Roots: The Unique Story of Amir Panahi

Culture and music so often take a back seat in our lives, even though they are important to our own psychology so it is noteworthy that Amir Panahi developed his passion for Iranian music into a successful business concept?

Amir Panahi has been a successful business executive who has worked all across Europe and the Middle East. However, his passion has long been music; most especially music from his home country in Iran. He has a vision and passion for the region’s musical legacy and has the ambition to bring it to a wider audience events through concerts in the UK and across Europe in 2024.

EP and Amir came together, through the introduction of an experienced International lawyer, who felt that EP could support Amir’s ambition. As EP is always seeking to explore and engage communities and break down traditional barriersand thinking, there seemed to be a natural alliance to be developed. Furthermore, setting politics aside, there is a rea interest in the history, culture and story of the region. Many want to experience and learn about the food styles, history and cultural legacies of the country.

One of Amir’s hopes is that by sharing an insight into Iranian culture, it will help create stronger understanding and create space for all people, from across the world, to appreciate the traditional and modern music styles to emerge from the country. This is becoming a key theme in many discussions today; how culture and art is something does transcend the tensions of life, is bigger than these and has more meaning; that there should be a celebration to see art forms, whether music or art, be shared for all global audiences. It is so true that art, music, fables and food do bring people together in a positive way and create better understanding.

Amir’s story too is an important one was it is of a very able man who focused first on his education and then business career but, over time, has evolved his life so that there was a closer alignment between his passions and his work life. We often write about the need to reinvent oneself throughout a career and Amir is a good example of how this can be achieved. One of the common debates in society is how many creative talents have been lost by the way many systems do not encourage the creative skills but instead channel on core disciplines. It is often only the most passionate who find their path to work using their creative talents.

When asked what the driving factor for Amir Panahi was to embark on his new interest in developing Iranian music festivals, Amir recounts having long had a passion for music since an early age, but he explains, as was culturally common during his childhood, he was told to focus on more academicstudies and professions although music was always there and he kept learning Iranian Classical Music and Persian instrument called Tar in his early age and then Persian music harmony with big names and masters in Iran. Amir mentions how music remained as an important fact throughout his life and that it is this passion which he is now utilising to move forward with his new projects within his platform called ARTCORNERPLATFORM.

Whilst pursuing a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering, Master’s in MIS and a PhD in Bio economy and then laterworking as a business analysist or development manager with names such as Honeywell, TATA Power, Philips, etc. Amircontinued his connection with many people who shared his passion for music. It is the maintenance of these friendships which has acted as a catalyst for his music business.

After nearly 20 years working focused on business analysisand development, Amir mentions a recognition that it was time to follow his dreams and time to pursue a new avenue. He founded his company Art Corner platform; a platform to influence taste and deliver new perspectives on the music industry. Art corner platform is attempting to create links between audience and artists to share works which link to tradition, identity, and Iranian music.

The Covid pandemic allowed Amir the time to reflect and plan ahead and he has used his time wisely, gradually building a programme which is now crossing International boundaries.

Like all new business ventures there are challenges. This new project has allowed Amir an opportunity to learn from challenges in the past and create a business plan which attempts to share culture and music with people all over the world.

Interestingly, during our discussion, Amir mentions that he feels that the need for this platform is even more poignant in the current era where there is such a large amount of content, yet a lack of art, music and culture which is of considerable note. He mentions that through sharing the Iranian culture there is room for people all over the world to appreciate a new, undiscovered artform.

Amir believes that currently we are all overwhelmed with entertainment content, but true art and mastery are lacking in much of this. His mission is to influence the listening culture of audiences, to change perspectives on art and develop a depth of appreciation for music forms

Interestingly, Amir comments on how the industry is changing due to individuals possessing a want to feel more connected to different cultures, as well as growth in the number of people interested in learning through music, art,and culture. There is evidence of people being more interested in investing in memorable and meaningful experiences within industry in recent years, and this again is evident within music and culture.

EP Business in hospitality is working closely with Amir and ARTCORNERPLATFORM to host a series of events in 2024 showcasing Iranian music and culture.