The Music of My Life


I have brought up in a family that loves music. My father was a singer who even won local competition.

So from my early childhood I listened to a lot of my dad’s favorite songs, both Indonesian (Simphoni yg Indah and Widuri) or international such as: Oh Carroll and Mr. Postman. My dad also introduced me to Frank Sinatra, Elvis and The Beatles.

As I entered school I started to have my own favorite songs, pretty much influenced by my friends. I listened to local artists such as Chrisye, Vina Panduwinata, Jayanti Mandasari, Gomloh, Iwan Fals and even Billbrod. At the same time I got to know Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Madonna, Bon Jovi and many other. At that time, Indonesian TV are very much managed by the government. We dont get to see a lot of Music Video. So, Radio is my main source of musical influence.

At the time, if you like an artist so much, you buy their cassette. But, for an elementary school girl it is way too expensive. I remembered the first cassette that I have was bought by my mom. It was a mixed records with songs from Sonia, Tina Turner, Garth Brooks and many more. The year was 1989.

Then I started savings my pocket money. The first cassette that I bought was Repeat Offender from Richard Marx. I also bought A shoulder to cry on from Tommy Page.

During middle school I contracted the boyband fever. Yes, New Kids on The Block was the ultimate boyband to me. In addition to the NKOTB I also listened to Roxxette, Michael Learns To Rock, White Lion and Guns N Roses. In terms of Indonesian music I love to listen to Kla Project.

In high school I got influenced by my older brother taste of slow rocks. He even created a compilation that he called Rocks that Slipped Away period. This include among others Nelson, Warrant, Bad English, Damn Yankees, Europe and many more.

In the mid of 90s I moved to Surabaya to pursue my bachelor degree. During this period I listened to Kenny G and Stevie B. Then the second wave of Boyband came. I love Backstreet Boys songs that I refused anything related to ‘Nsync 🀣. Like many others I also got hit by Britney Spears. During this time I fell in love with Savage Garden and Lighthouse Family. It was a really difficult period for me juggling with adulthood and study. So, Oasis album Whats the Story Morning Glory was a real saviour of those times.

Towards the end of my study I bought two more cassettes from two divas: Shania Twain and Celine Dion.

Another era in my music began when I came to England to pursue my master degree. I got into the rythm of Britpop and listened to Blue, Westlife, Five, S Club 7 and Kylie Minogue. I also got to know Coldplay with their first song Yellow. To be honest I did not know that they will last until now πŸ‘ another music for me at that time was Travis.

During my PhD study I listened to a lot of pop alternative such as Maroon 5, Train and Five for Fighting. I also got to know Three Doors Down. Then Justin Timberlake produced his solo album. I love the songs Like I Love You that I made it into polyphonic ringtone for my first Panasonic handphone. Then I started to acknowledge that ‘Nsync also has a lot of good songs πŸ˜„

I came back to Indonesia and started to live in Surabaya in 2005. At that time, an Indonesian Band called Peterpan conquered the musical scene in Indonesia. As I started working I listened to Katy Perry, Beyonce, Rihanna, Ne-Yo. But during my visit to Japan I fell in love with Daniel Powter. Also came into my radar is The Script. One of the difficult period in my life is when I lost my father in 2010. At that time I listened a lot to Owl City’s Vanilla Twilight.

Nowadays the music industry has shifted. In the old days its very easy to recognise the artist who sings the song. Nowadays, a single track is a collaboration of many musicians. So there are alot of feat in the singer of the songs. The type of music is also changing with the introduction of EDM. I was not into it at first. Until I heard Coldplay collaboration with The Chainsmoker in Something Just like this.

It is now also very easy to get the music that you love.

I totally embrace the era of Spotify where I can create the playlists from each era of my life.

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How I get to the music that I love

I have always loved Music but I don’t always have the time to really follow the latest one.

Thankfully, music is delivered to various media these days, so eventually good ones will come around πŸ™‚ The keywords is “eventually” because it may not be the current hit song. In fact it might be 1 to 4 years late πŸ˜€

For me, the best chance to get to know the latest music is in the 15 or so minutes I drove my car back and forth from my home to the office or when I drove to do some errands, which is really not that long. But, during that short period, sometimes I got lucky to hear some music that would be my favorite. Just like love at first sight, the best music to me is those that I can really get the moment I heard it.

