Indonesian rock is rock music from Indonesia, a product of the culture and globalizing outlook of the country, similar to this genre's music globally.[1] Indonesian-specific ideas about individualism, interdependency, modernism, and the supernatural have also been observed in the rock videos and music of the nation.[1]


1940s - 1960s

Rock music began to enter Indonesia around the 1950s during the western rock fever. However, the heyday of rock music in Indonesia was preceded by the band The Rolles (1967) with the genre of jazz rock music. They brought music with different concepts so that they were able to play with the tastes of music lovers at that time. The band was also able to survive and was still popular until the 1980s.[2]

The Tielman Brothers became one of the pioneers of rock and roll music in Indonesia. Because of its wide influence abroad, especially the Netherlands and Germany, this group became the beginning of rock music in Indonesia as a whole.

In that era, Indonesian-Dutch rock bands were also very popular, such as The Tielman Brothers, which was founded in 1947 by several youths from Kupang (Reggy, Ponthon, Andy and Loulou Tielman). The band is generally seen as the founder of Indorock, although other Indorock bands have existed before them. Being ethnically Indonesian and playing Western music for white audiences in the Netherlands and Germany.[3]

During that time, Dara Puspita emerged as a pop rock group consisting of women from Surabaya, Indonesia, which was active in the 1960s and early 1970s. The band was formed in 1964, with Titiek Rachman and his sister Lies on guitar. Apart from that, Ani Kusuma is a rhythm guitarist, and Susy Nander is a drummer. When Lies left the band for a month in 1965 to complete his education, his bass position was replaced by Titiek Hamzah. When Lies returned, Ani Kusuma left the band, and Lies became a rhythm guitarist. This female rock band was also influential in the early development of rock music in Indonesia. In fact, not only the rock scene, Indonesian pop was also quite influenced by the Dara Puspita band.[4][5]

Dara Puspita, Indonesian pop rock band with all female members

In July 1968, the band left Indonesia, and toured to Europe and Asia, including West Germany, Hungary, England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Iran, and Turkey. Touring for three years, before returning to Indonesia on 3 December 1971.[6] In this way, Dara Puspita also gained international popularity even though the support base was still larger in the local music scene.[7]

1970s - 1990s

The development of rock music in Indonesia grew rapidly when rock bands such as God Bless, Gang Pegangsaan, Giant Step and Rawa Rontek moved quickly to strengthen the rock music genre in Indonesia. Along with the development of rock music in Indonesia, the term "Underground" emerged to group bands with the concept of loud, wild and extreme music.[8]

The 1980s can be said to be the golden era of rock music in Indonesia because early 1988 became the first history in which rock music was performed directly in front of the public.[9]

Then when slow rock music from Malaysia started to boom thanks to the appearance of the band Search through the hit song "Isabela". So in Indonesia the slow rock genre began to gain wide popularity. An Indonesian musician who is famous for playing the slow rock genre is Deddy Dores.

In addition, there are also many works of Deddy Dores performed by Nike Ardilla, Cony Dio, Poppy Mercury, Mayank Sari. The pattern of Indonesian slow rock has also plagued other musicians or singers in Indonesia such as Oppie Andaresta, Minel, Inka Christy, Lady Avisha, Cut Irna, and others. The popularity of Indonesian slow rock occurred during the 1980s to 1990s. In that era, Indonesian Rock mostly had a mellow and sad music style[10]

The promoter who is familiarly called Log Zhelebour organized the Indonesian Rock Festival sponsored by Djarum. With this festival, many musicians and bands emerged from this festival. Singers and bands that have been handled by Log Zhelebour to develop their careers include Ita Purnamasari, Mel Shandy, Lady Avisha, Nicky Astria, Elpamas, Emperor, Power Metal, Gank Pegangsaan, Boomerang, and Jamrud. Log Zhelebour influence on the Indonesian rock music scene stretched from 1984 to 2004.[11][12]

The 90s also saw the emergence of indie rock bands. The initiator of indie music emerged from Bandung with the concept of D.I.Y. or Do It Yourself through bands like PAS Band. Pas Band was officially founded in 1990. In 1993 it released an EP album on an indie label with its debut, Four Through The Sap. Apart from that, there were also other indie bands such as Pure Saturday, Koil, and Rumah Sakit.[13]


Entering the third millennium, rock music in Indonesia has more variety. Apart from the legacy of independent music from the 1990s which has offered many new references, the various types of rock in the national realm are also intertwined with the symptoms of the development of rock music in the international world.[14]

Sheila on 7, Indonesian alternative rock band formed in 1996, gained huge popularity in the 2000s

