THE RISING STAR
Ricad Hutapea shares his passion in music
t’s only a couple of months away from the Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2017 which returns on August 11 and 12. The festival will not only be full of international musicians, but also Indonesian jazz talents, including the country’s young saxophonist, Ricad Hutapea. He took a singing lesson when he was only eight years old, and went on learning to play the piano before he finally fell in love with playing the saxophone. After performing in numerous music festivals since 2010, Ricad successfully launched his first album in 2014 and introduced his second one earlier this year. Ricad (RH) shares his journey in the music industry with Bali & Beyond (BB)…
BB: What made you fall in love with music?
RH: The church inspired me a lot. For me, church and music are like a house and its walls – they are one. The church made me fall in love with music and attracted me to learn more about music.
BB: Why did you choose to learn the saxophone after you took singing and piano lessons?
RH: I love learning something new. When I took the singing lessons, I started to learn the piano. I thought I needed to play the piano whilst singing because no one at home can play the piano to accompany me. Eventually, I became more focused on playing the piano. And then, a friend of mine introduced me to a saxophone. I learnt how to play the saxophone and I fell in love with that musical instrument more deeply than the piano.
BB: Have you always dreamt of becoming a musician or did you just let it flow?
RH: I’m not one of those people who just ‘let it flow’. I always have a plan. It was when I was in junior high school that I wanted to be a musician as I was learning music since I was eight years old. Music was my major in my vocational high school. I took every opportunity to learn and expand my network in the music industry, to introduce myself to the country’s great musicians and learn from their experiences. And I’m totally grateful that I got the chance to work with Indonesia’s A-list musicians like Indra Lesmana, Tohpati and more because it means all my hard work was worth it.
BB: Who is your idol and how does he inspire you?
RH: Michael Brecker, the jazz saxophonist in the USA. His music can be enjoyed by all music lovers, and as far as I know, he’s the saxophonist with the most Grammy Awards. He’s really dedicated to music, not just jazz. He also inspires me to understand that every musician needs to appreciate all music genres.
BB: Your second album was just launched in March 2017. What are your visions in this album?
RH: I want the audience to hear the real me. This album consists of popular jazz songs with a unique format played only with a saxophone, acoustic bass and
drums – and this is a real challenge for me to produce harmonious songs without any piano and guitar.
BB: For the upcoming Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2017, how many songs will you perform and how is the preparation so far?
RH: I’m going to play seven songs – three of them will be instrumental. I’m still making the arrangements now and will soon rehearse them with my fellow musicians.
BB: What do you think about the Ubud Village Jazz Festival and the development of jazz in Bali?
RH: The Ubud Village Jazz Festival is one of the most unique festivals I’ve ever participated in. I mean, the venue, the committee, the audience and the overall concept is remarkable – 90 percent of its performers are jazz musicians, and for me that shows how bold this festival is. The audience is also really enthusiastic and can truly appreciate the performers. And I think the development of jazz in Bali is pretty rapid as there are more new places that let jazz performers play as freely as they want, and the audiences enjoy their performance.
BB: If you have the chance for a spontaneous jam on stage with any jazz musicians, who would it be?
RH: I would love to jam with Gerald Clayton, one of the popular pianists now. He’s young and talented, and his musical composition is out of this world. It would be a historical moment in my life.
BB: What are your next projects?
RH: I’m still gathering materials for my next album where I’m going to collaborate with a senior guitarist. And I’m producing for a singer who is also my wife, Renata Tobing, whose album is out in May 2017.
with one of Indonesia’s Ricad was on stage keyboard), Lesmana (on the A-list musicians, Indra Festival 2015. at Ubud Village Jazz