The Jakarta Post
Singer Raisa poses for an interview at the Kompas office in Jakarta on Nov. 26, 2019. (Kompas.com/Kristianto Purnomo)
Twenty-twenty was supposed to be a good year for Indonesian singer Raisa. She welcomed it with a lot of plans, including a solo concert at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Central Jakarta on June 27 and the release of her latest single “Bahasa Kalbu”, which is a remake of pop singer Titi DJ’s hit song, in April.
Then the pandemic hit.
A solo concert that was meant to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her first single, “Serba Salah”, had to be postponed to Nov. 28 and was then canceled altogether.
Meanwhile, the release of her single was postponed to August.
Talking to The Jakarta Post on Instagram Live on Wednesday night, Raisa shared the thought process of the cancellation.
Raisa said her team had actually planned various possible schemes to hold a concert during the pandemic, which included physical distancing arrangements and installing handwashing stations in the venue.
However, she realized that they had to consider other factors, as she could not ignore the fact that people would need to queue prior to entering the concert hall and some of her fans might have to take public transportation to and from the venue.
“It’s not only about the concert,” she said.
One thing she learned from the pandemic is the importance to prioritize other people's needs over personal interests.
“I would also feel worried when performing on stage,” she added.
Therefore, she decided to postpone the concert to an undetermined time.
With regard to her latest single, Raisa shared that she had just finished shooting the music video around a week before the Jakarta administration imposed the first large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).
Following the PSBB, the team had to finish the mixing and video editing virtually.
Discussing the song, Raisa said the arrangement had actually been created for the Magenta Orchestra concert last year.
“When I was invited by [Indonesian film score composer] Andi Rianto to join the concert, I shamelessly asked him to perform ‘Bahasa Kalbu’,” she said. For the recording, they decided to use the arrangement, which made the single sound different to her previous songs.
“This is one of the Indonesian songs that made me want to be a lyricist,” she said, adding that she felt grateful to be able to launch her version of the song.
Six months have passed since Indonesia announced its first COVID-19 cases. Raisa has also started accepting jobs again.
She said the pandemic had changed the way artists perform and that she misses the spontaneous interaction with the audience.
“Nothing can replace [such interaction],” she said.
She admitted that she had felt awkward during her last show in a television station.
“I feel like Dora the Explorer. I tried to be my usual self when performing, asking the audience questions. ‘How are you, guys?’ But [it’s all just silent],” she said.
Amid all the obstacles, the singer also found silver linings of the pandemic.
She said the free time she had now allowed her to spend more time with her 1-year-old daughter Zalina and witness her milestones.
“There were a lot of firsts: her first steps, her first time saying ‘mama’,” she said.
As for her record label Juni Records, Raisa said the pandemic had made it easier for them to scout new talent as more people were going online.
“Previously we needed to [physically] visit different places to scout talent,” she shared, adding that they had just recruited Dead Bachelors and Yogyakarta-based artist Sade Susanto.
“I don’t know what the post-pandemic world is going to be like, but one thing is for sure, there will be more collaboration.
“We now realize that the world is borderless. There are many musicians and artists who hold online classes for everyone without [being separated] by region,” she said. (kes)
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