We had the good fortune of connecting with Katia Kianpour and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katia, why did you pursue a creative career?
Growing up I was always passionate about film and music. It was harder for me when I was going through school to get through the technical courses but any of the creative electives /classes I had would always make me the most excited and I would excel. I struggled growing up trying to understand my mind and what I was good at because a lot of the required academics I was told would benefit my life and career were things I was totally uninterested in. When I realized I could find creative positions and jobs to put myself into it helped me really find myself and who I wanted to be. I also learned that thinking creatively or being in a creative field makes you a better problem-solver, which has far-reaching benefits in both your work and personal life. Creative thinking helps us challenge our own assumptions, discover new things about ourselves and our perspectives. It helps us stay sharp, and even be more optimistic when it comes to our careers and every day lives. I loved film but I never saw myself as an actress. I realized I could work behind the scenes, work for the productions and put them together, produce them, edit them, learn how to story tell without ever having even said a word. I loved music but I never was a musician, I can not sing or play an instrument to save my life but I loved concerts, event coordinating, and going to shows. Putting all those experiences together and forming my small business Riot Night has been unbelievably rewarding. I develop all of my own marketing and videos to sell and create brand awareness. That helped tap into my film and production creativity goals. I also found a way to celebrate the music I love by basing the productions and marketing and brand around those songs and artists I grew up to and love. I don’t think I could ever fall into a different career path than being a creative. It is the most rewarding feeling to finally understand who you want to be. It leaves me inspired everyday to put together the best version of the brand I can. Like I’ve always said I’ll never throw a show I wouldn’t want to attend myself. I’m constantly learning and keeping my eyes open to new trends and creative opportunities to build my brand and learn how to better it each and every single time. The most important thing I’ve learned is to always keep an open mind and stay humble and grounded through all the ups and downs of your career. If you can do that, I promise, you will be successful.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Riot Night was founded by me and a close friend of mine from college who had always connected over our shared love of heavier music. Years later we reconnected and decided to throw a party at a local bar in Scottsdale to share our passion with the Arizona music scene. What sets us apart from other events like ours is we make it very intimate for the fans and artists by keeping our Emo parties at small 300 capacity club venues. A lot of the artists and bands we feature usually play larger venues or festivals behind barricades that provide little to no close interactions between them and their fans unless they upgrade or purchase VIP experiences. Our event basically is that VIP experience with artists that we love while we celebrate the songs we all love. I think that really has gotten us to where we are today. It’s a challenge to throw due to monetary restrictions. Because of the 300 capacity we can only sell so many tickets at a reasonable price before it gets too expensive. The ticket sales are what pays for the show. Wanting to keep throwing bigger and better shows definitely gets hard with the budget restrictions. My plan is to look into more sponsorship /partnership opportunities to be able to make up some of our expenses allowing us to continue to grow and throw exceptional events. With the monetary challenges we face and really understanding that it has become a lot easier for me to say “no.” At the beginning I was so excited about working with some of the artists that I took on more than I could chew. It definitely put me in a bind more times than none. I’ve learned to really step back and look at what I can do and stretch the budget restrictions I have as much as I can so that for the 4.5-5 hours we have people attending they are entertained and have the best evening they possibly can for their money’s worth. I want the world to know that without their support none of this is possible. Their attendance pays for it. If people continue to come out and rock out we will continue to throw these to our best possible ability. I am not done yet and I have an entire world of opportunity in our scene that I am hoping to work with one day. This is just the beginning.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Phoenix is such a fun and beautiful city. I am originally from Northern Virginia right outside Washington D.C. and I remember vividly when I first visted to Phoenix just stepping off the plane the landscape itself was so mind blowing to me. I had never seen a desert in person before in my life and my eyes had to really adjust to the reds and browns because I grew up in lush and greens. Also the horizon never ends here, it’s endless. Back east we have so many trees you can barely see farther than 6 feet in front of you. I’ve been living in Scottsdale for 3 years now and living in Phoenix 12 years overall. I would probably take them to all my divey fun bars and restaurants in Scottsdale then maybe up north a little toward Sedona to see the red rocks and some of the mountains in Flagstaff. Those are such fun and nearby cities to visit. Usually people from out of town enjoy seeing all the desert landscapes and red rocks. Phoenix is such a melting pot with so much to do. There’s nothing but great weather (unless we’re in the heat of summer) so it’s always easy to be outside or choose to attend places and events outside without worrying about weather. Living in Phoenix has been incredible and we’d have a really fun filled outdoorsy week.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to thank Rockbar in Scottsdale, Arizona for believing in the idea of Riot Night from its fruition 6 years ago. None of this would be possible without their support, their platform, and their establishment and staff helping us put together each and every one of the live events. This is not a one man show when all is said and done. Though I own the brand and the idea and create the production, it takes a village to put on these shows. Having Rockbar, their venue, their staff, partners, sponsors, and their owners support at every step has allowed us to take this from 25 people at the first show 6 years ago to 300+ sold out attendee events today. A huge thank you to Rockbar and everyone involved in making these parties happen.
Julius Aguilar Productions and TAG Photography