Free Counter Do You Know?: Dangdut is The Music of My Country....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dangdut is The Music of My Country....

Dangdut is the music of my country....
My country...
My country...oh, my country....
(Dangdut is the Music of My Country, populared by Project Pop)

One of the most unique music genre that originally comes from Indonesia is Dangdut. The music has similar tone with Indian and Arabian desert music, with more constant rhythm from beginning till end. The music had been known since 1940's when Indonesian musicians were developing an original musical tone for their local listeners. They came out with ideas to combine the rhythm of Indian and Middle East with additional traditional music equipments, such as tambour, rebana, and mandolin. The main instruments that been used in earlier dangdut era are accordion, flute, and violin.

The name of the "Dangdut" itself was given by a local magazine in 1970s and it is actually a cynical call because of the rhythm of the music itself ("dangdut" is the sound that produced by the tambour and tabla - the traditional music instrument from Arab, that sometimes been used in dangdut. The music itself usually played in a very steady and consistent rhythm - that sounds like “dang” and “dut” – from beginning till the end of the song), and also recognized as "music for low-class" by local music critics, due to its popularity among factory workers, maid, and sub-urban people that mostly living in poverty. 

In 1953, dangdut song had been introduced commercially by A. Harris - one of the well-known composers from Indonesia. His song - Kudaku Lari (My Horse is Running)- became a hit that time. But then, P. Ramlee - Malaysia composer - brought the idea to Malaysia and popularised the genre as "Melayu Music". The music genre became very popular in Malaysia and it's been claimed as Malaysia's music.

Rhoma Irama - The King of Dangdut
Then in 1960, Said Effendi - another composer from Indonesia - proved dangdut was from Indonesia and published a lot of popular dangdut's songs, such as Bahtera Laju (Row My Ark), Timang-timang (Hug and Hug), and Fatwa Pujangga (The Wisdom of The Poetry). Those songs are not only popular in Indonesia, but also in Malaysia. One of his most famous and classic dangdut songs was Seroja (Seroja, a name of the well-known flower from Indonesia).Until today, Seroja still been sang and a very well-known classic dangdut song in Indonesia.

In 1970's, Dangdut was becoming extremely popular when Rhoma Irama - a well-known dangdut singer and actor - used Dangdut as his tools for Islam's missionary endeavor. Not only sang the songs, Rhoma also used the songs for all of his movies that also very popular in 1970-1980s. Because of his dedication to popularised dangdut, many people give him a title as "Raja Dangdut" ("The King of Dangdut") and he still hold the title until today. Rhoma Irama is still active to create and publishing dangdut songs until today. His latest song - called Azza - is released in September 2010. In that song, he sings together with his son (which also a well-known dangdut singer in 2000's era) : Rhido Irama.

Elvy Sukaesih - The Queen of Dangdut
In the same era as Rhoma, Elvy Sukaesih also becomes a very well-known dangdut singer. She held the record as the first female dangdut singer who has sold more than 1,000 copies of album (it's very huge selling album that time, especially for dangdut record…). Because of her achievement, many people praise her as "Ratu Dangdut" (The Queen of Dangdut). And same as Rhoma Irama, she still hold the title till today, even she is semi-retired already now.

Because of Rhoma Irama and Elvy Sukaesih effort, the status of dangdut is stepping up to higher level and entering middle and high class society.

Since then, a lot of dangdut singers are rising. They are known and popular not only in Indonesia, but also in other countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippine, Japan, Korea, even USA, and Australia. Some of the very well-known dangdut singers are :

1970 - 1980's : Rhoma Irama, Mansyur S, Mukhsin Alatas, Elvy Sukaesih, Camelia Malik, Ida Laila, Reynold Panggabean, and A. Rafiq.

1980 - 1990's : Iis Dahlia, Itche Tresnawaty, Hamdan ATT, Meggy Z, Evi Tamala, Ikke Nurjanah, Kristina, Cici Paramida, and Vetty Vera.

In 1990's era, the popularity of dangdut is declining due to the raising of pop and rock music. In additional, MTV is entering local tv station that time, introducing a lot of international musicians. It was also Boybands era when a lot of “cute baby face boys” are floating on the tv shows and doing a lot of live performances in Indonesia (Boyzone, Backstreet Boys, Westlife, Hanson, etc), while dangdut is drowning deeper and deeper each day.

Inul Daratista
The popularity of dangdut is rising again in the earliest of 2000s, thanks to the series of controversies. The most popular controversy is coming from East Java  (2003) when a dangdut singer called Inul Daratista strucked Indonesia with her "unusual erotic" acts of dance while performing dangdut on stage. Her "hip shaking" dance that been known as "Goyang Inul" or "Goyang Ngebor" (Drilling Shake, because when she shakes her hip, it looks like she is doing a drilling move). A lof of people voice out and said that dangdut become a "very indecent and amoral music that dedicated for uneducated people". Dangdut provokes young generation to do “pornography".

