Indonesia is one of the most densely populated countries in the Asia-Pacific region with a population of more than 260 million people. Throughout history Indonesian musicians have been open to different musical influences from around the world so it is perhaps unsurprising that the contemporary music of Indonesia is diverse and vibrant. Indonesian pop music today is known by various names including Indo Pop, and is heavily influenced by trends and recordings from America, Britain, Japan, and Korea. However the genre also expresses the sentiments and styles of contemporary Indonesian life. Let’s look at some of the biggest and most promising musical acts in Indonesia today.
One of the most influential Indonesian singers in the pop music scene, especially during the early 2000s, is Agnes Monica, who had later became known as Agnez Mo. The singer-songwriter and actress was born in 1986 and started her career at the age of six. In 2003 she released her debut album as an adult, And The Story Goes, which catapulted her back into the limelight. Over the years she has participated in several song festivals and in 2010 was appointed as a judge on Indonesian Idol. In addition to her numerous awards, she also takes a keen interest in humanitarian issues. Check out the video for her latest single, As Long As I Get Paid, below!
Fatin Shidqia Lubis, better known as Fatin won the first season of The X Factor in Indonesia in 2013. Her debut album, For You, went straight to number one, and produced several singles. She has won several AMI Awards, which recognise outstanding contributions to Indonesian music, and in 2016 she debuted her first English language single, Away. Watch the video for her winner’s single from The X Factor, Aku Memilih Setia, below.
Rossa Roslaina Sri Handayani, known as Rossa, is one of Indonesia’s most popular artists with album sales of more than five million. She released her debut album in 1996 and like many of her contemporaries, she has also carved out a successful career as a judge on talent shows such as The X Factor. She has over 3.8 million followers on Instagram.
Afgan Syahreza was born in Jakarta in 1989 and released his debut album, Confession No.1 in 2008. His music has been described as a mixture of jazz and pop with R&B influences. Afgan made his acting debut in 2009 and has starred in numerous films. He released his latest single, Kunci Hati, in 2016. Watch the video below!
Anggun Cipta Sasmi, known as Anggun, is an Indonesian and French-naturalised singer-songwriter. She began performing at the age of seven and released her first album in 1986. She emerged as one of the most prominent Indonesian rock stars of the 1990s. In 1994 she left Indonesia to pursue an international career and released her first international album, Snow On The Sahara in 1997. She has featured on the judging panels of various talent shows including X Factor Indonesia (2013), Indonesia’s Got Talent (2014) and Asia’s Got Talent (2015 and 2017). Anggun also has significant album sales outside Asia, with her releases being certified gold and platinum in some European countries. She represented France in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan, with the song Echo (You and I). Check out her live performance below!