New Straits Times
Sold on Tulus
Syahirah Mokhtazar discovers an Indonesian artiste who converts her into an admiring fan
LET me be honest. Despite the hype around Tulus making his debut concert here in Istana Budaya last month, I was one of the few who didn’t feel butterflies in the stomach in anticipation of his performance. I wasn’t even a fan of his music, which features jazz elements in R&B and pop tunes.
However, all that changed after witnessing his one-night-only performance. For 90 minutes, the award-winning Indonesian singer-songwriter gave a memorable show, one which will be etched in my mind for a long time.
Tulus blew the audience away with his soulful and melodious voice which suit his heartfelt tunes. The crowd sang along with him throughout the concert.
I guess the saying “you have to see it to believe it” applies here. I had to watch him in person to fall in love with his music.
The venue was filled to the brim with ages ranging from millennials to the seniors. There were also some A-list celebrities in the audience, including Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza, whose presence delighted the Indonesian artiste.
He also took the opportunity to thank evergreen singer Datuk Sheila Majid for gifting him a bouquet of flowers as a token of good luck in his debut concert here.
The 31-year-old from Bukit Tinggi, Indonesia, was greeted enthusiastically by his Malaysian fans. Thanking the crowd who continued to applaud him, he embarked on a repertoire of songs from his three albums — Tulus, Gajah and
Monokrom — kicking off the concert with Baru, a jazzy number from Gajah, released in 2014. He continued the momentum with
Kisah Sebentar, another catchy tune from his self-titled debut record before toning things down a little with the smooth, feelgood song Tukar Jiwa.
Since I wasn’t able to sing along like the rest, Tulus’ music and the strong melodies were enough to make me swoon like a teenager falling in love for the first time. His music is akin to a combination of Michael Buble and Sam Smith, never mind that his voice sounded similar to Smith’s. Even though his songs carry melancholy lyrics, the melodies evoke emotions other than sadness.
The crowd went wild with excitement when Tulus sang Monokrom. This is the number that had me weak in the knees, especially after he gave the background to the song. The lyrics pays tribute to individuals who have made his musical journey a colourful one. I like how he shares anecdotes about the songs he performed.
Tulus is a magnificent performer, engaging with his audience by coming down from the stage.
Wrapping up the evening, Tulus took on the uplifling and energetic number
Manusia Kuat from his album, Monokrom.
That got the crowd on their feet again. Tulus then said his final goodbye and left the stage.
But with the crowd demanding an encore, Tulus returned with the mellow
Sewindu from his debut album. This is the first of the many concerts I have attended which have had a very enthusiastic audience. Almost everyone had a smile on their faces, including me.
Thank you, Tulus, for a wonderful and memorable musical journey.