Designer Rohit Suraj forays into music with band Sirius

Sirius is a bunch of like-minded folks with passion for good music and for sharing it with others.


Photo Credit : Warren Douglas Robey,

Music leaves its imprint on the soul through the center of emotions and feelings. The specific energy which lies in the nature of music can be formed & expressed in two parts; place and space.

Music was first created to inspire the soul, so it has a quality that directly affects the heart. It’s one of those dichotomies that always comes up and sometimes the relationship seems a bit contrived. No doubt, many respected architects have talked about the equation between the two: Vitruvius, Libeskind, Xenakis. But to think about these two things in a different way than these three, it’s certainly not the first time that someone has tackled this question.

Rohit Suraj, founder of Hyderabad-based Urban Zen has added yet another feather to his illustrious cap. He is now a founding member and the lead vocalist of the band SIRIUS and discusses the various reasons why many architects have a connection with music, and many are even performing musicians.

Music and architecture have a deep connection, and this is something that has been acknowledged centuries ago. In fact, Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio has written a treatise, where he compares and likens the proportions of rooms to harmonic ratios in music. Apart from the fact that both are extremely creative disciplines, there are other similarities too. Both run on intuition, gut feeling, or that indefinable quality which immediately lets a musician or a designer know what would work, be it in a melody or a design, and what would be out of place. Both evoke emotions and both involve taking risks. Both exemplify beauty and elevate the human spirit. It’s little wonder then that so many musicians started off as architects. It’s only fitting that the people who were behind the iconic “The Wall”— Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright of Pink Floyd — met as students at architecture school. Others who dabbled in the discipline include Art Garfunkel, Seal, John Denver, Ice Cube, just to name a few.

Sirius is a bunch of like-minded folks with a passion for good music and for sharing it with others. Neha and Rohit are on the Lead Vocals, Alan has Percussion and Backing Vocals, David is the Lead Guitarist. Vijit is on the Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals and Robin on the Keyboard & Backing Vocals.

Alan is the big daddy of the group. He is drummer Sivamani’s contemporary and they both go back many years. He has also played for and with A.R. Rehman and S.P. Balasubramaniam, amongst others. Vijit works with Deloitte and both Robin and David teach music at leading international schools. Neha is a full-time musician and has been on the live circuit for the past few years.

Right from the time when Rohit was a child, he found comfort & solace in music. ‘I've always found that music moves my soul’, he says. But with the way we lead our lives in the present day, we give ourselves very little me-time. It’s important to find something meaningful to do that will

help us unwind. For some it’s a sport, for some it's gardening, for others it’s cooking! For him, it had to be music. So he told himself, ‘why not start a band?’ Meeting the other band members had a lot to do with chance and fortitude as it was mostly their common interest that brought them together. Vijit and Rohit go back many years as they’ve jammed together a few times in the past. But it was when he met Alan that got him to believe that they finally had someone with enough experience to see that they got this right. Through Alan, he further got to know Neha, Robin, and David. The band members believe the single purpose of their performance is to "elevate the human spirit" and to that purpose and our audience they will remain true. "Give into the groove" is not only the tag line for SIRIUS, in many ways, but it is also their approach to what they do, both with music and otherwise.

For now, they wish to become a leading act in the city. Original covers, own compositions, and being more technology-driven, given the new age music around, is a strong focus. So who knows, you might find them at the top of the charts at No. 1 someday!

So when one thinks of music and architecture they don’t think of one influencing an outcome of the other but rather what they can learn from one and how to incorporate it into our thinking about the other. The transitions and the qualities of each section are what often makes music so experiential. As a designer, one can experience space in a deeper way than everyone else & responds to subtle changes & be sensitive to spatial characteristics in ways that most people would not understand. When they move through space it’s a constant journey of discovery, even though it may be a place that they are familiar with.

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