Beat the System (band)

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Beat the System
Origin Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Genres Rock, pop rock
Years active 2005 (2005)–present
  • Stewart Sellan
  • Gerald Sellan
  • May Leigh
  • Adrian Puan

Beat the System is a Malaysian/American rock band from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[2] Formed in 2005 by lead guitarist Stewart Sellan. Currently the band consists of lead vocalist May Leigh (formerly solo singer Megan McCauley),[3] lead guitarist Stewart Sellan, drummer/composer Gerald Sellan and composer Adrian Puan. Since the band's formation, there has been several line-up changes.

The band's debut single, "Gone", was on TraXX FM charts for 10 weeks in a row and 4 weeks at number 1. Beat the System has released multiple singles, including 2009's "Penipuan Berwaris", which was also selected as the single of Warner Music Malaysia compilation album "Indiestructable:Spirit of Freedom",[4] 2010's "Transisi" a track that was written and produced by Beat the System for Warner Music Malaysia/EMI artist Fiq for his second album 'Diagnostik',[5] and 2012's "Shine" featuring Malaysian Idol winner Jaclyn Victor.[4]

In response to their single "Shine", Beat the System won the Song of the Year Award, Best Collaboration Award[6] and Best Genre Bender Award at the 2012 Asian Voice Independent Music Awards featuring bands all over Asia.[4][7][8]

In 2010, Beat the System was certified with Tipped to Be the Next Big Thing by the Asian Voice Independent Awards committee.[9]

Diana Meltzer discovered and arranged their move to the US.[10]


In 2005, lead guitarist Stewart Sellan met Rage at a church in Johor Bahru and started writing songs. The duo realized that they needed a bassist to perform and Sam Seelan was introduced to the band by Rage. It was when Stewart Sellan decided to move to Kuala Lumpur, that he realized his brother Gerald Sellan was a drummer and offered him to join the band. Gerald Sellan was appointed as the band leader after a couple of years and the band was directed towards a newer sound.

After the departure of Rage, Gerald Sellan and Adrian Puan were appointed to be songwriters for the band.[11]

After composing 10 brand new tracks, the band recorded a 30-minute EP and begins to shop for label in the US in which it caught the attention of Diana Meltzer of Monster Hits Music.[12]

Diana Meltzer, upon hearing the Beat the System EP, flew to Malaysia and started developing the band.[13][14][15][16] In December 2014 the band was relocated to New York to work on their debut album, Journey, with 4 time Dove Award winning producer Andy Anderson,[17] Grammy Awards nominated engineer Damien Page Lewis[18] and mastering engineer Chris Athens.[17][19]

Band members[edit]

Current members[20]
  • Gerald Sellan – songwriter, drums (2008–present)
  • Stewart Sellan – electric guitar, acoustic guitar (2005–present)
  • May Leigh – lead vocalist (2015–present)[21]
  • Adrian Puan – songwriter (2011–present)
Touring musicians
  • Mario Leong – keyboards, electric guitar, acoustic guitar (2011–present)


Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details
2005 Panic in the Peninsula
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: Disarseter Records
2008 VOIZE : Possibly the Best Compilation Ever!
  • Released: 2008
  • Label:
2009 Indiestructable - Spirit of Freedom
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Warner Music Malaysia
2010 A World Without Borders
  • Released: 2010
  • Label: VR1 Playtime Productions
2013 The Best of VIMA
  • Released: 2013
  • Label: Sony Music Malaysia

Compilation appearances[edit]

Year Song Album
2005 "Bring It On" Panic in the Peninsula
2006 "Heighten Horizon" (Sam Seelan and Rage was featured in this song together with Saer'ze and K-Town Clan) Holocaust
2008 "Penipuan Berwaris" Possibly the Best Compilation Ever! (Limited Edition)
2009 "Penipuan Berwaris" Indiestructable - Spirit of Freedom
2010 "Transisi" (featuring Fiq) Diagnostik
2010 "Gone" A World Without Borders
"Insanity" A World Without Borders
2013 "Shine" (featuring Jaclyn Victor) The Best of VIMA

Extended plays[edit]

Year Album details
2007 Beat the System EP
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: -

Awards and nominations[edit]

Asian Voice Independent Music Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
2010 Beat the System Tipped to be the Next Big Thing[9] Won
2010 "Penipuan Berwaris" Best Rock Song[22] Nominated
2012 "Shine" Song of the Year Won
2012 "Shine" Best Collaboration[7] Won
2012 "Shine" Best Genre Bender Won

Asian Bite My Music Global Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
2012 "Shine" Song of the Year Won
2012 "Shine" Best Collaboration[23] Won
2012 "Shine" Best Vocalist Nominated
2013 "Hero" Best Rock Song[24][25][26] Won


  1. ^ "Malaysian band beats the system in the US". Retrieved May 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Independent Asian Music Television". I-AMTV. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "BEAT THE SYSTEM". Retrieved May 25, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Tay, Selena (March 5, 2012). "Beat The System shines with Jaclyn Victor". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Fiq nafi tak berdisiplin". May 30, 2010. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ Tay, Selena (February 8, 2012). "Vima Music Awards announces its early winners". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Facebook Comments - Showbiz - New Straits Times". February 17, 2012. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "BERITA ARTIS - Anugerah VIMA Kembali Lagi". Retrieved April 12, 2014. [permanent dead link]
  9. ^ a b "Independent OPM Artists bagged 6 Golds at AVIMA 2010". Glamour Moments. May 8, 2010. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Monster Hits Music". Monster Hits Music. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ Entertainment (February 11, 2011). "Beat The System - Hard Rock Calling: Malaysia's Best and Brightest". Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ 13.42 WIB. "Dari Panggung Tanpa Bayaran, Beat The System Raih Sederet Penghargaan". Traxmagz.Com. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  13. ^ 13.42 WIB. "Beat The System, Distorsi Rock Negeri Jiran, Vokalis Bule dan Lirik Indonesia". Traxmagz.Com. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  14. ^ Egie Gusman (March 22, 2014). "Band Rock Asal Malaysia Ini Siap "Jajah" Indonesia :: Okezone Musik". Okezone. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  15. ^ " Musik - Band Malaysia Ini Optimis 'Jajah' Indonesia Dan Amerika". January 22, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Diana Meltzer | The Woman with the Golden Ear". Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b Flavourmag Team (May 24, 2016). "Premiere: Beat The System Announce the Release of New Single ‘Hero’ OUT May 27th". FLAVOURMAG. Retrieved May 25, 2016. 
  18. ^ "M'sian Bakat List #7: This Local Pop-Rock Band Has Been Signed To A US Record Label!". Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Beat The System Rock Band Invites Music Fans To 'Journey' On A Dynamic New Album". Retrieved September 12, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Beat The System". Facebook. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  21. ^ "BEAT THE SYSTEM". Retrieved May 25, 2016. 
  22. ^ "AVIMA Awards -2010". April 4, 2010. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  24. ^ "2013 VIMA Winners". Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Best Rock Song: Beat The System – Hero". Bite My Music. January 2, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  26. ^ "VIMA 2013 FINAL NOMINEES LIST ANNOUNCED!". Bite My Music. November 20, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]