Formed in 2002, the band has taken its own road compared to the current big acts from its homeland such as Peter Pan and Dewa. For one, the album features songs in Indonesian and English and the band, being an independent act, has stayed true to its roots and managed to turn its music and image into a mainstream one.
“Being an independent band, it took us a little longer to search for a record label that we liked. We finally found a label in 2005 and that’s the same time we added a keyboard player to our band,” said Nidji guitarist and co-founder Ramadista Akbar or better known as Rama in a recent interview at Hard Rock Cafe in Kuala Lumpur.
Interestingly, the band’s name is derived from the Japanese word niji, which means rainbow but the band members added the letter “d” to add the Indonesian flavour to it. The rainbow also reflects the different music influences such as progressive, funk, alternative and pop.
The band members stated their range of influences such as the Beatles, Coldplay, Keane and Interpol. With such a heady mix of influences, Nidji is putting indie music at the forefront and their debut album is testament to that.
The band's line-up is completed by Adri Prakarsa (drums), Ariel (lead guitar), Giring Ganesha or better known as Giri (vocals, keyboards, guitars), Andro Regantoro (bass), Rama (rhythm guitar) and Randy Danistha (keyboards). All of them are in the early 20s and are already enjoying commercial success at home (with 50, 000 units of its debut sold).
Where live performances are concerned, Nidji is a smouldering act to catch. The band members exuded confidence like a seasoned outfit. And frontman Giri was full of energy, constantly addressing the audience and his vocal prowess almost always pitch perfect.
At the Hard Rock Cafe showcase, the band opened with its upbeat English number Heaven, and made an impressive show of it. But when it came on with Hapus Aku, a mid-tempo melodic ballad, the different facets of Nidji began to show. Of course, Giri seemed more comfortable singing in Indonesian.
With a mixture of Indo ballads with an indie edge and the notable Disco Lazy Time, a Robert Smith-inspired break up tune, this Bandung outfit proved that it could deliver the goods on stage. If the band's debut manages to cause a stir in this country, it certainly won't be long before Nidji returns to these shores with a bigger show.
By Rizal Johan at Star Online Malaysia