For 20 years, SIRIS has preserved a successful tradition of artistic expression through music that continues to stand the test of time. 20 years of critical acclaim and 20 years of producing music in two languages ; It’s a testament to their unabashed sense of individuality that has sealed their unmatched place in music history. Their love of music has afforded them longevity and an undying passion to continue producing music that is listened to and loved by millions of fans worldwide.
The Full Story (Almost)
SIRIS is the name of the critically acclaimed international rock duo formed by brothers Michael and Patrick Maley and the stage name of lead singer Michael Maley. The brothers from Philly earned both commercial and critical acclaim as the first non-Chinese music act in history to release original Chinese language music, starting with their 1997 debut Chinese album “Till My Last Breath”. In more recent years starting in 2009, Patrick Maley took a behind the scenes role as he successfully recovered from cancer, while brother Michael continued to carry on the long standing musical tradition started by the brothers 20 years ago. Since their historic debut album in 1997, SIRIS has taken great pride in their unique role as musical ambassadors, fostering cultural unity between East and West through the power of their unique brand of music. Today their music continues to be featured worldwide on radio, TV, and movies and is listened to by millions of fans from around the globe.
The brothers began singing and writing music at an early age. During their teenage years they performed in various local bands in Philadelphia. Some of their earliest influences included Genesis, Sting, U2, Rush, Level 42 and Tears for Fears. In 1992, shortly after graduating high school, 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 while continuing his pursuit of music as a drummer.
Siris’ Chinese inspired music is due in large part to Michael’s experiences in China. While living in China, not only did he study at Fudan but also worked as an English teacher and Chinese/English translator. 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 very first Chinese re-make of the popular 1960′s American TV series “The Green Hornet” originally starring Bruce Lee. After working and studying for several years in China, Michael returned home to America and reunited with his brother Patrick. It was in 1996 that the brothers returned to their musical roots by forming the band Siris. They adopted a unique multi-cultural approach to making music by melding influences from the east and west. As a result they would go on to become the first artists in music history to successfully release original music in both Chinese and English.
After the success of their independent Chinese language debut in 1997 and a brief promotional tour of Taiwan and Mainland China in 1998 and 1999, SIRIS followed up “Till My Last Breath” with the widely popular critically acclaimed English debut “The Order of Time” in 2000. The independent success moved over 1 million copies and attracted much praise, including the attention of Grammy Award winning musician and King Crimson front man Adrian Belew who commented: “It’s nice to hear something refreshing in a world of so many similar artists.”
In 2003 SIRIS continued to break new ground by having the first Chinese language song to be sold on Apple’s iTunes. The popular song “Beautiful Angel” has since been downloaded over 1 million times and has remained a huge fan favorite. With the inception of online file sharing and MP3 online retailers, Beautiful Angel was the first Chinese language single to land in the top 20 American music charts on both MP3.com and Myspace, and was also featured on MTV World as a ground breaking artistic achievement in World Music.
In 2005 it was back to their Chinese influences as SIRIS released the critically acclaimed album Xing Fu. With the digital age in full swing, the title song became a huge hit receiving heavy airplay in the United States, Taiwan and Mainland China. The song has since been downloaded over 7 million times. The Associate Press wrote: “This Philly Duo is A Big Hit!” and ABC News stated: “SIRIS is certainly breaking down cultural barriers between East and West; These two brothers from city of brotherly love may just change the world of rock!” With increased world wide media attention and the wind to their backs, in 2006 SIRIS performed across the US and made several appearances in Taiwan and China in support of the new album. MTV had nothing but praise in referring to SIRIS as: “Magical! Their music should be accepted because there is sincerity in their work.” Later in 2006, SIRIS took part in the first ever live concert broadcast of MTV Chi Rocks, a concert celebrating Chinese music which was broadcast to over 100 million households worldwide.
