The Jakarta Post
Young crooner: Jazz singer Adikara Fardy is set to entertain music lovers at the 2018 Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival this weekend at the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. (Adikara Fardy/File)
Being compared to renowned singer Michael Bublé is, for 17-year-old jazz singer Adikara Fardy, a great compliment. After all, Bublé is his biggest influence.
The talented singer, who is set to perform at the 2018 Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, which runs from March 2 to 4 at the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, started to gain recognition after posting clips of himself singing on social media.
On Instagram, since he posted clips of himself in 2016, his follower count has swelled to over 70,000, while on YouTube, his videos have been watched over 1.8 million times.
Adikara, however, has been singing for a lot longer than that. The seed that grew into his singing career was planted all the way back when he was in fifth grade.
He recalled that after singing at a school performance, he was surprised at the roaring applause he received.
“I always thought I could sing, but I never thought anyone would actually like or enjoy listening to it,” he humbly remembers.
Afterward, he was approached by none other than renowned singer-composer Melly Goeslaw, who is also his friend’s mother and happens to live in the same neighborhood as him.
She told him to start taking singing lessons and introduced him to Otti Jamalus from OJ Music House. He still studies with Otti today. “I still study cause no matter how old you are, I think we still have to learn,” he says.
Through his lessons, Adikara honed his raw talent. And it was partially thanks to her he switched to singing jazz — something quite uncommon for a teenager.
With Otti’s help, he recorded his first jazz tracks as a birthday present to his father, a long-time jazz fan who had introduced him to his favorite singer, Bublé.
“From there I realized that when I started to sing jazz, I feel cooler and more comfortable. Tante Otti has always said when I sing, I sing in a laidback way,” he smiles. “I always think I sing jazz a lot cooler than I sing pop or R&B.”
Apart from Java Jazz, this year is a big year for him — he also sings two songs alongside Melly for the soundtrack of romantic movie Eiffel I’m In Love 2.
He praised Melly as a kind of singer who wants to help talented youngsters be discovered. “She basically texted my mom and offered me this chance to sing with her for the film’s soundtrack. And it was a definite yes, of course,” Adikara says.
And he is grateful. “Of course, for a 17-year-old who likes to sing and is still in high school and wants to be a singer, getting a chance of a lifetime like this means a lot,” he says.
This year’s Java Jazz will also be his second performance at the festival. Last year he had to opportunity to join Otti on stage, but this time around he performs solo.
He said the jazz festival’s organizer discovered him through his YouTube videos and invited him to perform at the annual event under his own name.
With his music career taking off rapidly, he has no plans to put his education on hold, insisting to accept jobs only on weekends.
After graduating from high school, he intends to further his studies instead of focusing on his music.
Adikara said he felt that attaining at least one degree was important, as it affected many things in life. He does not see a downside to it. “It’s education. It is always going to be beneficial,” he says.
However, he does plan to make the most out of long summer break that follows his graduation. He plans to work on an album, which he hopes to finalize around that time. For this project, he does not plan to intentionally limit his sound to purely jazz.
“I am just going to produce songs or write songs the way I want it to be. And if I think it’s good, it’s good,” he laughs. “I don’t want to set any boundaries like I want to be a jazz singer or a pop singer. I just want to be me, and do what I think is good.”
The plan also means he will be working to distance his style a bit from his idol, Bublé. It is something he knows he has to do but will take some time as he is still learning about who he is. He is confident, however, that he will find his way soon.
“As a young kid I just want to discover everything in life and I’m not going to set boundaries. I live life the way I want it to be and I’m just going to surround myself with positive energy.”
— The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post