In the early 1970s, Roesli formed The Gang of Harry Rusli. First playing rock and blues, they later switched to acoustic and made a protest album inspired by Bob Dylan. He released his debut solo album, Philosophy Gang, in 1973. Although initially interested in becoming a writer like his grandfather and writing numerous pieces of poetry, his work was never published. After his album with The Gang of Harry Rusli, he went to the Jakarta Art Educational Institute. He then studied on scholarship at the Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands for two years; he graduated in 1981.
Upon his return, Roesli began work on an avant-garde project mixing the sounds of Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, and Karlheinz Stockhausen with poetry by Yudhistira Ardi Noegraha.