The most famous Indonesian bands of all time

Music is still something crucial in human life, because music often accompanies various human activities. Starting from filling free time to accompanying people in their busy lives, music is often also a source of inspiration and suggestions for channeling feelings. Indonesia, which is aware of the importance of music as an art, officially declared March 9 as National Music Day. This decision was taken by the President at that time, namely Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, through Presidential Decree Number 10 of 2013.

As a form of celebration of National Music Day, Connx would like to give appreciation to several bands that are considered legendary as a form of gratitude for the impact they have had on the Indonesian music industry, here are 5 legendary bands in Indonesia:



Image via Antara

If we talk about legendary bands in Indonesia, it would be a big sin not to include the name Slank in the list we made. Slank is a figure who has provided a lot of inspiration and encouragement for other musicians to have the courage to start a career. However, Slank’s long career, which was considered successful, did not run smoothly. The band, which was founded in 1983, is famous for its music which likes to raise concerns about social and political matters as well as romance which is conveyed honestly so that it feels close to the people.

At the start of Slank’s career, things didn’t go smoothly and they encountered a lot of difficulties. It was difficult for Slank to find a stage, even the vocalist who was originally Erwan was often replaced, he tried a female vocalist but it didn’t work until Akhadi Wira Satriarji, known as Kaka, who was Bimbim’s cousin, entered in 1989. Slank, whose career was skyrocketing at that time, had to experience various things. Internal chaos in Slank resulted in many disputes occurring and the culmination was the dismissal of Bongky, Indra, and Pay and leaving only Bimbim and Kaka. Slank, which was trying to get back up, was not hindered by their condition which was not yet stable enough, with the help of Ivanka and Reynold, Slank continued his career but it didn’t take long, Reynold decided to leave Slank.

Reynold’s departure left Slank limping until finally Slank was complete again after Ridho and Abdee joined Slank. October 11 1997 was the debut for this position, a solid formation that has survived until now known as Slank 7. 

God/Gods 19


Image via Kompas Entertainment

Just like Slank, it would be a big mistake if this band was not included in the list of legendary or best bands in Indonesia. This band was formed by Ahmad Dhani, who later became known as a genius in the world of music and became one of the best songwriters in Indonesia. Dewa itself changed formation several times but at the beginning of its formation in 1986 it had an initial formation containing Ahmad Dhani, Erwin Prasetya, Wawan Juniarso, and complemented by Andra Junaidi and Ari Lasso. In 1992, Dewa 19 recklessly flew to Jakarta from Surabaya to develop their music.

1992 was also the year their first album was born and it was surprisingly successful in a short time. Their name continued to skyrocket without having to wait long and managed to win various awards in the music world, but unfortunately in 1994 while working on their second album, Dewa 19 had to part ways with Wawan who decided to leave Dewa. The position left by Wawan was then filled by Reza temporarily until finally Wong Aksan came in and became a permanent member of Dewa 19 at that time. The Pandawa Lima album, which was released in 1997, lifted Dewa 19 to the peak of success at that time.

This success was paid dearly by the departure of Wong Aksa and Erwin and Ari’s lives deteriorating which had an impact on the band’s activities. Ari and Erwin were finally asked to rest for a while, but unfortunately at that time Ari decided to disappear. The limping position at that time did make Dewa’s condition difficult, but Dewa rose again after Once Mekel joined Dewa 19 and was followed by the joining of Tyo Nugros as drummer.

In 2000 Dewa 19 dropped the 19 label and returned to existence under the name Dewa alone and added Yuke Sampurna in 2002. Dewa’s success continued to explode, they even made appearances and concerts abroad. After the release of Kingdom of Love as the last album, Dewa had to lose Tyo Nugros who had health problems, Dhani and Andra were also often busy with their own projects until Once decided to focus on a solo career. Dewa has officially disbanded and will only act as a nostalgic band which is often accompanied by Ari Lasso until in 2022, Ello was introduced as Dewa’s new vocalist.



