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One of Russia’s Richest Men Has Become a Trip-Hop Music Artist

Igor Rybakov / Facebook

Igor Rybakov co-founded a roofing-supply company in Russia in the 1990s, becoming one of the country’s youngest billionaires. He stepped back four years ago to focus on managing his fortune and philanthropy.

His latest endeavor is music. Rybakov, 47, released his debut album this month devoted to his wife Ekaterina. The five-track work mixes elements of trip-hop and pop, with songs about yearnings for love, faith and happiness — a typically Russian mix of romanticism and nostalgia.

“Music stimulates intellectual activity that helps me to search and discover new business opportunities,” Rybakov said in a phone interview. The tycoon spent about $45,500 for its production and plans to release another album this year.

He can afford it.

Rybakov continues to benefit from his company, Technonicol, which he co-founded with Sergei Kolesnikov when the two were roommates at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. The business brought in 94 billion rubles ($1.4 billion) of revenue in 2018, up 18% from a year earlier. Kolesnikov continues to run the business.

In 2015, Rybakov started a foundation to focus on developing Russian education. He also owns SOK, a space-sharing real estate company, and has investments in the Prytek fund with $170 million under management.

He isn’t the only Russian billionaire who dabbles in music. Mikhail Gutseriev, 61, writes poems and song lyrics for local pop-stars. Revenue at his petroleum-products producer Neftisa has almost doubled since 2014.

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