The AU Review’s Larry Heath chats with Indonesian singer, Raisa Andriana exclusively at Singapore. She was one of the performers at the opening party at Music Matters showcase.
Thank you very much for joining us, and welcome to Music Matters!
Have you played much in Singapore over the years?
I’ve done three gigs, I think, in Singapore! One was a concert, at the Star Theatre, we played at the Star Theatre. It was cool, it was packed. There were two thousand people there, which is so much higher than my expectations and the audience here is cool, and the venue is amazing. It’s always nice being here!
Do you find the audiences here are similar to at home (Indonesia) or is there a clear difference in that? You’re not far, but then again, Australia is not far and that couldn’t be more different!
Clearly, it’s different from a language perspective, so I have to do different narratives, different jokes and different ways to engage with the audience but they’re very attentive. I’m obviously less known here so their willingness to know what my songs are about and just for them to listen or shout or sing along like back home, they really listen to the song and it’s always a different experience. At first it was nerve wrecking, but they’re really attentive and it’s nice!
You’ve been playing a lot of shows over the years since Handmade was released back in April. Tell me a little bit about what the responses has been like to your third record and how the shows have gone since then!
It’s amazing! It’s quite different from the first two albums that I made. This one is more personal and I’m acting as a record label as well, therefore it’s a pretty exciting process but the responses are amazing! Digital sales are amazing and it’s much better than expected! We’re doing a “Handmade” tour later this year, we’re doing nine cities, and the response has been amazing and quite thankfully!
Are the cities in Indonesia or are they scattered around Asia?
We’re doing Java Island first, then a little bit of Australia, I’m going to Sydney in October, so we’re doing a little “Handmade” there as well, and after this, we’re probably going to Malaysia and maybe Singapore as well!
Have you played much in Australia?
I’ve played twice – once in Sydney and once in Melbourne, and I’m gonna play in Sydney again.
Both times as your solo act or with your past bands?
As myself! It’s cool, I’m thinking of making an international album as well, in the near future, so it’s probably one of the destinations and that’s why I’m here learning and meeting so much people here and it’s amazing!
Your English is very good!
Yes! All those nights!
So that’s something that you’re looking at doing – an international record?
Yeah, I’ve done a couple of English songs here and there in my three albums, but I have more in my laptop and the Indonesian market, especially the larger cities, want English songs because it sounds more international, I guess. I really want to do an international album, but I don’t think I want to do it at home and then release it somewhere else. I want the mood, the feeling, not making it in my usual studio.
Then world domination!
You act as well, I understand?
Yeah! I did my first movie last year and I think it will be released next month, in November, and it was interesting!
What was interesting about it?
It was interesting – it’s so different compared to singing on stage because as you may see in this interview, I do a lot of hand gestures, because that’s what you do when you’re singing, you’re getting the messages across very literally. In acting however, you have to do little expressions with your eyes and little twitches with your face when you’re angry and stuff like that. It’s really interesting to understand and to learn a different kind of art!
So are you giving more respect to actors and actresses?
Definitely! I thought at first memorising the lines was the hardest thing but it turned out to be the easiest thing. Making the chemistry and doing it right the first and second time, it’s much harder than just memorising lines for the emotions.
I’m sure people who don’t play music would say the same thing about making music! We thought all you had to do was write songs, but you’ve got to get a band, you’ve got to create compositions with drummers and and keyboardists.
You have to heart your heart broken over and over!
Otherwise, what would you write about? Are you going to look to acting more? Is that something you want to progress more?
Not at the moment, I’m very into this album right now. My Handmade album is the album that’s very personal and it’s the most Raisa. I’m very proud of it so I’m looking forward to introduce this album to the whole of Indonesia.
And Australia as well! We’re getting to see you, and the world! We’re getting to see you right down there, how do you keep in touch with your fans? What’s your sort of relationship like with your fans? Are you the sort of person that sits and replies to messages on Facebook or whatever it might be?
I do a lot of social media stuff, that’s for sure. Every time I go to different cities, I always arrange something with the local fanbase so that I can meet them and exchange energy, exchange love. I think it’s a very respectful thing to do. You want to know how people are responding to your music, you wanna know how they feel about your music, especially with a new album and new material. I try not to read so much comments. It’s just for protecting myself from the craziness, but all the positive comments, I receive it and it fuels me.
For those who aren’t overly familiar with the Indonesian music scene but maybe they’ve heard you and they enjoy your music. Who else in Indonesia should people be listening to? Who should the world be listening to from Indonesia?
Good friends of mine obviously, Lulus, Afgan, and also I produce for a band, a rock folky band called Barasuara. It’s really good and it’s really fresh, and if you like adrenaline, you’ll love them.
Fantastic, thank you very much for your time and excited to get you back down to Australia in October!
Alright, thank you!