GUSTI HENDY

GIGI & LIGRO TRIO

GUSTI HENDY

Upon graduating high school in 1998, Hendy moved to Jakarta to continue his academic and musical studies, including fulfilling a long-held dream to learn from Gilang Ramadhan. He also formed the band Fresh, which contributed the song “Terbang” to record label Indosemar Sakti’s compilation album Kompilasi Bintang 8, with plans to record a Gilang-produced album that ultimately fell through, and the band split up in 2002.

Under Gilang’s tutelage, Hendy was asked to join Big City Blues, in which he played jazz and blues with veteran musicians Donny Suhendra, A.S. Mates and Albert Warnerin. While trying to keep up his communications degree studies, Hendy and Big City Blues regularly played at cafes and on TVRI’s Blues Night. Through Blues Night, Hendy caught the attention of former God Bless keyboardist Yockie Suryoprayogo, who personally invited Hendy to perform as part of his Rock Opera. In turn, this performance led to an invitation to play drums for the Erwin Gutawa Orchestra, followed by more studio session work for Erwin and also another performance with Yockie for the massive “Kesaksian 2003” concert by Kantata Takwa, the supergroup consisting of Yockie, Iwan Fals, Setiawan Djody, W.S. Rendra and Sawung Jabo.

Around the same time as finishing his studies and getting his communications degree, in 2003 Hendy joined the band Omelette and released one album before resigning. His stint in Omelette brought him to the attention of Gigi, one of Indonesian’s biggest rock bands with whom Omelette shared management under POS Entertainment. When drummer Budhy Haryono was unavailable to record Gigi’s album for the Brownies film soundtrack, he recommended Hendy as his temporary replacement, and the band soldiered on. After recording Raihlah Kemenangan, an album of cover versions and new original songs with a religious theme, and performing numerous shows, Hendy was made a permanent member of Gigi in mid-2004.

This was another dream come true for Hendy, who had been a fan of the band – especially their original drummer, Ronald Fristianto – since their inception when he was still in junior high. He would even brag to his friends that one day he would be playing drums with Gigi, not even realizing it would come true. Joining Gigi also brought a reunion of sorts with guitarist Dewa Budjana, who was 26 years old when he was impressed enough by the nine-year-old Hendy at the Farabi school and offered to have an impromptu jam session. Later on, Budjana also invited Hendy to play in his trio side project, which ultimately led to his membership in Gigi soon after.

With Hendy on board, Gigi entered its most productive period, releasing no less than 10 albums since 2004, with their next project recorded live at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios in late 2013. Hendy has also helped maintain the band’s reputation as one of Indonesia’s most exciting live acts, even playing alongside his predecessors Ronald and Budhy during occasional reunion shows.

Meanwhile, in between his busy schedule with Gigi, Hendy also finds time to devote his energy towards Ligro, the power trio he formed in 2004 with guitarist Agam Hamzah and bassist Ade Darmawan. Fusing Eastern and Western music elements, this self-styled jazz rock group of “crazy people” has released two highly-acclaimed albums, Dictionary (2008) and Dictionary 2 (2012) that fully showcase the explosive drum and percussion work of Hendy, who also serves as executive producer.

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