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Dewa 19 (Pronounced in Indonesian Dewa sembilanbelas), often referred to as Dewa, were an Indonesian rock band originating from Surabaya, East Java.

Dewa 19
OriginSurabaya, Indonesia
GenresRock, Pop rock, Alternative rock
Years active1986–2011, 2012-present (reunion concerts)
LabelsTeam Records, Aquarius Musikindo, EMI Indonesia
Past membersDhani Ahmad Prasetyo
Andra Ramadhan
Agung Yudha
Yuke Sampurna
Ari Lasso
Erwin Prasetya
Wawan Juniarso
Wong Aksan
Gabriel Bimo Sulaksono
Setyo Nugroho (Tyo Nugros)
Elfonda Mekel (Once)

The band was formed in 1986 there have been a number of changes to the lineup and finally they were disbanded in 2011. Their last members lineup were: Ahmad Dhani (keyboard), Andra (guitar), Agung Yudha (drums), Yuke (bass guitar), & Once (vocals).


Beginnings (1986-1991)Edit

Dewa was formed in 1986 by four students from State Junior High School 6 (SMPN 6) in Surabaya. The name Dewa is an acronym of the founding members' names: D from Dhani (keyboard, vocals), E from Erwin Prasetya (bass guitar), W from Wawan Juniarso (drums) and A from Andra (guitar). Dewa is also an Indonesian word meaning 'god', or 'deity'. The band was initially based at Wawan's dorm at Airlangga University.

Wanting to take a different direction, Wawan left the band in 1988 and formed Outsider with Ari Lasso. The name Dewa was changed to Down Beat which became reasonably well-known in East Java during that time.

When rock band Slank became famous, Wawan was asked to rejoin Dewa to rejuvenate the band and Ari Lasso was invited too. When the band's members were 19 years old, Down Beat changed its name to Dewa 19. Due to the lack of a studio that met their requirements in Surabaya, the band moved to Jakarta, where after a number of rejections by record companies, a Dewa 19 master was finally recorded by Team Records.

Mainstream success, line-up instability, & disbanding (1991-2011)Edit

The first album Dewa 19 was released in 1992. Exceeding expectations, the album received awards from BASF in the categories of Best Newcomer and Most Popular Album of 1993. In this album their signature songs are "Kangen" & "Kita Tidak Sedang Bercinta Lagi".

During the making of the second album Format Masa Depan which was released in 1994, Wawan left the band again due to incompatibility between the members. After their 1995 album Terbaik-Terbaik which enjoyed sales of more than half a million units was completed, Wong Aksan joined the band as drummer. Wong departed too after the following album Pandawa Lima was finished in 1997 and was replaced by Bimo Sulaksono, a former member of NetralNot long thereafter Bimo left Dewa 19 and together with Bebi formed the band Romeo.

In addition to the problem of frequent changes to the lineup, Dewa 19 also suffered from the implications of the alleged drug addiction problems of two other band members. Erwin entered a rehabilitation program to end a drug dependency which was ultimately successful. Ari Lasso also experienced drug addiction problem that affected to his vocal difficulties which makes Ari departed from the band in 1999, and Dhani insisted that the vocalist role will be replaced by Once whom he met in 1997. The vacant drummer's seat will be sitted by Tyo Nugros.

In 2000, Dewa made a breakthrough, along with the release time of their fifth album Bintang Lima, the band changed their name from Dewa 19 back to Dewa. Bintang Lima was a huge commercial success, selling over 1.7 million copies in Indonesia.[1] It is the highest selling album in the band's career history. When they recorded the album, Erwin returned to the band as bass guitar player. In this album their signature songs are Roman Picisan, Dua Sejoli, Risalah Hati, Separuh Nafas, Lagu Cinta & Sayap-Sayap Patah.

In 2002, Arjuna Mencari Cinta, one of Dewa's hits song in the album, Cintailah Cinta, was plagued by copyright issues and eventually the band was forced to change the name to "Arjuna" only. Erwin left due to differences with the band's management and was replaced by Yuke Sampurna, former bassist of The Groove. In this album their signature songs are Arjuna, Kosong, Mistikus Cinta, Pupus, Cintailah Cinta, Kasidah Cinta, & Air Mata.