In this era, pop rock music has inspired many bands and musicians on the Indonesian mainstream music scene. Especially after Peterpan, which carries a concept similar to BritPop, received widespread attention from music lovers in Indonesia. Several other bands that can also be said to have received the spotlight include Dr PM, Ada Band, Nidji, Ungu and others. Meanwhile, previously, the symptoms had been visible through bands such as Sheila on 7, Cokelat, and Padi, who released their debut albums between 1999 and 2000.[15]

At this time the alternative rock especially emo rock genre also began to grow in Indonesia. Bands that use the emo rock concept began to emerge, such as Seems Like Yesterday (2003), Alone At Last (2004), Killing Me Inside (2005), Last Child (2006), and Killed by Butterfly (2008).[16]

Rock festivals

Several regions in Indonesia also host many rock festivals. From small scale festivals to grand festivals. Generally rock festivals are held in big cities.

The following is a list of several rock festivals in Indonesia:

List of bands

This is a list of Indonesian rock bands:

See also


  1. ^ a b Kacy Richmond Behind the Scenes: Indonesian Rock Archived 2009-01-08 at the Wayback Machine, Bi-College News, March 1st, 2005 . Retrieved 01-31-2009
  2. ^ "Perkembangan Musik Rock di Indonesia yang Mengalami Perubahan - Ketik News". Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  3. ^ "Muziekencyclopedie - Tielman Brothers". Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  4. ^ SemiColonWeb. "Grup Band Pertama dengan Semua Anggota Perempuan". Retrieved 2023-09-25.
  5. ^ "Dara Puspita Raksasa Musik Indonesia Yang Terlupakan". Retrieved 2023-09-25.
  6. ^ "Dara Puspita, Band Perempuan Pertama di Indonesia yang Legendaris". (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2023-09-25.
  7. ^ Kusumo, Rizky. "Kisah Dara Puspita, Band Perempuan Indonesia saat Lakukan Tur Eropa". (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2023-09-25.
  8. ^ Agustawijaya, Didi Supriadi (2018-04-30). "Influence of Rock Properties in Estimating Rock Strength for Shallow Underground Structures in Weak Rocks". Indonesian Journal on Geoscience. 5 (2). doi:10.17014/ijog.5.2.93-105. ISSN 2355-9306.
  9. ^ "Perkembangan Musik Rock di Indonesia" (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  10. ^ "Apa Kabar Pop Melayu? Para Pengusungnya Perlahan Tenggelam - Suara Merdeka". Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  11. ^ Sarana, PT Balarusa Mitra (2021-12-16). "Rock Indonesia Telah Mati dan Tak akan Terulang Lagi". POP HARI INI. Retrieved 2023-09-24.
  12. ^ SEKHU, AKHMAD (2020-04-21). "Menguak Sejarah Festival Rock Indonesia dan Eksistensi Promotor Log Zhelebour". Retrieved 2023-09-24.
  13. ^ Simanjuntak, Santi (2021-08-19). "Sejarah Musik Rock di Indonesia". (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2023-09-25.
  14. ^ "Histori Rock Indonesia, era 2000-an banjir musik alternatif".
  15. ^ "Histori Rock Indonesia, era 2000-an banjir musik alternatif".
  16. ^ "Sejarah Musik Emo di Indonesia: Dari Muncul, Redup, hingga Bangkit Lagi".
  17. ^ "Changcuters bikin histeris". WawasanDigital (in Indonesian). 2008-11-14.
  18. ^ "Brunei: 'Cokelat' flavour to fill Amphitheatre". Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. 2003-07-03.
  19. ^ "Rock legends make comeback for tsunami victims". The Jakarta Post. 2005-04-29. Archived from the original on 2009-05-27.
  20. ^ "Jamrud's new album 'Ningrat' cements status as top band". The Jakarta Post. 2001-06-03. Archived from the original on 2009-07-09.
  21. ^ "Band Netral Belum Berminat 'Ngepop'". ANTARA News (in Indonesian). 2007-11-30. Archived from the original on 2007-12-05.
  22. ^ "/rif Rilis Pil Malu". Gatra (in Indonesian). 2006-09-19. Archived from the original on 2019-07-09.
  23. ^ Garger, Ilya; Perry, Alex; Shum, Keane; Tedjasukmana, Jason (2005-09-12). "Five Asian Albums Worth Buying'". Time Magazine Asia. Archived from the original on November 30, 2007.
  24. ^ "Sucker Head (Kembali) Menggebrak dengan 'Hipertensi'". Sinar Harapan (in Indonesian). 2004-09-25. Archived from the original on 2004-10-26.
  25. ^ Indonesia rediscovers its own rock legend, International Herald Tribune, August 1, 2008. Retrieved 01-31-2009