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Hijabi ‘indie moms’ embraced by younger Indonesian music followers

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At a packed competition in central Jakarta, hijab-clad sexagenarian singer Rien Djamain bursts into an upbeat observe about nuclear destruction to a crowd of hundreds, principally younger Indonesians.

Behind the frontwoman of the all-female Nasida Ria band are her fellow musicians, wearing silver and black sequined clothes, backing up her velvety vocals with bongos, violins, mandolins, bamboo flutes and tambourines.

“O cursed creator of the nuclear bomb, why do you invite the day of judgement?” she sang on the observe “Bom Nuklir”.

Younger concert-goers swung backward and forward throughout the macabre ditty, shouting “mom!” at their favorite band members.

Initially fashioned 47 years in the past as a Koran recital group, the band now numbers a dozen performers, fusing Arabic and conventional Indonesian dangdut music, which was as soon as thought cheesy and dated in cosmopolitan circles.

Their humorous Islamic pop tunes about severe themes, corresponding to justice and human rights, have caught on with social media-obsessed younger individuals searching for some levity of their playlists.

Using the wave of Indonesia’s more and more vibrant music scene, the band’s droll lyrics have gained them a sure notoriety.

Their songs are laden with similes and metaphors, evaluating womanisers to “seditious bats” or describing how “monkeys like to hold rifles, people like to indicate nipples”.

Twenty-three-year-old Fathul Amin stated he thinks the band is “extra than simply cool”.

“Why? As a result of the entire members are ladies who can play greater than three musical devices,” he stated.

Display screen grabs of Nasida Ria’s expressive phrases have been extensively shared as memes, forging a connection between the band and the youthful era.

“That’s how youths talk these days, and that’s OK. Extra importantly, it reveals that our messages by the songs are nicely accepted,” Djamain informed AFP.

“I’m grateful that regardless of the principally outdated members, Nasida Ria continues to be cherished by the youths. That our music continues to be pleasant to them.”

– ‘Responsible pleasure’ –

Music consumption in Indonesia is evolving, consultants say, with listeners including mixtures of genres that embody extra conventional sounds — corresponding to dangdut with Javanese lyrics or reggae-pop sung in japanese Indonesian dialects — to their Western favourites.

That rising pattern has made Nasida Ria extra related than ever, based on music journalist Shindu Alpito.

“The youthful generations are likely to have fun music with a way of humour. They’re attracted not solely to the musical aesthetics but in addition musical comedy,” he informed AFP.

Dangdut music has been growing in recognition, with acts now taking part in at festivals throughout Indonesia, performing for younger audiences alongside rock bands, along with gigs for his or her ordinary crowds in smaller villages.

“A number of youths in… Jakarta are re-embracing native music. Now, all these music are what they name a responsible pleasure,” Alpito stated.

“Islamic songs are often severe, with lyrics rigorously quoting Islamic teachings. Nevertheless, Nasida Ria have charmed broader society by a language model that’s straightforward to know and amusing.”

– YouTube surge –

The group capitalised on the demand for leisure whereas the world was caught indoors and live performance venues have been closed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nasida Ria’s youngest member, 27-year-old Nazla Zain, attributes their success to trendy know-how permitting individuals from all backgrounds to be uncovered to their music.

“We’re maintaining with the pattern through the use of YouTube and different music functions,” she stated.

“So now youths with cell phones can hearken to our songs. That is likely to be a purpose why they like us.”

They’ve seen their YouTube subscriber depend surge six-fold since March 2020 to just about 500,000.

Additionally they boast almost 50,000 listeners each month on streaming platform Spotify and 38,000 followers on Instagram.

“They’re so cool as they nonetheless carry out at a not-so-young age,” stated 32-year-old steel and punk fan Ricky Prasetyo.

“No marvel many individuals name them the indie moms.”