The Ladies of Indonesian Music



There are some very talented and inspiring women in the Indonesian music scene, both individual solo artists and groups, who are creating original and beautiful work while encouraging young women to take the spotlight in their wake. Here are just some examples of the hundreds women paving the road for others to follow in the Indonesian spotlight.

Dara Puspita - Probably Indonesia's first commercially successful all female pop-rock band Dara Puspita were active in the 1960's and 70's and still influence a lot of young and aspiring artists today. The band saw a lot of pressure as, at the time, the Sukarno regime saw rock music as an unwanted western influence, and after the imprisonment of another rock band called Koes Bersaudara, the band played in safer venues abroad in places like Bangkok to avoid a similar fate. They have taken their garage-rock music on tours all over the world, embarking on a European tour in 1968. Since the disbandment of the group, Titek Hamzah continued in the music industry, starting a solo career to some success.
Agnes Monica Muljoto - More commonly known as Agnez Mo (in photo), she is currently the richest celebrity of Indonesia with an estimated net worth of over $30 million USD and she deserves it, we love her! Agnes is a singer-songwriter as well as an actress, who started her music career early as a child singer at the age of six. Aside from succeeding as both a child and adult musician, she has worked as a music producer and a judge on the talent show Indonesian Idol, and has also worked with huge international names such as Timbaland and T.I. She is the most awarded Indonesian singer with 17 Anugerah Musik Indonesia awards, 8 Panasonic awards, 5 Nickolodeon Indonesia Kids' Choice awards and 4 MTV Indonesia awards to name just a few as of 2017.
Anggun Cipta Sasmi - Also starting her musical career as a child performer, Anggun started her music career in Indonesia before moving in 1994 to Europe to try to make an impression in more intentional markets in 1994, although, only after releasing three critically acclaimed albums back home. Her first international album, “Snow on the Sahara” created by French producer Erick Benzi became the best selling album by and Asian artist outside of Asia in 1997, reaching number one in several countries and charting on the Billboard charts in the USA. She has released five English language albums, six French language albums and a soundtrack for the Danish film “Open Hearts” since her international breakthrough. She has also worked as a judge for the talent shows X Factor Indonesia, Indonesia's Got Talent and Asia's Got Talent and is the highest paid judge in Indonesian television history. She has been certified as gold and platinum in several European countries and has even bee immortalised in wax by Madame Tussauds.
Mulan Jameela - Also known as ulan Kwok, this Indonesian solo singer has made a strong impression in Indonesia. She started as a cafe singer and subsequently joined several bands, most notably forming a duo with Maia Ahmad which they called Ratu. The first single from their debut album “Teman Tapi Mesra” was a smash hit and quickly elevated Mulan's name to a household status. The album peaked number one in Indonesia for several consecutive weeks and sold over 500 thousand copes. In 2008, she released her first solo album titled “Mulan Jameela”, the lead single of which titled “Makhluk Tuhan Paling Sexy” rose to number one in competition with her ex-parner Maia. Her second single also gained number one status has the album was certified as platinum just a few weeks after release.
Gita Gutawa - Gita is a soprano singer, actress and songwriter. Daughter of the famed Erwin Gutawa, she was discovered in 2004 while practicing her vocals, and was immediately booked to sing a duet with ADA band. The album “Heaven of Love” was released in 2005 and featured the duet, selling more than 800 thousand copies, which led to her being approached by Sony Music Indonesia to record a solo album. She quit her music career in 2011 to pursue a degree in economics in England, although not without leaving a lasting impression on the music of Indonesia.


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