RAISA DOING IT HER WAY
Singer Raisa Andriana is confidently going it alone. After working with Universal Music Indonesia on her first two albums, Raisa launched her third, Handmade, under her own recording label, Juni Suara Kreasi, earlier this year. “Having my own label had been on my mind since I entered the music industry,” said Raisa, who made her solo debut in 2011 with her namesake album.
“In fact, I have never been fully managed by the label. I found the investors for the albums and produced the album on my own before presenting it to the label. I also have my own management.”
Raisa said Juni Suara Kreasi, which she co-founded with her manager Adryanto “Boim” Pratono, was her way to contribute more to the country’s music industry.
“I have the will to learn about the music industry and understand its problems. I want to do something good for the industry.”
Despite having gained sufficient knowledge and contacts within the music industry during her successful career, Raisa is wellaware of the risks of building her own label.
“The stakes are high. I invested my money in the label. So if it fails, it means a goodbye. Moreover, I have to employ many people to handle all the work.” All of Raisa’s hard work on the label paid off. Singles from
Handmade — “Jatuh Hati” (Fall in Love) written by Raisa and “Kali Kedua” (Second Time), penned by prolific author and singer Dewi “Dee” Lestari — dominated the charts. Raisa brought home nine trophies at Anugerah Musik Indonesia 2016, the local music industry’s Grammys, including for Best Female Artist and the Best Pop Album.
She went on to win two awards, including Best Female Artist, at Anugerah Planet Muzik 2016, a regional award ceremony for artists engaged in Malay- and Indonesian-language music.
The album’s success paved the way for her to conduct her first ever album tour, “Handmade”, with a five-city performance tour in Java throughout October.
It also marked her latest musical explorations. Known for her romantic songwriting skills, Raisa for the first time talked about humanity and environment on one of the album’s songs “Nyawa dan Harapan” (Soul and Hope). She was inspired to write the song after she broke down in tears when watching an environmental documentary.
“I am not an environmentalist. I wrote the song based on my capacity as a person who reads various kind of headlines and encounters many things in my life. The
song is about how people nowadays easily hurt each other,” she said.
Her choice to launch Barasuara as the first band from the label is particularly interesting. Raisa knows the band members well, particularly drummer Marco Steffiano who serves as Raisa’s music director. However, in terms of music, Raisa’s pop and RnB tunes are worlds apart from the blaring rock sound of Barasuara.
“Barasuara’s songs were not the kind of music that I listen to every day,” she admitted.
“But I was interested and kept wanting to know more about their music. They have an enormous amount of passion and energy. They are like the Avengers. Each one of them is the best in their field.”
With its ethnic-inspired rhythms and a unique use of formal Indonesian language lyrics in its debut album
Taifun (Typhoon), Barasuara has charmed music critics and is building a growing, loyal fan base. SILVER SCREEN DEBUT
The drama, Terjebak Nostalgia (Trapped in Nostalgia), released on Dec. 1, marks Raisa’s big-screen debut.
Set in Jakarta and New York, the Rako Prijanto-directed movie tells of the love triangle between Raisa (who uses her real name for her character) with Sora (Maruli Tampubolon) and Reza (Chicco Jerikho).
“I am quite proud of myself for acting in the movie. The filming was enjoyable. I had a great connection with my castmates and the director helped me a lot.”
Raisa finds it a bit challenging to assess her own acting performance.
“In singing, I can judge ‘Oh… I can hit these high notes, or I am a bit shaky in this part’. But in acting, I can’t make a clear assessment. All I can see on the film is that I was pretending,” she chuckled.
As someone who controls almost everything in her music work, Raisa acknowledged she must learn to take less control over the film project.
“Music is my thing. I write and sing the music, and also know its distribution. I can be confident because everything is under my control. Meanwhile, in acting, I just do my part and let the others do the rest,” she said.
“Well, I am not a control freak but it feels like we’re totally letting go of control [making movies],” Raisa added.
Born on June 6, 1990, to a Javanese father and a Dutch-Manadonese mother, Raisa started singing at the age of three. She briefly became the vocalist of Andante, the embryo of Kevin Aprilio’s
pop band, Vierra, before serving as the backing vocalist of RnB band, RAN.
Since launching her solo career in 2011, Raisa has become known for her unique star qualities. Her voice sounds soft but she can also effortlessly hit high notes. Her love songs, which mostly she co-wrote, including 2013’s hit “Mantan Terindah” (the most beautiful ex) have become anthems both for the brokenhearted and love-struck teenagers. And her attractive appeal has generated a flood of memes of guys wishing to have her as their girlfriend.
“I feel startled that I could reach this point. At this quite young age, I have released albums, held concerts and a tour.”
With building her own recording label and making her acting debut already taken care of, Raisa is eyeing her other dreams.
“I want is to have an international album, while for the remaining dreams […] I will write them down later.”
Film talk: Raisa talks about her big-screen debut accompanied by co-star Maruli Tampubolon.
On tour: Raisa performs with Barasuara in Jakarta.