Image via Grid.ID

Gigi is also an old band and has never been lost over time, the proof is that Gigi is still active and exists in the entertainment world. Gigi is currently still fronted by Armand Maulana, Dewa Budjana, Thomas Ramadhan, and Gusti, although they have changed members several times, the names Baron and Ronald have also graced Gigi’s activities in the world of entertainment. Armand Maulana as the vocalist was already active in the world of Indonesian music until he met his colleagues who later formed a band called Gigi. 

Gigi himself immediately released an album in 1994. What’s unique is that the story about the formation of this band involved the intervention of Pay from Slank. When Dewa Budjana was still active as a session player, Pay introduced him to Ronald and Thomas and encouraged them to form a band, then Dewa, who invited Baron to join, also brought Armand Maulana with them. It didn’t take long for GIGI to experience success, but unfortunately on the second album in 1995, Baron had to leave for educational reasons.

Baron’s departure was followed by Ronald even though Gigi had become big at that time and surprisingly Thomas followed but returned in 1999. The positions left were then replaced by various names who then often took turns filling the empty positions, leaving Dewa Budjana and Armand Maulana alone is irreplaceable. Gigi, who has had a long career, has created many priceless and high-quality works. Gigi is also one of the bands that deserves to be given the title of legendary because their struggle in the world of music is no joke.

Sheila On 7

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Sheila On 7 is also a band that is timeless, rarely appears in the media but still has an extraordinarily large fan base and is loved by various groups. Still fronted by Duta, who is perhaps one of the most beloved vocalists, and still has Eros and Adam accompanying him. Sheila On 7 now only has 3 permanent members after Brian left in 2022, his position was replaced by additional members such as Bounty Ramadhan.

This band, which was born in Jogja in 1996, has had a long career and like other bands, Sheila On 7 has also experienced several member changes. Sheila On 7 itself had initial members, namely Sakti and Adam, then invited Duta to become a vocalist until they met Eros and Anton who then filled in on drums. After only appearing at music festivals, Sheila On 7 finally got a contract from Sony Music Entertainment Indonesia in 1998. Even the incident of meeting Sony was quite reckless, with only a small amount of money and betting her fate on the demo tape they made.

1999 was the year Sheila’s first album was born and surprisingly, the album reached 1.2 million copies in the market, which was then followed by a second album which did not fail to achieve the same success. Sheila On 7 then grew as a successful band in Indonesia, providing impact and entertainment for society even though they had to change personnel, to be precise in 2004 when Anton decided to leave and was then filled in by Brian as an additional drummer. However, after Sakti also left, Brian was appointed as a permanent member before leaving in 2022. To this day, Sheila On 7 still has a special place in the hearts of the Indonesian people, a band that at that time gave a breath of fresh air to Indonesian pop music that truly deserves to be called a legend.



Peterpan may now be better known as Noah and does not hold the same magic, but in its time, Peterpan was a band that managed to steal all the hearts of Indonesian people, starting in 1997 when Ariel was asked by Andhika to be the vocalist of a band but unfortunately it didn’t last long and ended up breaking up. Then Andhika invited his friends to form a band again, consisting of Ariel, Loekman, Reza, and Indra, the band was born with the name Peterpan in 2000.

Until 2001, Peterpan finally entered the world of professional music and started performing from cafe to cafe in the city of Bandung. So in the end there was a figure from the Musica Studios label who saw Peterpan’s potential so they didn’t want to miss out on the potential they had. Peterpan’s debut was finally realized in 2003 and immediately achieved instant success and this continued for several years. This consistent success made them achieve many profits and awards in the music industry, although in 2006 Andhika and Indra decided to leave and were replaced by Lucky and David as additional members.

Peterpan finally faced its problem, namely the issue of the name Peterpan which was disputed by Andhika and demanded to change the band’s name. This was finally accepted by the members of Peterpan, but at that time, they still could not determine the new name for the band, then David was appointed as a permanent member in 2008 when their new album was released. Unfortunately, in 2010, Peterpan’s activities stopped for a moment because Ariel had to take a hiatus from the entertainment world due to problems so that when Ariel returned, Peterpan finally changed to Noah. Even though it is relatively short compared to other legendary bands, Peterpan also gave its own color to the world of Indonesian music, especially as Peterpan’s lyrics are truly touching.

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