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The Blocker Rock Stars of Technopark

Thiruvananthapuram: “B Sharp is not a musical note! It’s a made up name chosen as the title of Blockers’ band,” Alex K Rajan, the keyboard lead of ‘B Sharp’, says. ‘Blockers’ is how the employees of the recently-established Global Technology Center (GTC) of H&R Block at Technopark address themselves. For a second or two, I mistakenly

Thiruvananthapuram: “B Sharp is not a musical note! It’s a made up name chosen as the title of Blockers’ band,” Alex K Rajan, the keyboard lead of ‘B Sharp’, says. ‘Blockers’ is how the employees of the recently-established Global Technology Center (GTC) of H&R Block at Technopark address themselves. For a second or two, I mistakenly thought that the official music band of the company was named after a musical note. B Sharp’s rise as a popular band at Technopark is the result of shared passion for music among the 15 employees of the GTC who, in turn, struck a musical chord with the rest of the Technopark community. The band found its way into the minds of techie music lovers, emerging winners in the recently-held Tech-a-Break cultural fest organised by ‘Natana’ under the aegis of  Group of Technology Companies (GTech) in association with Technopark management. Members who represented the band at Tech-A-Break were Vishnu Suresh, Harisankar Menon, Amy Sebastian (all lead vocals), Alex K Rajan (keyboard), Abhilash Kala (guitar lead), Abhimanyu Kamath (percussionist) and Aben Sabu (bass guitar).

Two years ago, when the American tax preparation giant started its pre-inaugural operations at Technopark, Alex and Vishnu were just co-workers who hardly knew each other. The duo gradually became friends and began collaborating both on the work front and in life. “It all happened thanks to H&R Block,” says Vishnu. During a CSR charity activity in December 2017 the two happened to visit Sukrutham, a care home for the destitute near Technopark, where they performed together for the inmates. “I sang and Alex played his guitar,” Vishnu recalls. That performance saw them hit it off right away. Later, Alex and Vishnu continued their sessions enthralling music buffs as a pair which soon drew the attention of the management, too. It was just the beginning. Later, following the launch of GTC at Yamuna Phase III, the company planned a flashmob performance. “The company decided to hold the event to let everybody in Phase III know that we have officially launched and started operations. However, our music performance was included ahead of the flashmob since we felt there may not be enough audience if we straightway break into a dance performance. So the idea was to gather more audience before we go for the flashmob,” Vishnu recalls. But this time, the two Blockers had managed to rope in two more vocalists for their performance. Following the event, the director of GTC was flooded with great feedback about the musical performance of Alex, Vishnu and team. “B Sharp soon came into being thanks to the vision and support of Hari Prasad Krishna Pillai, Director, GTC. He noticed our passion and love for music and encouraged us to take it to the next level,” says Alex. The vision behind forming the band was to encourage extra-curricular activities within H&R Block’s community of professionals and facilitate brand promotion leveraging the band.

The band was officially launched on November 23, 2018. However, the first official performance of B Sharp took place four days prior to the launch on November 17. “The original idea was to launch the band on November 23 which was the company’s annual day. But about a week before that, Natana asked us if we could perform as part of their flood-relief campaign event named ‘Revival’. We performed at Greenfield Stadium on November 17,” Vishnu says about B Sharp’s official debut at Technopark. “Our company supports us in every possible way. For example, we have to take many musical instruments on rent and we never faced funding issues when it came to such hiring requirements. Such degree of patronage encourages us to take up recreational activities even when we do not have sufficient time,” Alex says. Ahead of Tech-a-Break, the band was allocated space inside the company’s office premises to practice after working hours. According to Harisankar and Amy, the team members sit together and decide on the songs to perform on stage. “We try and incorporate a mix of genres like classical, western and Bollywood for our on-stage performances,” says Amy.  B Sharp has no plans to confine their performance within Technopark. “Our immediate goal is to create our own identity. We hope to come out with an original song in a year’s time,” confirms Vishnu. The band has also performed at cinema music live program organised as part of ‘Prathidhwani QISA Film Festival 2018’ and at an event organised by eWIT as part of Women’s Day celebrations on March 13, 2019.

“We are thankful to the management which has supported us always and our awesome fellow Blockers who have cheered for us during our performances,” says Abhilash.


Vishnu Suresh (Vocalist)

Native: Perumbavoor

Education: BTech Electronics and Communication Engineeing from AdiSankara Institute of Engineering and Technology, Kalady (Class of 2014)

Work Experience: 4 Years

Music background: Studied Carnatic music for six years during school days

Achievements: Second prize for Light Music in CBSE State-level School Youth Festival ◆ Second prize for Classical Music in District School Youth Festival ◆ Winner of Stars of UST Global

Abhilash Kala (Guitarist)

Native: Thiruvananthapuram

Education: BTech in Mechanical Engineering from College of Engineering Trivandrum

Schooling: Christ Nagar Higher Secondary School, Kowdiar

Work Experience: 13 years

Music background: No formal training. Started strumming from college days

Achievements: Part of ‘Vocals and Chords’ band of Oracle; performed music nights at office functions and outside events (Phoenix Market City and The Leela, Bengaluru)


AbhimanyuKamath (percussionist)

Native: Alappuzha

Education: BTech in Mechanical Engineering from Amrita School of Engineering, Kollam

Work Experience: 1 Year

Music background: School level training in Mridangam

Achievements: All-Kerala Bhavan’s Cultural Fest winner in Mridangam in 2010 & 2012 ◆ South India-level Inter-University competition winner in Indian Percussion in 2014, 2015 & 2017 ◆ National-level Inter-University competition winner in Indian Percussion in 2017-18


HarisankarMenon (Vocalist)

Native: Kollam

Education: BTech in Electronics and Communication Engineeing from Baselious Mathews College of Engineering, Kollam

Work Experience: Fresher

Music background: Learning Carnatic music from school level

Achievements: Participating in carnatic concerts since 2008


Amy Sebastian (Vocalist)

Native: Thiruvananthapuram

Education: BTech in Electrical and Electronics from Mohandas College of Engineering and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram

Schooling: St: Thomas Residential School, Thiruvananthapuram

Work Experience: 5 Years

Music background: Self-taught in western music

Achievements:  Made a few appearances on Kappa TV


AbenSabu (GUITARIST)

Native: Thrissur

Education: BTech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Karunya University, Coimbatore

Schooling: Holy Angels HSS, Ollur, Thrissur and CMG HSS, Kuttur

Work Experience: 1.5 Years

Music background: Self-taught

Achievements: No significant performances in the past


Alex K Rajan (Keyboardist)

Native: Kottarakkara

Education: BTech in Mechanical Engineering from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam

Schooling: St. John’s Residential High School, Kundara and S N Trusts Central School, Kollam

Work Experience: 1.5 Years

Music background: No formal training in music; self-taught

Achievements: 10 years of experience in live performance starting from 2009 ◆ Performed at over 700 stages live as keyboard lead ◆ Led church choirs as Choir Master and lead keyboardist ◆ Performed with Jerry Amaldev◆ Composed music for 8 Christmas songs ◆ Performed in college band

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