Malaysian rock band Search found their new vocalist Denden Gonjalez via his YouTube covers

Replacing Amy Search, who departed the veteran band in 2020

Malaysian rock band Search have revealed the replacement for their longtime vocalist Amy: Indonesian YouTuber Denden Gonjalez.

The veteran rockers have been without a vocalist since the departure of Amy in 2020 due to complications with the quality of his voice, but it appears that the band have found a replacement, according to Search guitarist Noordin Mohd. Taib.

Speaking to local news outlet Kosmo! on December 31, Taib said, “Search chose Denden because of his powerful voice and his ability to sing in a high pitch, which suits our repertoire of music.”

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“From a credibility standpoint, he is no stranger to Indonesia’s music scene due to his popularity on YouTube from posting cover songs for the last five years. In fact, we discovered him on YouTube.”

Watch Gonjalez ‘join’ the band for a jamming session via a video posted to his YouTube channel:

Taib also announced that longtime Search collaborator Yan would be joining the band permanently as their bassist. Yan has had a long history with Search, first contributing his musical prowess to their 1985 debut album, ‘Cinta Buatan Malaysia’, and has since joined them on the album ‘Rampage’ and their collaboration with fellow veteran rockers Wings, ‘Double Trouble’.

Bandung-based Gonjalez became a YouTube sensation through his raw, powerful vocals, regularly garnering hundreds of thousands of views with his cover videos. He became the face of a viral hit upon making an appearance on the talent show Voice of Bulgaria in October 2021 with his cover of Steelheart’s ‘She’s Gone’, with the YouTube video of his performance registering over 5.94million views at the time of writing.

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He has also written his own original material, having most recently released the song ‘Mimpi’ back in September 2021.

Search are one of Malaysia’s most prominent rock bands, having released 11 studio albums starting with their debut ‘Cinta Buatan Malaysia’ (‘Malaysian Made Love’) in 1985. The band are widely known for their 1989 single ‘Isabella’, as well as other 1987 hits such as ‘Gadisku’ (‘My Girl’), ‘Fantasia Bulan Madu’ (‘Honeymoon Fantasia’), and more.

In May 2021, the band were embroiled in a dispute over unlicensed Search merchandise being produced and sold by online retailer and merchandising business Home of Champions, a dispute that Taib said at the time was the worst conflict the band had in decades. The two parties have since come to an agreement, as Home of Champions now promotes official Search merchandise.

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