in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ivan Barbotin began playing guitar at 10.
Within a couple of years, he formed the rock band Sphinx which soon won
the "Soviet Union's Best Youth Band" competition. At 16, he joined
Russia's celebrated rock band Forum as lead guitarist, where he was half the age of the other musicians.
With Forum he toured the
country to sold-out audiences and became
Laureate of the Song of the Year Festival in 1989, a career-launching
annual TV event.
After moving to Canada in 1990, Ivan turned his attention away from
music for a decade, during which time he studied languages and linguistics. He also
worked as a video editor at Leafs TV and NBA TV Canada. Ivan
eventually returned to music and began working as a full time film and