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'Keroncong' maestro Waldjinah receives fifth AMI award

Ganug Nugroho Adi

The Jakarta Post

Surakarta, Central Java  /  Mon, December 11, 2017  /  04:05 pm
'Keroncong' maestro Waldjinah receives fifth AMI award

At the age of 72, the award holds a special place for Waldjinah, as well as fans of her music. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

Legendary keroncong singer Waldjinah for the fifth time received an award from Anugrah Musik Indonesia (AMI), this year for the Keroncong Production/Contemporary Keroncong in Langgam/Stambul.

At the age of 72, the award holds a special place for Waldjinah, as well as fans of her music. 

"Very happy. But I did not expect it. I'm old but I'm still getting an award," she said on Saturday at her home in Surakarta, Central Java. 

Waldjinah had earlier been awarded at the AMI Awards ceremony, which took place on Nov. 16. As she was unable to attend, the award was given to her producer Djakawinata Susilo, who later handed the award to Waldjinah at her home. 

A maestro in her field, Waldjinah has made a name for herself throughout a career that spans over 30 years. Not only in Indonesia, Waldjinah's name is also known overseas, especially Japan. 

The youngest of 10, Waldjinah's father Wiryo Rahardjo worked with batik. Waldjinah had shown a talent for singing since a young age. 

"I was still in the second grade when my older sister had always confused the lyrics when singing to Oh Bintangku’. I could already sing it because I always listened to her singing. I was then invited to practice with her. I used to always cry because I was sleepy and tired, the practices always ran until late," Waldjinah recalled. 

Read also: Waldjinah celebrates 71st birthday, dreams of singing for Jokowi

Throughout primary school, Waldjinah was the school's permanent delegate in singing competitions. At the age of 12, Waldjinah won the Ratoe Kebon Kacang, a prestigious singing competition in Surakarta, or also known as Solo. Since then, she was nicknamed Ratoe Kembang Kacang (Kembang Kacang Queen). 

Since her win, Waldjinah became more driven to continue to participate in singing competitions. One of her biggest achievements came when she won the national competition Bintang Radio (Radio Star) in 1965. Not only did she receive a trophy, Waldjinah also met Indonesia's first president Sukarno. 

"At the time, I was pregnant with my fifth child. Bung Karno named my baby Bintang," she said proudly.

Throughout 1968 until 1969, Waldjinah sang Javanese song "Yen Ing Tawang Ana Lintang Cah Ayu" by Andjar Any that made her famous. During the same era, she also sang another one of her most known songs, "Walang Kekek". 

"I don't know who composed 'Walang Kekek'. It was anonymous. I only wrote the lyrics," Waldjinah said. 

As a singer, Waldjinah was also open to collaborate with various other singers to sing different genres. Another one of her hits include a collaboration with late legend Chrisye on "Semusim" in 2006. 

Prior to the award this year, Waldjinah in 2015 had also won an AMI award for Best Solo Female Singer for her song "Ayo Ngguyu". 

Throughout her career, Waldjinah has produced 200 albums and 1,700 songs, where the majority of her music is accompanied by Orkes Keroncong (OK) Bintang Surakarta that she had established and also leads. (liz/kes) 

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