Dewa Budjana – Mahandini
In 1976, when he was thirteen, Budjana’s name started to be seen in the music world in Surabaya. Later, in 1981, he bought a “real” electric guitar (an Aria Pro II) and started to play with many different people. Slowly, his musical style changed from pop rock to jazz, as he started to incorporate influences from John McLaughlin of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Chick Corea, Yes, Gentle Giant, Kansas, Tangerine Dream, American Garage, Bright Size Life, Pat Metheny and Allan Holdsworth.
In 1980, Budjana started Squirrel, his first jazz band, with his schoolmates in Surabaya. Squirrel participated in a number of national music events, including Light Music Contest in 1984 at Teater Terbuka, TIM, Indonesia. Though many contestants participated, it was Budjana and his bandmates who outperformed the competition and won. One year after that, Budjana decided to fly to Jakarta in order to expand his music career. This journey lead him to Jack Lesmana, an Indonesian jazz legend, who introduced him to other professional musicians.