Siris (band)

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SIRIS
赛日
Siris.jpg
SIRIS - Patrick and Michael Maley
Background information
Origin Philadelphia, United States
Genres Rock
Progressive rock
Alternative rock
Pop
Years active 1996–present
Labels Run Hard Music
Members Michael Maley
Patrick Maley

SIRIS is the name of American music duo Michael and Patrick Maley.[1] Their name SIRIS was derived from two Chinese words "sai" 赛 and "ri" 日, meaning to surpass the sun. Hailing from the city of Philadelphia, the brothers are best known as the only western band in the world performing and composing their own original English and Chinese language songs.[2]

The beginning[edit]

The brothers began singing and writing music at an early age. During their teenage years they performed in local bands throughout the city of Philadelphia. Some of their major influences included Genesis, Sting, U2 and Tears for Fears.[3] In 1992, shortly after graduating highschool, Michael Maley moved to China to pursue his studies in Chinese at China's prestigious Fudan University. During that time, younger brother Patrick remained in America and continued his pursuit of music as a drummer.[2]

Chinese Influence[edit]

Siris' Chinese inspired music is due in large part to Michael's experiences in China. While living in China, he not only studied at Fudan but also worked as an English teacher and Chinese/English translator.[4] Michael's fluency in Chinese and strong martial arts background helped him gain notoriety in TV commercials and films. In 1994 he was featured in the Hong Kong produced martial arts movie The Green Hornet.[5] After his initial four-year stay in China, Michael returned to America and reunited with his brother Patrick. In 1996, the brothers returned to their musical roots and formed the band Siris. They adopted a unique multi-cultural approach to making music by melding influences from the east and west.[2]

Professional Career Highlights[edit]

1997 to 1999[edit]

Beginning with their 1997 debut Chinese EP entitled, "Till My Last Breath" (直到我最后一息) SIRIS became the first Western group in music history to record an original Chinese language album. The album was co-produced by Grammy nominated producer David Ivory.[4] In 1998 the brothers moved to Taiwan and Mainland China to promote the new album. Breaking new ground in the Chinese market would prove difficult. After a modicum of success in Asia, they returned to the United States in 1999.

2000 to 2003[edit]

The year 2000 was a turning point for SIRIS as the brothers returned to the studio to record their first English album "The Order Of Time".[2] That same year, they also formed their own record label and production company, "Run Hard Music". "The Order of Time" was a very progressive offering that stayed true to their musical roots. The album also managed to celebrate their Chinese influences, containing many Chinese references throughout. These references were evident on both the packaging and on three of the albums twelve tracks; including the progressive title track "The Order of Time", "Ma Ma Hu Hu" and their Chinese single "Beautiful Angel" 美丽的天使. "The Order of Time" was officially released and distributed worldwide in February 2001. While the record industry was facing new challenges from music downloads and online file sharing, Siris seized a new opportunity. On the strength of their English single, "My Love For You Will Always Be" and the albums' lone Chinese track "Beautiful Angel" 美丽的天使, SIRIS quickly jumped to the top of MP3.com's top 40 pop chart. "Beautiful Angel" broke the top 20, reaching number 11 and became the first Chinese song in MP3.com's history to enter the charts.[2] After more than 2 million downloads, 100,000 units sold and a string of successful performances, Siris' critically acclaimed English debut was an independent success.[2] In 2002, Music legend Adrian Belew commented, "It's nice to hear something refreshing in a world of similar artists!" In 2003, Siris once again took part in breaking new ground as their Chinese single "Beautiful Angel" became the first Chinese song to be sold on Apple's iTunes.

2004 to 2007[edit]

In 2004, SIRIS went back into the studio to focus on new Chinese material. In 2005, they released the Chinese EP "Xing Fu".[6] The album received widespread critical acclaim and helped solidify their unique place in music history.[7] In late 2005, a successful promotional tour of Mainland China, Taiwan and the United States followed. On the strength of their hit single "Xing Fu" 幸福, SIRIS was heavily featured by major U.S. and Chinese media throughout 2005 and 2006.[2] ABC News stated: "SIRIS is certainly breaking down cultural barriers between east and west... these two guys from the City of Brotherly Love may just change the world of Rock![8]" MTV described SIRIS' music as "Magical!" and stated "They should be embraced because there is sincerity in their work." In 2006 SIRIS was invited to perform at several high-profile television events including the Phoenix Television Chinese New Year Global Gala and the groundbreaking MTV Chi Rocks! Concert, celebrating MTV's strong push into the Chinese market.[9] SIRIS debuted several music videos of their hit songs: starring MTV Chi VJ, Angel Tang in "Shi Shi Me Dao Li" 是什么道理 ("What's the Reason") [10] and "Xing Fu" 幸福 in 2007. Since its release, Xing Fu has been downloaded over 25 million times.[11] In 2007, SIRIS announced the release of a brand new full length Chinese language album entitled "我们都一样" (We're All The Same). The new album was released in North America and became the first half of their planned double Chinese/English album release for 2008.