Back in 2002 I heard the song Drops over Jupiter from Train on the radio. I actually have to called the radio station to know the artist and the title πŸ˜€

Nowadays, it was really easy now to catch just a few phrase of the song and then Googled it to find out who sings it and search on Youtube to watch the music video.

Just like the other day, I suddenly heard this song…

Tell them all I know now
Shout it from the roof tops
Write it on the skyline
all we had is gone now

It was sung wholeheartedly by a guy with a very deep and unique voice. The songs it self was quite easy to catch. I just googled some of the lyrics that I remember and found out that it was originally sung by Shontelle, a female artist around 2010! While her original version was great, I wanted to know the guy who recycled the song. So, I browse through the google search and voila!

Found that it was sung by James Arthur on the final of UK X Factor in 2012. As I watched his performance I was really really moved. The song really blend with his voice. SO It came to my playlist really late πŸ˜€

If not through the radio, sometimes I got to know good music through other media. Top of the list would be Movies! Yes, good movies typically comes with good music. For example, watching Frozen really get me (and my girls) singing “Let it Go” and “Do you wanna build a Snowman”.

Another mean would be award ceremonies. During the Oscar ceremonies I watched Pharrell Williams got everyone dancing with his song “Happy” from Despicable Me. Actually, I have watched Despicable Me 2 with my girls so many time, but I did not noticed the song….so, at that time, I was rooting for Idina Menzel’s Let it Go for “Original Score from the Movie” and it did. But now I really cant get the song out of my head πŸ˜€

Clap Along if You Feel Like a Room without a Roof!!

Finally, I get introduced to the latest hit through entertainment news! I for example get to know Sara Barailles “Brave” because it was compared to Katy Perry’s “Roar”. I also get intrigued to listen to Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” because it was heavily cited in the news.

How do you get your music??

How do you train Adele, Jessie J and Leona Lewis?

I have been meaning to write about this for so long.

I worked as a lecturer in the university. So I pretty much accustomed on how such formal education work.

Well, when I got the chance to visit Cambridge University and the infamous apple tree where Sir Isaac Newton got the inspiration for his Theory of Gravitation, I am still at awe, of how this great mind is nurtured by the university.
But, teaching physics, math or IT appears to be more straightforward to me then teaching art.

Now live in the age where entertainment industries play a big role in our day to day life…and the backbone of the entertainment industry is artistic people. How do you measure great art? It is not a straightforward 1 + 1 = 2. In the entertainment industry now, you are great if your work is received by your audience.

So, I was really impressed to find out that all my favorite female singers Adele, Jessie J and Leona Lewis have studied in the same school!

The name of the school is BRIT School…

you can read all about it here http://www.brit.croydon.sch.uk/page/default.asp?title=Home&pid=1

or here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BRIT_School

How do you train these “students” not only singing, but writing music that everybody on earth loves? The school seemed to do a great job, I just wonder how…:D It will certainly come on my list of places to visit if I ever get the chance to visit Britain, again ^^

American Idol Finale: Anticlimax?

