Last year, the modern-day mover and shaker of nostalgic Indonesian disco-pop Diskoria Selekta released their first single, “Balada Insan Muda.” The track, reliving the disco vibes of Jakarta circa ‘80s, was received with enthusiasm by the listeners of old-school disco tunes seldom found in the current state of the local music realm.
The release made waves among the capital’s up-to-date music communities, and the presence of Diskoria duo Merdi Simanjuntak and Fadli Aat, and their music label slash collective Suara Disko appeared like a torchbearer for the long-gone Indonesian disco anthems to the karaoke-buffs on the dancefloor swaying and singing to the old-school beats.
Suara Disko was mostly parties until “Serenata Jiwa Lara”, Diskoria’s latest release featuring actress Dian Sastrowardoyo. The track was a breakthrough, enjoyed by those who were indifferent to the collective and disco-pop music. Written and produced by the trio Laleilmanino, the track further elevated its hype through its music video, directed by artist and photographer Anton Ismael. The music video emerged like a power project with the involvement of these rising names from the local creative industries—legitimising the music scene through collaborating with artists beyond the music borders.
Daiva Prayudi, one of Suara Disko’s initiators, believes that the thrive and boom of an industry rests on a strong and growing community—made possible by collaborations between artists. There follows Studio Pop, the label’s experimental project that aims to present a platform for local artists, from music producers down to directors, to collaborate: “We want to build a supportive ecosystem for local musicians and artists, where each artist involved in the projects can gain a mutually favourable outcome.”
Studio Pop’s M.O. touches on the fun and inspirational behind-the-scenes process of producing a musical work, wrapping their market release in a fresh and creative way.
This takes form in a series of projects where musicians, producers and directors are challenged to whip up a track and music video from scratch. “Each project will be followed by a season of episodes that expose all the creative stages. In our first project, we challenged Laleilmanino to write a song in 24 hours, which will be released together with its music video at the end of the season,” said Daiva on Studio Pop’s current pursuit.
The inspiration behind this creative approach for Studio Pop does not gravitate far from yet another old-school reference that is Selekta Pop: a 1980’s MTV-inspired national TV programme that showcases music gigs until they tweak their show into producing MVs for the era’s golden pop musicians. “It was 1983 when Selekta Pop started to spawn music videos and air them on TV, it was one of the most-anticipated national music programmes at the time since MTV was yet to be aired in Indonesia,” shared Daiva.
Through Studio Pop’s projects that call together creative players across industries, the team hopes to build a stronger community that takes the local music scene to new heights. “Each artist has his own uniqueness, and we want to emphasize this. We decided to involve Laleilmanino in our first project for their distinct character in producing pop music; the songs they’ve produced sound fresh and well-attuned to the personality of the musicians,” recounted Daiva.
Revealed at the end of episode 1 of project number one, their first project features musician Eva Celia for the vocals, “We love Eva for her unique voice and character that we believe she will pair well with Diskoria and Laleilmanino.” The soon-to-be-released track is influenced by the works of Indonesia’s own ‘King of Pop’, Chrisye, whose music has greatly inspired Suara Disko and Diskoria Selekta. Named after the artist himself, the song’s demo was successfully materialised within 24 hours by the trio producer (as seen in their first episode) who “understood perfectly the direction Suara Disko has given.”
Studio Pop’s approach to launching their projects feels like a breath of fresh air from the monotony of online streamings that has swept across the web since the pandemic. By espousing the creative process of making something, Studio Pop shows that the means to cope with the pandemic effects to the music industry are not limited to endless and motionless virtual gigs. “We believe that this technique is more sustainable, and everybody can still enjoy it even after the pandemic as we have many more episodes to come,” said Daiva.
Expect fun behind-the-scenes of their upcoming release, “Chrisye” by Diskoria Selekta, and Laleilmanino featuring Eva Celia in Studio Pop’s recently launched episode of this first season, and keep your eyes peeled for more exciting episodes that follow their journey in spawning more works by local artists and musicians.
In support of Studio Pop, Manual Jakarta will be tracking the journey of the platform’s exciting projects and their creative collaborators.