Michel Rojkind smiling and facing to the left, with a blurry background of the New York City skyline.
Photo: Nelly N.

Michel Rojkind on Rhythm, Drumming, and How Music Influences His Design Practice

By Aileen Kwun
July 18, 2020
2 minute read

Michel Rojkind, founder of the namesake firm Rojkind Arquitectos, is known as a leading figure of Mexico City’s contemporary architecture scene—all the more impressive considering that design is his second career. A literal rockstar architect, Rojkind was the drummer of the pop-rock band Aleks Syntek y la Gente Normal for much of his twenties, recording four albums and playing live stadium shows across North, South, and Latin America. He credits this formative chapter of his youth to his understanding of the built environment: “It wasn’t until I traveled and toured that I started paying attention to infrastructure, public spaces, streets, buildings, and that started becoming very powerful to me because I started to understand the power of a public plaza or the power of a public space, of an interstitial area where you can only walk and not use the car,” he says.

Here, Rojkind (whom we recently interviewed on Ep. 45 of At a Distance) shares with us a playlist of songs, drawing from classic rock and jazz to funk and folk, featuring some of his all-time favorite drum parts.

“The Anxious Battle for Sanity,” Antonio Sánchez

“State of Emergence Suite–Movement One: Thesis,” Asher Gamedze

“Crack It Way Open,” Greg Howe, Victor Wooten, Dennis Chambers

“Moby Dick,” Led Zeppelin

“Chameleon,” Herbie Hancock

“Fool in the Rain,” Led Zeppelin

“YYZ, Rush

“Duet,” Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa

“Doors and Distance,” Antonio Sánchez

“Flite,” The Cinematic Orchestra

“5,” Three Trapped Tigers

“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” Paul Simon

“Some Skunk Funk,” The Brecker Brothers

“Three of a Perfect Pair,” King Crimson

“Fast As You Can,” Fiona Apple

“Rapunzel,” Dave Matthews Band

“Teen Town,” Weather Report

“What Is Hip?” Tower of Power

“Bloodless,” Andrew Bird