2008[edit]

On August 8, 2008 - just in time for the Beijing Olympics, SIRIS announced the release of its brand new "double" Chinese- and English-language album, "8".[11] The new album included 20 original Chinese and English songs. Prominent singles featured in the release are "God Bless Sichuan", "I Was Chinese in My Previous Life", "China", "A Trip To Nowhere", and "You'll Be Okay." The Mandarin single "God Bless Sichuan" was pre-released on July 1, 2008 as a tribute to the survivors of the tragic Sichuan earthquake on May 12, 2008. The song features renowned mainland Chinese Erhu soloist, Qin Qian.[11] In 2008, "God Bless Sichuan" became the No. 1-played song on mainland China's most popular video-sharing Web site, Youku.com. To date, the song remains one of the top 15 all time downloaded songs on China's Youku.com, with over 20 million downloads. The band's 2008 offering was its fifth studio album and the first full-length "double" Chinese- and English-language album ever released. The album was made available for free on the band's official Chinese Web site. Shortly after the album release, SIRIS announced plans to tour Asia and North America. The band also made an announcement that all proceeds from physical album sales and portions of tour revenue would go to the Sichuan earthquake disaster relief.[11]

2009 to 2011[edit]

In 2009 SIRIS went through an unexpected transition. Michael Maley went solo with the SIRIS name after brother Patrick became ill.[12] As Patrick recovered from cancer, Michael continued to perform extensively in the Chinese market, making several television appearances, including an emotional performance at the "Love Across The Pacific" benefit concert commemorating the one year anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake in San Francisco.[12] In 2010, Michael, now exclusively performing publicly as SIRIS, embarked on a successful promotional and concert tour of Mainland China. Although the brothers still collaborated, Patrick decided to no longer participate in live performing due to health concerns. Now referred to by international fans as SIRIS, Michael continued to perform at high-profile events throughout China, including the Sheng Tai Zhong Guo concert aired nationwide and the Second Annual Mainland China Cartoon and Animation Festival in Dong Guan China.[13] The concert was aired live on CCTV. It was performed in front of 200,000 fans and watched by over 400 million viewers on live TV. It was at this show that SIRIS unveiled his new single "Dream Goddess" in a collaborative performance with talented young singer Wang Huan. SIRIS successfully toured 15 cities in 2010 and performed at select shows in the US during 2011.[13] In late 2011 SIRIS was invited as a celebrity judge and performer for the Third Annual China-Paris International Modeling Contest in Beijing. Upon wrapping up a 2-year stay in China, SIRIS returned to the US to prepare for a new album release.

2012 to 2015[edit]

In 2012 SIRIS re-mastered and re-released the album "8", specifically targeting the US market and featuring the singles "A Trip To Nowhere" and "You'll Be Okay". In 2013, SIRIS re-released "God Bless Sichuan" to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake, embarking on an extensive fund raising promotion to support families afflicted by the 2008 disaster. From 2012 to 2014 SIRIS cohosted a popular Chinese language radio program called "Lunch Break" with award winning KTSF television host Keyi Chang. The weekly program was broadcast on San Francisco's KSJO 92.3 FM on Tuesday's and Friday's at 4pm PST.[14] The talk show featured top 40 Chinese music and special celebrity guests from around the globe. Although the show officially stopped airing in 2014 it is periodically broadcast to promote special events across the Bay Area. After a short hiatus from recording and performing in 2013, SIRIS went back to the studio to record new material for a forthcoming album entitled "Two Sides of Insanity." The album is scheduled for a late 2015 release.

Discography[edit]

  • 直到我最后一息 - Till My Last Breath - Chinese (1997)
  • The Order Of Time - English (2001)
  • Martial Arts Channel - Sound Track (2003)
  • 幸福 - Xing Fu - Chinese (2005)
  • 我们都一样 - Chinese (2007)
  • 上天祝福四川 (God Bless Sichuan) single - Chinese (2008)
  • 8 - Chinese/English double album (2008)
  • Dream Goddess - Chinese (2010)
  • 8 - English album (2012) Re-mastered
  • Two Sides of Insanity (TBD)

Side Projects & Credits[edit]

As a studio / touring drummer Patrick Maley has performed with accomplished acts such as: Little Richard, Three Dog Night, The Beach Boys, The Rip Chords, Mary Wilson of the Supremes and many others. Michael Maley established the company Run Hard Media which currently produces television programs and films for the Chinese market.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Yao, Deborah (2006-05-01). "SIRIS - Shanghai Surprise: Philly Duo A Big Hit". The Seattle Times - Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 16, 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-01. 

O'hearn, Erin (2006-02-17). "This Philadelphia Band is hot in Asia!". ABC News. p. 2. Retrieved 2006-02-17. 

Run Hard Media (2008-08-08). "SIRIS, American Rock Group, Releases New Chinese Album". PR Web. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 

MTV (2006). MTV Chi Rocks! http://www.mtvchi.com/onair/dyn/mtv_chi_rocks/series.jhtml (DVD - TV Concert). MTV.  External link in |title= (help)

Xinhua New Agency (2009). Xinhua News Agency - China http://news.xinhuanet.com/world/2009-04/13/content_11179919.htm (TV - Print News). Xinhua.  External link in |title= (help)