Zeeshan Zaidi

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Zeeshan Zaidi
Born Zeeshan Zaidi
(1974-08-26) August 26, 1974 (age 43)
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Nationality American
Education Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, Harvard University
Occupation Musician, Songwriter, Producer, Entrepreneur, Digital Media Executive
Known for The Commuters, Host Committee

Zeeshan Hussain Zaidi (born August 26, 1974) is an American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, and singer-songwriter living in New York City, USA. He is also an internet entrepreneur. He is the lead vocalist, songwriter, guitarist, and founder of The Commuters, an alternative rock band. He is the co-founder and President of Host Committee, Inc., a social media-based nightlife and event production service.[1] Zaidi held executive positions at Sony BMG Music Entertainment,[1] RCA Music Group [2] and Arista Records before he joined LimeWire as Chief Operating Officer.[3] Zaidi is also a member of the New York State Bar Association and is involved in public policy and international affairs as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Zaidi was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada to parents originally from Pakistan. His family moved to Manila, the Philippines when he was 5, and he studied at the International School Manila until graduating from high school. Zaidi then moved to the United States to attend Harvard University, where he graduated in 1996 with an AB in Economics, Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. He then attended Harvard Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctor (JD) cum laude in 2000, and Harvard Business School, graduating with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with honors in 2000. He was enrolled in the JD/MBA program at Harvard. He became a naturalized American in 2010 and has said that "America is the country that owed me nothing and gave me everything".[5]

Musical career[edit]

While an undergraduate in Cambridge, MA, Zaidi worked as a producer and engineer, producing the first demo for Grammy-nominated R&B artist Ryan Leslie. In 1998, while at law school, Zaidi won the Grammy Entertainment Law Initiative award [6] from the GRAMMY Foundation. After graduating, Zaidi moved to New York City and worked in the music industry for major labels as a creative and business executive, including VP of New Ventures for Sony BMG Music Entertainment,[1] VP of Digital Business Operations for the RCA Music Group [2] and Sr. Director of Marketing at Arista Records, where he helped develop the careers of artists such as Sarah McLachlan,[7] Avril Lavigne, Usher, Pink and OutKast.

The Commuters[edit]

After leaving Sony, Zaidi started work on a solo music project. He collaborated with his childhood friend from the Philippines, Uri Djemal, a New York-based producer, to co-produce the songs Zaidi had written. Before releasing the album, Zaidi decided to form a band and asked Djemal to join. The two then recruited bassist Ben Zwerin and drummer Paul Amorese. The Commuters' first single "As I Make My Way" was released on August 23, 2011. The music video was added to mtvU on September 23, 2011.[8] The Commuters were the Artist of the Week for Channel One News in December 12, 2011.[9] On March 28, 2012, Pure Volume selected "Rescue" as its "Song of the Day".[10] Their debut album Rescue was released on 17th, 2012. The band and Zaidi were also featured by Guitar World [11] and DAWN.[5]

Technology career[edit]

After leaving Sony Music Entertainment, Zaidi worked at multiple technology companies, including serving as Chief Operating Officer of Selectable Media and Limewire,[3] before starting Host Committee in 2011.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Zeeshan Zaidi Executive Profile", Bloomberg Businessweek, Retrieved on April 11, 2013
  2. ^ a b "RCA Names Digital Biz Exec, Zaidi takes VP post.", Billboard (Magazine), Retrieved on April 17, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Karevets, David. "LimeWire Begs Music Industry for Second Chance", WIRED, USA May 25, 2010.
  4. ^ "Council on Foreign Relations Roster", Council on Foreign Relations, Retrieved on April 11, 2013
  5. ^ a b Ali Kully, Sadef. "America owed me nothing, gave me everything", DAWN, Pakistan, December 12, 2012. Retrieved on January 15, 2013
  6. ^ "Entertainment Law Initiative list of winners", GRAMMY Foundation, Retrieved on April 9, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Web's most intriguing music-related destinations. This week: Sarah McLachlan and Mantra Girl", Billboard, Retrieved on April 17, 2013.
  8. ^ "The Commuters Make There [sic] Way To A Freshmen Victory", mtvU, USA, September 23, 2011. Retrieved on January 9, 2013.
  9. ^ "Hear it NOW— The Commuters", Channel One News, USA, December 12, 2011. Retrieved on January 11, 2013.
  10. ^ Coluccio, Alyssa. "The Commuters' Rescue -- Song of the Day", Pure Volume, USA, March 28, 2012. Retrieved on January 13, 2013
  11. ^ Hart, Josh. "The Commuters Giving Away Free Download of "As I Make My Way", Guitar World, USA, March 6, 2012. Retrieved on January 20, 2013.
  12. ^ Holson, Laura. "A Night Life Veteran Bets on Social Media", The New York Times, USA, November 28, 2012.

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