Riz Ahmed struggles with labels

Riz Ahmed struggles with labels


Riz Ahmed struggles to label himself as an “artist”.

The ‘Sound of Metal’ star has confessed he struggles with imposter syndrome but is finally learning to accept his title as an artist and embrace his success.

He said: “I guess my sense is that labels can be useful to explain things to other people, but it can sometimes be unhelpful in freeing you up.

“I guess the biggest label that I’ve been shrinking from for most of my adult life is that of an ‘artist’. The imposter syndrome that people have. There will always be perceived notions of what you should be doing. That’s why for a long time I had to suppress my own creative curiosity and put my work at the service of what my community and the public might need. Now I’ve grown more comfortable in saying that I’m an artist. I’m trying to express myself and trust that if I can name my own pain and my own joy, then it’ll be healing for other people. The praise can be the jetfuel, but it can’t be my GPS. My own creative animal has to be.”

However, the 38-year-old actor feels everyone needs a little bit of imposter syndrome as it provides “encouragement” to take things to the next level.

Speaking to i-D magazine, he added: “You need the imposter syndrome, that feeling that someone might tap you on the shoulder and ask you to leave at any moment. You need that encouragement to take the next step, but don’t want to believe it to the extent you put your feet up.”