Chris Rizik isn't content to just be one of the area's leading venture capitalists -- he recently launched a new fund, Ardesta I
, with long-time collaborator Rick Snyder.
The lifelong music fan noticed a dearth of good on-line information about classic soul artists so, in 2003, he began building SoulTracks
, a website that has since grown to house a stable of twelve writers. Considered to be the top soul music website in the nation, SoulTracks averages 100,000 visitors and 250,000 page views per month.
The site has since evolved to include coverage of active artists that are influenced by classic acts. "This music doesn't get much play on the radio or coverage in the mainstream press," says Rizik. "But it's a fast-growing movement, mostly with fans in their thirties and forties."
A couple of years ago, Rizik began asking readers to vote for their favorite artists and records. This year, that concept is taking the leap from a virtual format to a live one, with the inaugural Readers' Choice Awards to be held in Detroit on November 16.
The event will feature performances from seven finalists including Maysa and Kloud 9. It is being held in conjunction with the Urban Organic
Festival, which adds more concerts as well as a film festival to the weekend roster. "This will give lots of people from outside Detroit more reasons to come to Detroit," says Rizik. "It's a great music town."
Rizik is already looking ahead to growing the event into an yearly happening. "We think there is a big appetite for this to be an annual thing," he says.
A limited number of tickets are available on-line at GrooveTickets
.Source: Chris Rizik, SoulTracksWriter: Kelli B. Kavanaugh