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Being in the Musical Moment

One musician's pandemic pivot and how it made him a better singer songwriter.

“My mom told me that I was practically born with drumsticks in my hands,” said Mike Rizzi of how he got started in the music industry. “I started to take lessons when I was three years old and I knew how to play drums before I fully knew how to recite the alphabet!”  A musician and an entrepreneur, Mike’s first band, Uncle Jam had a collection of original music which was recorded in two weeks, packaged, and sold to his fellow students out of his high school locker.  “The satisfaction in playing the songs we created to 500 screaming kids changed my life instantly,” said Mike. “I had discovered my place in the world and I never have looked back!”

“As most musicians know, the industry can surprise you at any time and it can drastically change without notice,” said Mike.  As a response to the global pandemic, Mike, as so many other musicians did, began to focus on his own music and dove headfirst into his work.  “I immediately started writing and recoding my second solo album Departures and Arrivals,” said Mike.  “I am extremely excited about it and so thankful to be able to create from my home studio in Smyrna.”  Over the last year Mike has focused on being a better songwriter and with over twenty-five songs that he is currently working on, he is certainly making the most of his time.  “We’ve all witnessed a world without live entertainment and it became uncomfortably quiet for all of us; if 2020 can’t stop creatives, nothing will.”

With well over 30 years of touring and preforming the drums, Mike’s new role as a singer songwriter is a big change for him and has opened him to a new world of possibilities.

“I’d love to have the opportunity to tour worldwide with my solo band,” said Mike; to be able to connect with different faces each night, singing my words back to me and knowing my message effected people for the better, would be the ultimate compliment. 

Mike Rizzi has been a sitting on the Board of Directors of the Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter since 2018, first as an advisor and then as a governor. “Atlanta is a special place when it comes to music and the arts,” said mike. I’m am proud to be a voice with my respected peers as we advocate for the future of professional musicians here in Georgia.”  As much as Mike is working on the bigger picture he is also “always willing to help the believer.”  “I tell aspiring artists not to be afraid to fail or fall because it is the best way to learn, said Mike.  “Experience is key and it also shows how committed you are to success; I encourage everyone to learn about everything.”

When not tucked away in his home studio Mike can be found walking along the Silver Comet Trail typically singing into his cell phone and recording new lyrics or humming a new melody for one of those new songs that he is working on.  It is not surprising that when Mike needs to unwind that he is drawn to other creatives.  “I personally love Atkins Park.  They are always creating new original dishes, Chef Rusty Hamlin is a dear friend and I am grateful that he is close by,” Said Mike. “You will find me there very soon either eating, having a few drinks, or even on stage.”

To learn more about Mike Rizzi please visit: RizziMusic.com

"I do enjoy stepping out form behind the drum kit and singing. It is a thrill. In a perfect world, I'd love to look back and see one of my favorite drummers holding it down for me."

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