SuriLee AKA Samhita is a singer/lyricist/songwriter. Suri was brought up in Mumbai, India. Her passion for singing started in early childhood, when Bollywood songs mesmerized her. Whenever she sang to her friends and family; delighted by her voice, they would often make her sing more than one song. One of her family friends urged Suri’s mother to send her for vocal lessons. She then trained her vocal talents in Hindustani classical music by Sri Sumati Sarangapani. Suri had found the perfect teacher, however, the course was short lived since her teacher got married and went overseas. Suri kept searching for two years to find a teacher that resonated with her and could guide her down the path of her dreams. Sadly, she has not yet found a vocal coach that can inspire her to fine tune her vocal talents. But that did not stop her from pursuing her passion for singing. She would participate in public performances singing Bollywood songs during her annual college gatherings in front of hundreds of people. Her friends and family were her biggest fans. As she stood on the stage singing and connecting with the crowd, Suri knew that singing is where her true spirit resided. She wanted to pursue her dream for Bollywood playback singing. But the idea of having a career in entertainment was against the traditional values her family believed in at the time. Hence, she did not pursue a career in music and focused more on her family and career.
Suri came to the US in 2003 at the age of 18. She studied Accounting at the University of Baltimore and earned a Bachelors Degree in 2006 and Masters Degree in 2011. She worked in public accounting for 3 years; but decided to quit after having children. It is at that time Suri’s passion for singing was re-ignited. Every moment spent with her precious little ones was an inspiration to pursue her passion and fulfill her dream. She is here and now doing just that and hopes to do much more. Alongside the big ambitions, Suri has an extremely supportive husband who doubtlessly believes in her and is her #1 fan.
Suri is also passionate about preserving nature and making a difference in the world. In Suri’s hometown of Gokarna, India, she developed a love for nature that is deep rooted in her soul. Mountains and beaches around the village is where Suri feels a deep connection to nature. The land and the people of her native home are a fundamental source that fuels the inspirations of her music and passions. Challenges faced by the poverty-ridden children and pregnant mothers in developing countries are issues close to Suri’s heart. Her aim is to not only shed light but also to provide a home to nurture and support these families. She believes that little children hold the key to our future - We Reap What We Sow. So, we need to nurture the new generation and create awareness among them to preserve the nature too, thereby building a better future.
Suri’s other interests include cooking, painting, drawing, photography, DIY projects, reading books to her kids, playing with her kids, yoga, meditation, hiking, biking, cross fit training, and long walks on the beach.
Photographer: Rama Sreenivasan Musician: SuriLee Year: 2016