There’s something refreshing about Abid Rahman, aka Abrzy.
He is, as they say, one to watch - a boy born in Bangladesh and as Wellingtonians as Peter Jackson and Cuba Street, in his entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm. His rap name is inspired by his hometown. “I guess we live in a Windy city - it makes sense!” he laughs. Rapping about his desire to make it big, his opportunities at living in New Zealand and why he's grateful for his ability to do what he wants, Abrzy is an optimist with purpose.
Abrzy moved to Wellington from Bangladesh when he was a young boy. “All our family are still over there” he explains. “It’s like a war zone - it’s pretty terrible. I think my hometown was named the least liveable city in the world, the polar opposite to Wellington. As an outsider, it puts New Zealand’s problems into perspective.”
His family moved to New Zealand for him. “My family moved for a better future for me. My Dad met someone from Auckland in Bangladesh and he encouraged him to move to New Zealand and offered to help us out” Abrzy explains. “We started off there but now I love Wellington. It's the ideal place and my music are inspired by it. With the changes in technology and the internet, you don’t need to live in a big city to get your music out.”
Abrzy went to school at Onslow College where he found his desire to be creative and to rap. “I never studied music, except for the flute when I was young - not the classic party instrument” Abrzy explains. “After school, when I was 17, I would go home and practice rapping every night, to instrumental tracks of songs by Eminem and all my heroes. I practised, practised and practised. When I was 19 I made a mixtape but then at university, I found life got to busy. I just stopped and didn’t pick it up again until I finished studying and was working. You need some time to sort yourself out before you can create.”
Abrzy studied accountancy and commercial law. He now works at Xero in the day, and is undertaking further study through his chartered accountancy. “I just want to have that in the bag - and then I’ll never study again. Everything I’ve done has made me who I am today.”
In 2017, Abrzy performed the biggest gigs he’d ever done, taking his live performances to the next level, and allowing him to open for international artists such as Kid Ink, Tinie Tempah, Lil Yachty, and Bliss n Eso.“Being on stage was amazing. I met Tiny Tempah and he was just a really cool guy. I read about these guys - and them meeting them is like seeing your dreams come to life.” So how did he get the gig? “I just emailed the promoter and told him why I should be the supporting slot.” Abrzy says. “This year my goal is to get 100,000 streams and I am around 61,000 at May, so I am charging ahead.”
Followers and likes aren’t important to Abrzy. “Only the music matters,” says Abrzy. “You need to make it meaningful!”
While Abrzy sometimes struggles to fit it all in, he won’t be dampened. “You only get two days off a week after work, and I always ask ‘Do I hang with friends or do I make my art?’ At the end of the day, I don’t want to get to 30 and worry I didn’t rap more. When I’m 30, I can chill and be like ‘I’ve done all I can.’” Abrzy explains. Some people have a real short path and others have a longer path. You don’t know how long your path is until you walk down it.”
Abrzy admits the music is ‘a young man's game’ and at 25 is conscious he wants to go and get it now. “This is the perfect time in my life” he says.
Why Wellington? “This city literally has everything I could ever want; my friends are here, my family is here, my memories are here, my music is here. I can’t think of another city with that much on offer. What’s here is real. What’s here is important. My heart is here and the music is in the city.