Hot off the success of Xing Fu, SIRIS soon prepared for a new studio album in 2007. The brothers went back to the studio with new material written by Michael during time spent in China the previous year. It resulted in the commercially successful “We’re ALL The Same”. The album was a musical and critical triumph once again. SIRIS hit the road in support of the new release and performed extensively in China and the US. The Chinese World Journal commented: “SIRIS is what’s in! They show true appreciation for the Chinese culture and express it with their extraordinary talent; They produce life inspiring work that translates into great Chinese songs.” TVBS Television in Taiwan stated “Simply put, the music of SIRIS is refreshing and filled with emotion!” Throughout it all, the brothers continued to use their music as means of building a bridge to unify people from around the world. Never was that more evident than in 2008. That year tragedy struck Sichuan China in one of the biggest catastrophic earth quakes in centuries. Moved by the human suffering and rescue efforts displayed across television and on the internet, SIRIS composed and recorded a special tribute song entitled “God Bless Sichuan.” The song became an immediate hit across China and was downloaded over 9 million times. The song remains in the top 10 on Youku.com’s music charts and has become a spiritual anthem for many families affected by the tragedy. China’s CCTV commented: “Simply Outstanding and second to none!” Sing Tao Radio commented “SIRIS is outstanding and their Chinese music is fantastic; Something like this is very rare!” And the Chengdu Daily chimed in “God Bless Sichuan is Moving!” In 2008 SIRIS performed at numerous events raising money and awareness for the earthquake disaster relief. In 2009, they released a special music video commemorating the one year anniversary of the tragic earthquake. The video became a huge hit across China and was featured on all major media outlets across Asia, including CCTV in China, Phoenix Television and most local and provincial television networks across China. Subsequently, SIRIS would return to China for a series of successful concerts and promotional appearances that would last well into 2010.
2009 into 2010 was a transition period for SIRIS. Patrick Maley became ill due to cancer and left the group to recover. Though he has since made a full recovery, Patrick chose to remain behind the scenes in a non-touring but collaborative role in the studio. With this change and new dynamic set in place, Michael carried on with the SIRIS name and tradition, continuing to tour and release music as SIRIS. Now known to Chinese fans as SIRIS or 赛日（SaiRi), he went on to produce and release their first English album in 8 years entitled “8″. The album, released for free on the SIRIS music website, received over 400,000 total downloads in the first 4 months and a total of 1.2 million downloads in the first year. The album, featuring the singles: “A Trip To Nowhere”, “You’ll Be Okay” and “No Matter What” became quick fan favorites. During that year SIRIS returned to China once more and was featured in the CCTV Animation Day Celebration, performing live to over 300,000 people in Guangdong China and to a television viewing audience of over 300 million. SIRIS successfully toured most major cities throughout China in 2010 and was also called on to perform at the “Fengtai China” concert which raised money and awareness for green technology and environmental protection. At the end of 2010 SIRIS returned to the US to begin work on new material including several new television projects.
In 2011, Patrick Maley received the esteemed ASCAP Man of the Year Award honoring his musical and humanitarian contributions as well as courage in overcoming his illness. During that time, Michael returned to Beijing China for a series of performances and began recording songs for a new album. In 2012 Michael also co-hosted a Chinese language radio program on Monday’s and Friday’s on China 92.3FM, based in the San Francisco Bay Area alongside Keyi Chang.
From 2013 to 2016 SIRIS engaged in various side projects while recording music for 2 new albums. In 2017, Michael released a brand new Chinese language book detailing his many spiritual life experiences. The new book entitled “Spiritual Wisdom – A Guidebook to Life” was in the works for well over 5 years. All of the proceeds from the new book go to worth charities throughout Taiwan and Mainland China. In 2018 SIRIS has plans to release a 20 year retrospective album and further plans to release a new Chinese / English album.
For 20 years, the SIRIS name has been synonymous with creativity, and artistic freedom, fusing together influences from all cultures and styles, forming a unique sound that has truly become the “SIRIS” sound. As fans already know, the name “SIRIS”, as chosen by the brothers in 1995, was derived from two Chinese words 赛”Sai” and 日”Ri” meaning to “surpass the sun”. The meaning of that name rings truer now that ever before. The future remains bright as the musical journey continues…. 20 years & counting.