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Watch Pop Band Beat The System Traverse the Night in ‘What If’ Video

The Malaysia-origin, New York-based recently performed at Montauk Music Festival

Anurag Tagat May 28, 2022

New York-based pop band Beat The System. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

New York pop quartet Beat The System answer the call of a night out on the town in the shimmering music video for their latest single “What If.”

Directed by filmmaker Joshua Frank, the track is their first release of the year and follows their 2021 EP Antihero. Drummer Gerald Sellan says it took some time to reach the desired sound, but overall, they are happy with the result. “Adrian [Puan] is the primary songwriter of the band , he definitely knocked it out and did a wonderful job with the lyrics here,” he adds.   

The band sums up the mood and intent of “What If” as one of excitement coupled with the creeping uncertainty around a potential relationship. “In general, our minds tend to ask ‘what if?’ in many situations, whether that’s the worst-case scenario or the best possible. All of that paired with an infectious beat brings some positivity to a complex emotional situation,” Sellan says.

Originally founded in 2005 in Johor Bahru in Malaysia, guitarist Stewart Sellan decided to move the band to Kuala Lumpur a few years later and enlisted his brother Gerald as the drummer. With songwriter Adrian Puan also joining the fold, Beat The System made important moves in Malaysia with rock-leaning singles like “Shine” (2012) and “Hero” (2013), but ultimately had the American music industry in their sights. The trio moved to New York in 2014, chipping away at what would become their debut full-length album Journey, released in 2019.

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Drummer Sellan says about making their big move from Malaysia to the U.S., “It was definitely a journey fraught with many challenges.” From immigration to culture shock, the trio say they couldn’t have it any other way. “This has made us stronger. With the amount of time we spent in the U.S., we made contacts, and networking is key to any successful regime, which helped us a lot to navigate and make things easier on the whole,” he adds.

Beat The System was fronted by a few singers (including May Leigh for Journey) before they enlisted American Idol alum Shannon Gibbons as the lead vocalist in 2020. Understandably, the ensuing pandemic did put a dampener on their plans to tour with Gibbons, but Beat The System went on to release singles like “Chasing the High,” “Sapphire,” “California Dreaming” and the title track to their 2021 EP Antihero. “It is thanks to our fans and the love they showered us with on our releases during that time that we made it out stronger,” drummer Sellan says.

With live shows eventually resuming the last year, Beat The System were invited to perform at the Montauk Music Festival in March. Sellan adds, “We are currently in the process of booking shows for the summer and have been performing at a few music festivals in the New York region. We are working on booking a nationwide tour and are currently in the process of writing our next single.”

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Watch the video for “What If” below. Stream the song here.