By Shakia Stewart, Digital Content Manager

16 October 2017 - 15:38

Onar performing at Archipelago Festival in Jakarta.
Onar performing at Archipelago Festival in Jakarta. 

Ahead of the UK/ID Festival 2017 ‘Come Together’, we caught up with Teguh Wicaksono from the Archipelago Music Conference and Emerging Talent Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia which featured local bands alongside Afrikan Boy and Chloe Martini from the UK with support from the British Council.  

Teguh spoke to us about why the global music industry should be interested in Indonesia, and what top three Indonesian artists the UK public should be listening to right now.

Firstly, tell us a bit about the Archipelago Festival

Earlier this year I was invited by the British Council to attend The Great Escape (TGE) in Brighton for a second time. It was so amazing to see how diverse the UK industry is, how influential you guys are as a country, as citizens. 

In Indonesia, most people think that music is just about people playing on stage. People don’t really talk about any [music industry] issues. But this is exactly the thing that people from TGE in the UK (and SXSW in the US) do. I really wanted to extend that idea and localise it to Indonesia.

We want to give back to the community because it’s about time people started thinking about solutions for all our ongoing problems.

It’s a really simple idea but I think implementing this in Indonesia needs both confidence and spirit. I’m very lucky that I have all these friends, communities and collectives who want to support this event. 

Indonesia is a really collective country, and the vibe is really warm. 

How did you choose who to invite? 

There are two parts to the festival, the music conference and then the festival itself. 

I wanted to invited practitioners because in the music scene they are the ones who can actually deliver examples and case studies. You can invite professors; they have all the theories, have studied for years, but they don’t ‘walk the talk’. I wanted to curate and showcase the people who actually walk the talk. 

I’m super happy because the demography of people coming to festival is actually young people, craving, thirsty for new knowledge and networking. 

Why do you think the global industry should be interested in Indonesia?

This is a really interesting question, because it’s not only about music. Indonesia is a really ‘sexy’ country globally because we have volume. We’re a huge country [with a population of over 265 million people.] On top of that, as people we’re open, enthusiastic, and adaptable. Digital innovation is also really tangible here; its not just a vague concept, you can see it day-to-day.  

Teguh Wicaksono
Teguh Wicaksono: Personally, I have been really influenced by UK culture since I was a kid.

Who are the top three Indonesian artists that the UK public should be listening to right now?

1. Onar 

Genre: Hip-hop

I’m a huge fan of the UK grime scene – Skepta, Wiley, JME…and hip hop is becoming more tangible now because of its digital presence in Indonesia. 

So firstly, I recommend a collective called Onar’. They are like a new version of Wu-Tang Clan or BBK (Boy Better Know). They play ‘Gen-Z’ hip-hop. Hip-hop is about capturing social phenomenon, addressing social anxiety and social issues, and they have all that. 

2. Senyawa 

Genre: Experimental

These are two guys from Yogyakarta. One creates original instruments from different materials, which create really distinctive sounds. The other is creating all this interesting sound vocally. They’ve played Boiler Room, SXSW and RedBull, but they are so underrated in this country.  

This is definitely a must go-to Indonesian band. 

3. Barasuara 

Genre: Indie

This is a must-check band from Jakarta because it’s a really good mixture of rock music, but also great song writing in Bahasa Indonesia. They make a lot effort to localise the band’s music, the singer wears batik, they incorporate the friendly values of Indonesia and they sing about local issues.