In 2004, Dewa released a live album entitled Atas Nama Cinta I & II followed by the studio album Laskar Cinta. Later, in the same year Dewa, returned their name to Dewa 19 again. In this album, they recorded 1 English song, Sweetest Place along with their hits song, Pangeran Cinta, Satu, Hidup Ini Indah & Hadapi Dengan Senyuman.

In 2006, their eighth studio album Republik Cinta was released. The album has spawned three radio hit singles: "Laskar Cinta", "Selimut Hati" and "Sedang Ingin Bercinta".

In 2007, Tyo Nugros left Dewa 19 due to a leg injury the left him unable to play drums. He was replaced by Agung Yudha.

In 2011, Ahmad Dhani announced Elfonda 'Once' Mekel has left the band on January 19.[2] Dhani auditioned many singers for lead singer, the strongest candidate was Judika Sihotang, the runner-up winner of 2005 Indonesian Idol singing contest, who was later put into Dhani's side project Mahadewa.[3] Answering rumours that the band had broken up Ahmad Dhani stated that Dewa 19 is currently disbanded, but hasn't permanently broken up [4]

Post-Dewa activitiesEdit

Side projects, solo careers, & recent activities (2011-present)Edit

Each member of Dewa 19 has developed their own side projects. Dhani is now the president and manager of his own Republik Cinta (Love Republic) Management, which produces/manages various artists and groups, such as The Virgin, Mulan Jameela,[5] he is also playing for The Rock[6] (now T.R.I.A.D.)[7] & Mahadewa (featuring Judika as the lead vocal).[8] Meanwhile, Andra plays guitar for his own groupAndra and The BackBone, Wong Aksan became the drummer for the group Potret, Erwin is the bassist for the group Matadewa & collaborates with various musicians, Yuke joined a supergroup AYLI Project, Ari Lasso developed his solo career and joined AYLI Project, and Once developed a solo career and also joined AYLI Project.[9]


Studio albumsEdit

  • Dewa 19 (1992)
  • Format Masa Depan (1994)
  • Terbaik-Terbaik (1995)
  • Pandawa Lima (1997)
  • Bintang Lima (2000)
  • Cintailah Cinta (2002)
  • Laskar Cinta (2004)
  • Republik Cinta (2006)
  • Kerajaan Cinta (2007)

Live albumsEdit

  • Atas Nama Cinta I & II (2004)
  • Live in Japan (limited edition DVD) (2005)

Compilation albumsEdit

  • The Best of Dewa 19 (1999)
  • The Best of Republik Cinta Management (2009)

Band membersEdit


  • Ahmad Dhani – Keyboards, Sampling, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals (1986–2011)
  • Andra Ramadhan – Lead Guitar (1986–2011)
  • Once – Lead Vocals (1999–2011)
  • Yuke – bass (2002–2011)
  • Agung Yudha – drums (2007–2011)

Former membersEdit

  • Wawan Juniarso – Drums (1986–1988, 1991–1994)
  • Erwin Prasetya – Bass (1986–1999, 2001–2002)
  • Ari Lasso – Lead Vocals (1991–1999)
  • Wong Aksan – Drums (1995–1998)
  • Gabriel Bimo Sulaksono - Drums (1998-1999)
  • Tyo Nugros – Drums (1999–2007)


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "New Kings Of Pop Music" (in Indonesian). Tempo Interaktif. 2009. Archived from the original on January 23, 2010. Retrieved 2009-08-10. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2018-08-21. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Dhani buat Mahadewa Band - Sriwijaya Post". Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2011-10-15. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Home / Berita Musisi - LaguRepublik Cinta Management Artist (2009-07-24). "Republik Cinta Management - Republik Cinta Manajemen - Republik Cinta". Oktavita.Com. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  6. ^ " Musik - Ahmad Dhani: The Rock Masih Tak Punya Konsep". 2010-05-18. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  7. ^ "Triad - Triad Band - T.r.i.a.d". Oktavita.Com. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  8. ^[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "AYLI Project, Garapan Ambisius Dua Mantan Vokalis Dewa 19 -". 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2012-04-11.

External linksEdit