M'sian Bakat List #7: This Local Pop-Rock Band Has Been Signed To A US Record Label!

Another step forward for Malaysian music!

  • Rejected by record labels at home, local pop-rock outfit Beat The System sent their EP to Monster Hits Music in the United States. Here’s the pièce de résistance - the owner signed the band without a second thought!

  • Beat The System, headed by Gerald Sellan, first entered the music scene in 2005 with its compilation album titled 'Panic In The Peninsula', which was released by Disaster Records

    • Beat The System comprises of Malaysians Stewart Sellan (lead guitarist), Gerald Sellan (drummer and songwriter), and Adrian Puan (songwriter), as well as American lead vocalist May Leigh.

  • While their debut album did pretty well, it didn't give them the recognition they wanted. That didn't stop them from chasing their dream of being one of the best bands in Malaysia.

    • "It has been quite a journey getting to where we are. Many didn’t believe that we would make it this far and even more discouraged us from trying. It was a 'lonely journey' bringing the band so far,“ said Gerald, the engineering graduate.

  • Tired of being rejected by local record labels and the lack of recognition, Gerald bit the bullet and decided to send a demo to Diana Meltzer — an American music industry executive and owner of Monster Hits Music. The rest, like they say, is history.

    • “We have always been a fan of Diana and Creed has always been an inspiration with their positive music. So, it was a dream-come-true when Diana herself flew to KL to sign us," said Sellan.

      Meltzer is responsible for the success of many bands like Creed and Evanescence.

  • The signing made Beat The System the first Malaysian band to be signed by an international record label. Gerald hopes that their music will transcend cultural boundaries and act as a voice for the marginalised.

    • We are about beating the system. People don’t like addressing the misunderstood and the marginalised. I really hope we would be a voice that would speak for the oddities that don’t fit the ‘system’," he said emphasising that content matters despite the music genre.

  • Currently based in New York, the four-piece band is set to release its next album, 'Journey', later this year

    • The album was named 'Journey' in honour of their respective journeys that brought them together as a band. Journey would carry 12 songs with the highlight being the last track titled Kembalilah as a toast to the band’s Malaysian roots.

      The album is produced by Andy Anderson and mixed by Damien Page Lewis. Both Anderson and Lewis are award winners.

  • The first single from the album, 'Be Your Own' was released on 21 April and it has been well received by many! Have a listen here:

    • At the time of writing, the song has gotten over 100,000 views on YouTube with over 900 likes!

  • Awesome stuff, guys! Here's to bringing Malaysian music to another level!

  • Do you have a talent that you're dying to show the world? Be it singing, dancing, filmmaking or anything that can make everyone go "WOW! THAT'S COOL", we want to feature YOU!

    • So, if you have something you would want to share with us, send them over to [email protected] or send us a message on Facebook. Don't be shy! :)

      Stay tuned for the next episode of Malaysian Bakat List!

  • Last week on Malaysian Bakat List, we showcased Emerson Thong's awesome work in video games like DOOM and Angry Birds:

  • The state of Malaysian music couldn't be any better! Check out some of these accolades:

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