J Rocks – Rocking the Indo music scene

Since forming in Indonesia over a decade ago, J-Rocks have been wowing an army of devoted fans with their energetic brand of Japanese-influenced rock n roll. Lead vocalist Taufik Rachman, together with guitarist Sony Ismail Robbayani, bassist Swara Wima Yoga and drummer Anton Rudi Kelces, began their meteoric rise with an appearance at a music contest. Jakarta was playing host to the 'Nescafe Get Started' competition, aimed at uncovering new talent. Sponsored by the record label, Aquarius Musikindo, J-Rocks succeeded in coming top, winning the opportunity of a lifetime for any ambitious young band – the chance to take part in a compilation album.J Rocks fans
Topeng Sahabat was the name of the band's debut album, released in 2005. As things started coming together for J-Rocks, they also contributed two songs for the Dealova soundtrack album – 'Into the Silent' and 'Serba Salah'.
With the release of their follow-up album, Spirit, two years later, the band really stared to attract a powerful fan base (known in the Indonesian media as J-Rockstars). This covered a variety of bases, including classical music and rock n roll, guaranteeing that it would have widespread appeal in Indonesia and beyond. A single that came from this album, 'Kau Curi Lagi' was notable for featuring the talented Japanese guitarist Prisa Rianzi as a guest musician. Sticking with that connection, around this time the band also made a video for their single 'Juwita Hati', filmed in Japan, and directed by Hedy Suryawan. With Japanese locations forming an eyecatching backdrop, the video was to considerably widen the young Indonesian band's audience – in Japan the young fans have really lapped up J-Rocks.
J-Rocks have one huge claim to fame. They are the first ever band from this Far Eastern nation to have recorded in the Abbey Road studios, most famously used by The Beatles for their album of that name, recorded in 1969. J-Rocks used the session in the London studio to record five songs, which made their way onto their Road to Abbey EP, released in 2009 – exactly forty years on from those Beatles recordings. The J-Rocks EP contains two versions of a song called 'Fallin in Love', one recorded with Indonesian vocals, the other with vocals translated into English. In addition, there ara three other songs – 'Road to Abbety', 'Hanya Aku' and 'Meraih Mimpi'. The EP is also notable for its picture sleeve, which features the young Indonesians aping the world-famous zebra crossing shot that was originally posed by The Beatles back in 1969.
While this may have been a cunning publicity stunt, J-Rocks are in no need of self-promotion – they have a huge number of followers in any case. Not only does their eclectic musical performances ensure maximum coverage, their individual styles are always guaranteed to put them at the centre of attention. J-Rocks are famous for their towering hairstyles and dramatic stage gear. But neither are they 'teenybopper' rock exponents. At the 2008 festival A Mild Live Soundrenaline, they were voted 'Best band to free their voice', pipping established rock bands such as Gigi and Nidji. (It was winning this accolade that led them to being booked into the Abbey Road studio).
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