Sydney, 20 October 2012

Speaking of my music preference, it has definitely been changing through the years. I mostly appreciate any genres of music, but my range usually goes from pop-jazz-hip hop-R&B-pop rock-ballads. Here goes the long journey!

PRIMARY SCHOOL DAYS PART I. 

I grew up watching Disney, WB, and Universal cartoon movies while living in Marseille. I loved singing to their movie OST’s e.g from Hercules, Mulan, Excalibur – l’épée magique (Quest for Camelot), Le Cygne et la Princesse (Swan Princess), Aladdin, Anastasia, Tarzan (the French versions are almost always better!)

Aladdin. Ce Reve Bleu – Karine Costa & Daniel Levi *I loved his voice since forever!!

Hercule. Jamais je n’avouerai

Le Cygne et la Princesse. Plus Loin Que Dans Mes Rêves

And of course, we can’t leave miss Britney Spears!! Fenomenal sensation of pop music at the time with Baby One More Time. Back then I wasn’t really aware of how big she was. It was only years later that I came back to listen to her songs.

Chrisye. My parents had a cassette or two of his albums, and we would play it in the car during long European trips. His voice  just soothes the soul and seems honest to the music. Chrisye is definitely one of Indonesia’s bests! My favs:

PRIMARY SCHOOL DAYS PART II. 

I had returned to stay in Jakarta (more precisely in the outskirts of mentioned city, Bintaro). In 2000, Westlife was a big hit (believe me I tried to despise them), but I guess I always have a soft spot for any ABBA songs deep down. That was the time I was introduced to the Indonesian Pop scene. In my opinion, pre-2003 was a time where Indonesian songs were at its best quality, at least compared to the nowadays pop-melayu and kpop-wannabe trend in the country (year 2011-2012). Some big groups like Dewa, Sheila on 7, Bunglon, The Groove, Element, Naif, Padi, Slank, Jamrud, etc were awesome. Jamrud’s songs were so damn popular among us kids, especially the curse words in the lyrics, the boys would get all excited -_- . Then there were the child singers like Sherina, Joshua,  Tasya. There were also divas like Reza, Krisdayanti, and Melly Goeslaw. Timeless times!

Dewa – Bintang Lima album (2000), Cintailah Cinta album (2002). Epic! Big hits and fandom throughout the nation indeed! Everyone was doing the clapping in the song!

Reza – Keabadian. The whole album, which if I’m not mistaken was produced by Ahmad Dhani, should a masterpiece of Indonesian Music! Loved all the songs, and Reza’s vocals are just divine!

Sherina Munaf – Andai Aku Dewasa album, and OST Petualangan Sherina album

Britney Spears – as mentioned above, it wasn’t until later that I really liked Britney. My favs: Stronger, Lucky, From the Bottom of my Broken Heart, I’m A Slave 4 U, I’m not a Girl not yet a Woman, Break the Ice, Everytime. The young and growing up Britney is much more preffered.

SECONDARY SCHOOL DAYS 

Now, what on earth was I listening to those days? Oooh yes.. 2001-2003 were the times of Evanescence, Blue, Avril Lavigne, etc. But I wasn’t a fan of Western music in this period. I was listening to Siti Nurhaliza, melayu and ballads princess. My favorites songs include Cindai, Percayalah, Janji (originally a dangdut song), Es Lilin (remake of a Sundanese folk song).

My brother started playing in a school band and was learning how to play the guitar (too bad I don’t share the same musical and singing talent as him). Local band Cokelat was BIG, and was lead by vocal powerhouse Kikan. My bro and I recorded a video covering their song ‘Dia’, I fortunately managed to find the file. Fav songs: Bendera, Untuk Bintang, Dia, Karma, Jauh, Luka Lama. Meen, jaman-jaman SMP emang yaah haha..

Remeber TV7 channel? It used to broadcast anime like Captain Tsubasa, Detective Kindaichi, Hunter X Hunter, Slam Dunk, Honey Bee Hachi, Nube.. Other broadcast channels had Samurai X, Card Captor Sakura, and Inuyasha. Well, I looooved the opening/closing soundtracks. Japanese songs have this crazy vocals, then the J-rock, then whatever theme or genre it was just became cool.

HIGH SCHOOL DAYS 

By the end of 2003 until mid 2006 my family moved to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Now, they have a different kind of music style and preference, totally new for me. Uzbek pop in my ears was a mix of Indian-Chinese-Arabian-Eastern European-Persian-ish and of course its Central Asia folk sounds. Turkish songs were popular as well (e.g Tarkan – Kiss Kiss).  I was also introduced to the hip hop and R&B scene of USA, the likes of 50 cents – Candy Shop (big hit among kids in my school, meh), then to Pussy Cat Dolls, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, etc.

Sevara Nazarkhan. A diva, a jewel I would say, of Uzbekistan. Her voice is like a goddess’ really. Yulduz Usmanova, too! Strong vocals, great sounds and feels.. I guess their singing technique comes from a mix of cultures developed in centuries, very unique. I wasn’t really listening to them, but I just had to mention them..incredibly talented singers.