Some people were cursing Inul and blamed her from interpreted dangdut as a "shameless erotic and amoral" culture. That time, her performance has been banned from all television program. She's been forced to retired and never perform dangdut anymore. Althought many people attacked her from every sides, Inul was gaining her popularity when people finally realized her dedication to raising dangdut again. Recently, Inul is becoming the most respected dangdut singer in Indonesia. Some people also praised her as The Dangdut Icon.

Annisa Bahar
After Inul’s era, dangdut has been criticized as a performance that only sell erotic, not art. The criticisms are based on the performance of the singers on the stage (mostly made by female singers) that doing a lot of erotic and sensual dance. Also, dangdut’s song lyrics mostly consist of sexual content, such as Kucing Garong (Nasty Cat) and Belah Duren (Divided the Durian, a slank word referring to “making love").

Entering the year of  2000 and ahead, there are another 3 controversy dangdut singers who also raise some hells in Indonesia : Annisa Bahar, Dewi Persik, and Julia Perez.

Annisa Bahar has been known as a dangdut singer who usually performs "Tari Patah-Patah" (Break Dance). Not as regular "break dance", but she is moving her hip in stop-motion move. Same as Inul, she is having conflict with societies because of her performance. Recently, Annisa Bahar is no longer singing and semi-retiring from dangdut.

Dewi Persik
Meanwhile, Dewi Persik is also known as a dangdut singer who usually performing her own "unusual" dance performance called "Goyang Gergaji" (Saw Shake, a regular front and back move with a hand wave like sawing a wood use whipsaw). Besides that, she is also doing a lot of erotic moves while performing on stage. Because of her “wild dance”, there were some accidents happened during her acts, where her shirt suddenly took off in the middle of her acts. She is also well-known for her negative publicities, such as her two times divorce, the gossip about her abortion, and her feud with other local celebrities (the recent is with Julia Perez).
Julia Perez

Julia Perez's controversy might be the most shocking one. She is earlier known as a model, but later on become a dangdut singer. Her first album (and maybe the last) - called Kamasutra - become a hit and also been cursed by many people, because she included condoms as the souvenirs inside her albums. According to Jupe - Julia Perez's nickname - she did that because she is raising the tennagers awareness of AIDS. Her idea collects a huge protest from a lot of religion societies. Most people thought that what she did was supporting free-sex to young generation. In the end, all of her album was withdrawn and re-published without the condoms.
Shinta & Jojo performing Keong Racun

Recently in mid of 2010, dangdut has become popular again due to the lip-sync video that been uploaded to Youtube by two teenagers from East Java. Jojo and Shinta performed a dangdut lip-sync song called Keong Racun (The Poison Snail).  Soon their acts become very famous in Indonesia and the song became very popular. The funny thing is, even the song was popular, but the actual singer of this song – called Lissa – never been acknowledged and forgotten. Jojo and Shinta become a super star and oftenly appeared in commercials and television show.
 Keong Racun - lip-sync by Shinta & Jojo

In its earlier stage of appearance, dangdut music typically used instruments such as tabla, accordion, mandolin, flute, string-bass, rebana, guitar, and violin. The music tempo was always in standard and constant 4/4 and similar with the desert style music.
Guruh Soekarno Putra

In 1970s, western music started to influence dangdut when Rhoma Irama added rock element into dangdut, by replacing tabla, accordion, violin, and mandolin into electric guitar, keyboard, and drum.  That time, dangdut been known as Rock-dut (Rock-Dangdut).

In 1990’s, dangdut is transforming into modern dangdut by incorporated their music with other music genre, such as house music, hip-hop, R&B, even Reggae. This transformation makes dangdut become easier to reach variant listeners from all scale of communities.

Although dangdut is not so popular recently, but there are some people who still fight to make dangdut exist. One of Indonesia’s local televisions – MNC TV (previously TPI) – is holding a dangdut singing contest called KDI (Kontes Dandut IndonesiaIndonesia’s Dangdut Contest). The contest has been run for several season, and still become one of the most favorite variety show in Indonesia.

There are also some Indonesia pop artists who have dedication to bring up dangdut as the national music genre and introduce it to the world, by adding dangdut elements (or songs) in their album. Some of them are : Glenn Fredly, Marcell, Dhani Ahmad, and Guruh Soekarno Putra.

Guruh is one of the son of Indonesia's First President (Soekarno). He is also known as the most respected composer. One of his well-known composed dangdut song is Candu Asmara (populared by Cici Paramida in 1990s. Then been populared again in 2008 by Marcell, who made the remix the song into dangdut-R&B version).

And finally, one of the famous parody group called Project Pop has composing a song called "Dangdut is the Music of My Country", proclaiming that dangdut is the most popular music genre in Indonesia. This song is very popular and become an anthem for dangdut lovers. Long Live Dangdut....!!!! Yeah.....!!!!
Dangdut is the music of My country - Project Pop

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