Tuesday, February 10, 2009

DJAKARTA MAGAZINE | Out of Shell | 2006 | By Randy Salim

1. Now you're finally “out of shell”—just how cramped was it in there anyway?

Let’s put it this way: my first English song, “Uncommon” was written back in 1994, long way before I joined RSD. And first the song I produced, “Water Song”, hit the studio in 1997. The whole process of composing, recomposing, arranging, rearranging, mixing, remixing, still continued until end of 2000. And what year is it now? 2001—the real millennium? So, I won’t say it’s cramped. It was almost like being baked in a microwave, and the microwave is your own brain. You were attacked by countless waves of thought and emotion that were longing to be expressed and manifested, but you just don’t know how long the ‘ting’ finally tings till it tings! Got it? ;)

2. English—the language of snobs or poetic expression?

English, believe it or not, was my last priority. My deepest poetic drive originally rooted in Urdu. But, hey, it’s a real industry using some real money, so someone has to be realistic here.

3. Solo albums—a way of branching out or a way of saying I’m sick of the band?

A way of to keep myself sane. Have you ever heard memetics? It’s a new branch of science that studies meme—the smallest unit of mind that works like virus. It was designed to invade and infect others, otherwise it consumes its host to the last molecule. The same thing works in mind and emotional level. When you have ideas in whatever form, you just have to let them out at some point, or they’ll eat you up. As in my case, it would cause me continuously humming the same old tunes I’ve created 7 years ago, which is… pretty sickening. Or even lethal.

4. Personal preference—being known by the first letter of your name or the last name out of 3?

The first letter is always the best. I love “Dee”. May it be Dudung, Dadang, or Dodol! Somehow “Dewi RSD” sounds like an academic title, like Ph.D or something, which I hardly earn.

5. An English solo album by a known Indonesian singer/songwriter—‘think the folks up in the daerah will get it?

Well, I heard the Titanic soundtrack was a huge success in daerah, even before someone in the industry was creative enough to make a Sundanese or Bataknese version of “My Heart Will Go On” in cha-cha-dut house remix. So, yea, I think there’s always a chance.

6. Artis—an honourable title or a confused and misused 5-letter word?

It’s very a deceitful word; provides you free tickets, lots of salon’s voucher, insurance and credit card applications—since everybody thinks you’re all filthy rich. At the same time, it exposes you to so many shallow and unnecessary publicities, and before you know it, you will hold a press conference just to confirm you finally dumped your pacar for real.

7. Sinetrons and advertisement—please tell us you’re not, and hopefully never going to do either one…

If you have a message or something meaningful to say, would you prefer to pack it in a form of an exclusive, high-cost mega movie that would only attract hundreds of audience, or in a sinetron that’s watched by millions? I don’t have anything against sinetrons (though I hardly watch any), or advertisements. In fact, I think they are very powerful mediums. I know I won’t be an artis sinetron for sure, but I don’t mind producing one just for the sake of passing down a positive message (or: spreading my memes). I also think that advertisement, if it truly supports your ideal and not the other way around, can be an amplifier for the image you want to deliver.

8. Celebrity Death Match—between you and Anggun (as the only other known English-singing Indonesian), who would kick whose ass if you were both immortalized in clay?

Ha! Lucky you. My insider just told me that the real threat is not the return of Anggun’s fang that was once removed in a secret operation in Paris (which would resurrect her vampire’s bite), but the undercover Neo-Nazi skinheads that will butcher all the mulatto’s skinned people in the stadium, including me and Anggun. So, for your information, I will thoroughly airbrush my skin with water-proof silver paint, then arm myself with chains of garlic. Sounds like a plan, eh? Let’s see who really kicks some ass!