Agnes Monica. I only knew that there were no other teenage girl artist as popular as her in Indonesia. I became a fan only when I asked mom to buy me her new album, which I read on the internet it had a featuring with a foreign artist: Keith Martin (I’ll Light a Candle).  Aaand.. I loved it!  The album’s called “Whaddup A!?”. I’d play the whole album over and over again while playing the Sims on the computer for hours haha.

Usher. My brother is such a huge fan of him. Even until now he always get us to listen to Usher anytime he can! But yeah gotta admit Usher is really good at what he does. I still prefer his past albums over the nowadays dance-club-music style tho. My favorite albums: 8701, Confessions, My Way. As someone commented on youtube, “I grew up on this Usher. Somehow mainstream in 2004 was better than mainstream in 2012.” I agree.

And since it’s my bro who’s been singing Usher everyday, take a listen to one of his covers!

Wimbar Ichwanto – Seperated

Ten 2 FiveI sang “I Will Fly” at our school’s Year End Concert at the theater, being dragged by my bro into it when I was just helping my friends play the chords on a Christina Aguilera song (duuh.. hello.. and then me sing after that??). But it turned out the band liked the song (I’d like to think they thought my voice was better too haha – ) and we did it on stage – band version. Too bad the performance wasn’t recorded T.T

I was also into indo easy listening, especially OST’s from movies such as Catatan Anak Akhir Sekolah (Mocca – I Remember – which btw has been used in a Korean drama Flower Boy Ramyun Shop as background music), Cinta Silver (Glenn Fredly songs ftw! Kisah Romantis, You are my Everything, etc). Also there were Ada Band (Manusia Bodoh, Setengah Hati), La Luna (Terpanah Asmara), Kerispatih (Lupakan Aku, the only song I like from the band).

Maliq & D’essentials. The first album was great from start to finish! Pop and jazz freshly mixed. Straight to the point lyrics of everyday life. I’m a fan, still am.

This was also the time where I was introduced to Korean music and movies (thank God I was not yet aware of K-dramas haha). A friend brought some DVD’s from Indo and suggested I watched this film called My Little Bride starring Moon Geun Yeong and Kim Rae Won (top of my list now, and just not long ago MGY was a guest in Running Man ep 114 the OST was used for BGM aaaww).  Furthermore, there was a channel called Arirang, a broadcast for international viewers promoting Korean business, culture and tourism. Hmm K-seeds were definitely well planted by now. Then I asked a Korean friend to lend me his CD’s. I didn’t have a way to know the name of the singers and the titles of the songs, but I managed to find out yeaaars later. Some would’ve included:

UNIVERSITY DAYS PART I.

Now now.. In Mid 2006 to mid 2009, I was probably an avid listener to the popular American R&B and hip hop. The music was played on the radio, was sold in cheap compilation CD’s and MP3’s (yes I know it’s illegal T.T).

Rihanna. She became famous to me with Umbrella – ella ella ella eh eh eh..

Neyo – So Sick, Sexy Love.

Chris Brown. Before the scandal broke with Rihanna, his songs were fantastic, sweet, baddass. My favorites: Kiss Kiss, With You, Gimme That,  Wall to Wall, Run It!, Yo Excuse Me Miss.

 Robin Thicke. Justin Timberlake. Brian McKnight. Timbaland. Nelly Furtado. Destiny’s Child. Beyonce. Jason Mraz. The Black Eyed Peas.

UNIV. DAYS PART II.

I became bored with American dance and hip hop songs, and university assignments just made it worse. We had Indovision at home,  and MTV Asia and Channel V had these shows about Asian pop music and trend. Which only means: Introduction to K-pop! Then K-HipHop!

Super Junior – Sorry Sorry. The song has absolute catchy tunes with awesome moves by a bunch of good looking boys haha..Unfortunately this was their only song I liked over the years, oh well Sexy, Free and Single was good too. They have a subgroup called KRY (consisting of members Kyuhyun, Ryeowook and Yesung), and these are the member that can actually sing!

Girls Generation (SNSD) – Genie. The music video gets your attention with flashy colors, and 9 beautiful looking girls in pilot uniforms lining up and dancing with their skinny legs to the catchy tunes. They proved to be one of the most successful girl group in Korea, with other hit songs such as Gee, Oh!, Run Devil Run, Great Escape, Mr Taxi, Hoot, etc.

Rain – Love Story, Love Song, Oh Yeah ft Ai, Rainism. Now now.. Everybody knows Rain, right? He was named Number 1 Most Influential Person in the World by some US magazine. He was a trainee at JYP Entertainment, worked hard to be its No. 1 artist. He has appeared in a number of dramas, the most popular in Asia would be Full House (also starring Song Hye Kyo). He even has a special documentary about his journey to fandom on National Geographic (or was it on Discovery Channel?). Can’t wait for his comeback after military service!🙂

Big Bang – Haru Haru, Lies, Gara Gara Go!. The first time I saw their MV, I was like “damn they’re awesome”. They continue to impress me with their talents, music and style that’s always evolving. Every member is unique. Daesung‘s voice is the one I love most. But together they make a great team. Individual works by G-Dragon (1st album Heartbreaker), Taeyang, T.O.P were baddass too! Live performances (documented) never disappoint, I need to go to their concert someday!!

