The Jakarta Post
Angan DaHooman is 10 years old and thriving. His debut single, “Stay Up All Day”, has been streamed over 9,000 times on Spotify since its launch in December 2019.
On his birthday party held on Jan. 13 in Jakarta, Angan launched his first music video. It was shot along the streets of South Jakarta, featuring himself rapping on the back of a pickup truck.
“Angan Senja, that’s me. Angan DaHooman, that’s my musical name,” he rapped as friends from school and parents clapped their hands.
“Stay Up All Day” is a unique mix of 1980s hip hop with a twist of jazz, written by the Angan himself.
The proud parents of Angan are Cholil Mahmud, lead vocalist of influential indie rock band Efek Rumah Kaca, and Irma Hidayana, a consultant on infant and young child feeding.
During the six years his parents studied in the United States, Angan was exposed to different cultures and arts, including hip hop, which soon became his favorite genre.
“I wasn’t a fan of hip hop myself, so I certainly did not influence him on this,” Cholil told The Jakarta Post about his son’s choice of genre. “I think it’s because back when we were living in New York, he watched television shows, played games and watched YouTube, many of which had hip hop soundtracks.”
As his love for hip hop grew, Angan started posting videos of him doing covers of rap songs on Instagram. One was discovered by Imperial Ra, better known as Garna Raditya, an Indonesian music producer who is based in California.
Impressed by the boy’s talent, Garna contacted his parents and sent Angan musical beats to write lyrics to.
“He started counting and all. He’s got his own methods,” said Cholil. “It turned out that he figured out how to write rap lyrics from YouTube. He learned to count the number of syllables needed for each second.”
The use of rhymes in his son’s lyrics also took him by surprise. As a musician, Cholil noted how writing in rhymes was not exactly easy.
“Children in New York learned to rhyme in the first grade of elementary school. That’s why when [American rappers] rap, it’s as if they are just talking. Angan also likes to use rhymes in daily conversations, which is probably why he’s quite fluent in rapping.”
Given the nature of rap music, in which lyrics can get “explicit” and “inappropriate” according to Cholil, he was pleased that Angan wrote something “clean” and close to home.
“So far, he can be trusted, in the sense that he knows what is allowed and not allowed. When [he is] accidentally exposed to inappropriate things, he’ll refuse,” he said.
Angan’s lyrics also pleased Garna, who described them as “witty” in the “Making of ‘Stay Up All Day’ Video”.
“This is my first time creating a hip-hop beat, so it’s a debut for us both,” he said. “For a long time, I thought about making a song for children that can be enjoyed by adults as well. Angan’s lyrics are witty enough, even for adults.”
In the clip, Angan candidly explained the meaning of his song.
“A day is 24 hours, but that’s not what I meant. Everyone stays up all day during the day, so it’s about being happy [throughout the day],” he said.
Despite Angan showing interest in the music industry, Cholil and Irma are determined to help Angan prioritize his education. At the moment though, Angan enjoys making beats but has no plans to release an album.
“He usually does his music on holidays or the weekends. With the new semester starting soon, I think we are going to ease up for his next track,” Irma said with a laugh.
Irma said she won’t push Angan into doing anything he didn’t like, but rather help him balance school and music.
“His schedule is to read books before he’s allowed to do anything else. So, if at the moment he enjoys making beats, he’ll have to read a book first and do it afterward,” she said.
“As parents, all we want to do is to facilitate our children’s interests, as long as they are positive. There’s a chance for him in children’s music, but we won’t push him,” Cholil said. “We try to tell him that in order to do well in the industry, he would have to practice.
“Though his song is good, if he lacks practice, he won’t perform well. This is basically our job: to tell him that practice will never betray you.” (wng)
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