in technology and the emergence of new opportunities. When I reflect on the changes that have occurred over the past 20 to 25 years, it’s evident that musicians now have far more options than ever before. Gone are the days when signing with a record label was the only path to success. Independent artists now have the means to work on their terms, promote their music, and connect with fans.
While it’s important to acknowledge the challenges that come with these changes, I prefer to focus on the positive aspects. The availability of technology allows artists to forge genuine connections with their dedicated fanbase. Unlike traditional radio, where music reached a broad but potentially disinterested audience, artists can now target specific individuals who resonate with their genre and style. Platforms such as cable TV, satellite radio, and social media offer opportunities to engage directly with the right audience.
However, it’s crucial to understand our target audience thoroughly to make the most of these opportunities. Effectively utilizing promotional and marketing budgets requires a deep understanding of who our fans are and how to engage with them. In this era of intense market competition, it’s necessary to adopt a strategic approach.
Speaking of social media, while it provides access to a wide audience, leveraging its potential goes beyond simply creating ads or using standard tools. It requires a specialized skill set and experience. I strongly encourage independent artists to invest time in learning and mastering these platforms, as they can be invaluable vehicles for connecting with fans and building a dedicated following.
What advice do you have for aspiring musicians who want to kickstart their music career? Where should they begin?
Starting a music career can be an exciting yet challenging journey. Here’s the advice I would give to those who are eager to embark on this path:
Learn and Observe: Education plays a crucial role in developing your skills as a musician. Take the time to learn as much as you can about music theory, history, and the technology used in music production. Additionally, observe established artists and study their performances. Attend live concerts, watch videos on platforms like YouTube, and analyze how successful musicians engage with their audience and deliver captivating performances. This knowledge will help shape your own artistic style.
Embrace the History: Familiarize yourself with the rich history of music. Explore different genres, eras, and influential artists. Understanding the evolution of music will broaden your creative palette and inspire you to experiment with various styles. Incorporating elements from different eras can make your music unique and appealing.
Trust Your Ideas: It may sound unconventional, but don’t hesitate to pursue your ideas even if you feel you lack sufficient knowledge or expertise at the beginning. Sometimes, overanalyzing can hinder progress. Trust your instincts and let your passion drive you. As you delve deeper into your project, you can acquire the necessary skills and knowledge along the way. This unwavering belief in your vision will keep you motivated and committed to your music career.
Remember, embarking on a music career requires dedication, perseverance, and continuous learning. Embrace the journey, stay open to new opportunities, and never stop honing your craft.
Everybody goes through challenges and difficult times in their career. Can you share some of the challenges you have faced?
Absolutely, I have encountered my fair share of challenges throughout my career. One of the major hurdles I faced, particularly as an immigrant, was the process of settling down in the United States. Achieving my goal of living and working here required a lengthy journey that spanned multiple countries. Navigating the complexities of immigration and visa procedures demanded considerable resources and meticulous attention to detail. It involved extensive paperwork, document filing, and meticulous preparation, which consumed a significant amount of time and energy.
The uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the immigration process posed a significant challenge. It left me wondering whether I would be able to stay and establish my ideas and business in the United States. This uncertainty, although more personal in nature, inevitably impacted my work and business endeavors. However, I remained determined and resilient, refusing to let these challenges impede my progress.
Despite the obstacles, I persevered and continued to pursue my passions and projects. I firmly believe that challenges are opportunities for growth and learning. They test our resolve and push us to find creative solutions. I am grateful that these challenges did not deter me from pursuing my dreams, and I emerged stronger and more resilient as a result.
Shahed Mohseni Contact Info:
- Website: https://www.shahedmohseni.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shahed_mohseni/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shahed.mohsenizonoozi
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shahedmohseni/
Click here to watch Shahed Mohseni ‘s full interview on Instagram
InterContinental Music Awards Team