Then in 2011, G.D and T.O.P collaborated to produce a separate album GD&TOP (Oh Yeah, Don’t Go Home, Knock Out, High High); while Taeyang worked on his 2nd solo album (I Need a Girl); and Big Bang as a group released a special edition album with new epic songs (Tonigt, Cafe, Love Song) = Awsome year!!

2NE1 – Fire, I Don’t Care

Younha.If my brother is a big fan of Usher, then I’m forever a Younha fan. I was hyped with the discovery of kpop land, then I heard from a friend there was a SNSD’s Gee acoustic cover on the net – and I loved it! Then searched Younha on 4shared.com and found a song featuring Epik High. My friend, who was already a fan of Younha, burned me a DVD full of her live performances and albums (Japanese & Korean versions). I was hesitating to open the files, but in the end I remain in debt of that friend for introducing me to Younha’s awesomeness. My favorites: Broke Up Today, Must Be Easy, Waiting, Run, Realize After Break Up ft Kim Bum Soo, Please Take Care of my Boyfriend, La La La. More of the pop rock style is also great: Cream Sauce Pasta, Clear All Day in Seoul. 2010 Younha’s Top 10 Songs voted by fans.

Also I got to know Epik High from the collaborations she’s made with them. See Memory, Love Love Love, Umbrella.

IU . SuJu’s Sorry Sorry and Big Bang’s Lies was on my playlist, so I looked up youtube for covers and found IU. She can definitely sing and is just charming and sassy. Boo, Marshmallow, Feel So Good, Someday (OST Dream High), Spring Time of a 20 Year old

UNIV. DAYS PART III.

This is where I shift from K-pop Idols to the more Korean hip hop, R&B, Jazz, and ballads side.

Leessang. They caught my attention when their MV “Girl Who Can’t Break Up, Boy Who Can’t Leave” featuring Jung In  was aired on Arirang (starring Lee Hyori and Ryu Seung Bum). REAL MUSIC. DEEP. I didn’t even bother to search how they looked like, only to realize in later years that one of the members, Gil, had been appearing in variety shows practically as a clown. Then the other member, Gary, made his variety show debut in Running Man and received very  much love from viewers with his naivety. Other songs from their albums are epic as well. I managed to get the “Unplugged” album in China town.

Many of my favs: The Pursuit of Happiness, You’re The Answer To A Guy Like Me, Turned off the TV(TV를 껐네) (feat. Tasha, Kwon Jungyeol OF 10CM), Rush ft Jung In, Ballerino ft Ali, Leessang Ft T.O.P I’m Not Laughing,

Dynamic Duo. I don’t remember how I encountered this superb rapper duo consisting of Gaeko and Choiza, but here’s the song that got me hooked: “Guilty”. Sure enough, once I arrived in Seoul I went straight to the music store and bought their CD’s hehe. The flow of the rap and the singing is just pure awesomeness. My favs: Ring My Bell, Beyond the Wall ft Supreme Team. However, I find that them collaborating with other singers is more easy to my so so ears in daily life. E.g. Alex of Clazziquai 깍지껴요 [ft. Gaeko from Dynamic Duo]프라이머리(Primary) – 자니(Johnny) (Feat. DYNAMIC DUO), Dynamic Duo – Jansori( ft. Simon Dominic from Supreme Team).

Supreme Team. Consisting of Simon D and E-Sens. 너 하나면 돼 (Feat. 개코), (ft. Soulman) – 말 좀 해 줘, Then Then Then ft Young Joon of Brown Eyed Soul, Supreme Team (ft. Soulman) – 말 좀 해 줘.

Primary Skool (프라이머리). Can’t explain much why I love his sound by producing good music and getting these amazing artists to collaborate in several albums. Heard he’s releasing a new album soon featuring 23 artist including Dynamic Duo, Simon D, and many others! Primary (프라이머리) ft Gaeko (개코), Zion.T – See Through (씨스루) -> this is my favorite, it has a Jamiroquai feel. His music is more to pop/jazz/hiphop/RnB fusion which is a great way to escape the overload fakes and cutesy of the K-idol scene, just like I escaped the US R&B land back then. I’m not saying I hate or don’t check out Miss A, SNSD, Big Bang, 2NE1, Kara, 2PM.. I still do once in a while..well I can only stand for Big Bang nowadays.. anyway, PRIMARY!My favs: Happy Ending (Feat.진실 of Mad Soul Child,Garie Of Leessang), 프라이머리(Primary)_입장정리(Feat.최자, Simon D),  Love (Feat. Bumkey, Paloalto), 멀어 (feat Beenzino).

Other artists with similar genre: Paloalto  – Positive Vibes (feat. Tasha aka 윤미래), 드디어 만났다 (feat. Junggigo)

(to be continued….)

4MEN.

Brown Eyed Soul.

Kim Bum Soo.

Clazziquai, Alex.

Yoon Jong Shin.