In a truly rare opportunity, Hita went to sleep early this evening and I get to watched American Idol Finale! I must say, what an anticlimax it was. First, I am not a big fan of both Lauren and Scotty. I quite like Lauren Alaina when I first saw her during the audition. But, thats more to do with her bubbly personality and the fact that she was singing I dont Wanna Miss a Thing πŸ˜€ I thought that she has a good voice and she is really likeable. But then throughout the competition, although I didnt watch much of the elimination round, I found her performance a bit boring. and Scotty, my of my, I have to really really try to like him. But i just DONT. It was fun at the beginning to listen to his deep voice, and sometime when he sang a good song, I quite like it. But then again, I wasnt that impressed. Mind you I dont dislike Country Music. I love Shania Twain, I love I’ll Be from Edwin MacCain, I even love some of Taylor Swift’s song. I think its just the combination of the singer and the song really.
In fact, I lost interest in the competition as soon as Paul McDonald was voted off. He was the only 1 among the top 10 that I found original. There was something in his voice that is so interesting. Some of the song that he sang was unknown, but he sang it so well that I go and check them out. Everybody kept mentioning Pia should go further. Yup the girl can sing, but again kind of boring haha…I am being harsh, but thats how I feel. Jacob, oh my my, I think he over done (is that the right word) every song that he sings. then James. Its unfair to compare him to Adam Lambert. While they both really know how to scream. Adam always scream in sync, in tunes and in control. James on the other hand, scream only because he wants to scream and make me scream too. Though, I feel sorry seeing him cry when he was voted off.
Back to the finale, I dont think that both Scotty and Lauren deliver their best performance. Especially Scotty’s last song. I think its too subdued for the big Gong.
But then again, this is just my opinion. I guess it is afterall my fault. This is a singing competition not a judging competition. I was hooked because of Steven Tyler’s antics. But, as the competition close to the end, he lost his wittiness.
Anyway, whoever win, I wish them well. But to me, the best Americal Idol, is still the one and only…Chris Daughtry. Peace Out.

Second week of American Idol: Steven Tyler (again) and the Script!

Have just spent Saturday morning watching rerun of American Idol auditions in Milwaukee and Wisconsin (that if Im not wrong :D) and yet again felt so entertained πŸ™‚ There are always those people that think that they have what it takes to be the next American Idol when they cant even remember the lyrics. In these episodes there were plenty of those people πŸ˜€
I think the panel of judges are all nice people, perhaps too nice sometime πŸ˜€ Just like last week, this time around Steven Tyler made some of the shows hilarious moments. At the beginning when a 16 years old male contestant deliver a great song in a very deep voice (it sounds a bit like Elvis), he proclaims β€œWell, hellfire, save matches, f— a duck, and see what hatches”…What does it even mean?? I guess it doesnt matter, it sounds hillarious anyway. His lines made Randy said “Steven Tyler you are insane!”. Then when there’s a young lady, clearly star strucked by him, enter the room he said…”well, you look like you could be one of ….” he didnt continue, just guess!! I think he always try to give positive review no matter how bad the contestant was. There was this guy dressed in a soldier uniform complete with a long gun, singing The Lion Sleeps Tonight, which coincidentally featured in Lion King (it caught Ratih attention who immediately question, Mummy why does Simba’s song appear in your program hahaha), Steven said something like it was not meant for American Idol but he likes it (to a protest from Randy)! At some point when Randy gave a harsh critics to a contenstant he called him “hey hey dont tell people that they are bad”, which I think is nice. And another advice he gave to a female contestant is “I think you need to practice more”….the harshest comment he gave is to a self-proclaimed D-J “Dont quit your day job” haha…
Its amazing for me that a star like him can really be so supportive to these young hopefuls. Its also nice to see the way he looked like he really enjoyed it when some contestants sing beautifully…Thruthfully, I was a bit surprise to find him really coherent haha…afterall, with his track record as frontman of one of the biggest rock band I thought that he would be a bit off the wall…you know a bit like Ozzy Osbourne…so, it was a pleasant surprise to see him being able to give good advices, without loosing his sense of humour and rock star traits (the wailing, the crazy outfit!).
The highlight would be when a young attractive girl sang his signature song “Dont want to Miss a Thing”…the girl ask him to join her in singing the song…and he submit…though I think he is unready so he sounds a bit flat. I like this girl…will keep an eye on her…and I just hope that at some point Steven Tyler and his band (Joe Perry!!!) would perform on the show (perhaps the final!)…I really really reaaallllyyy hope sooo….
Other than that, J-Lo looks nice as always…Randy managed to punch a contestant…and two of my favorite songs from The Script “The Man Who Cant Be Moved” and “Breakeven” appear on the show! Love it!!!
It really is getting interesting!!!

Half day of Full Entertainment: American Idol and the Golden Globe Rerun

Yeah, finally got the time to post something.
The term has officially came to an end yesterday…and though there are still many many things to do my mind and naturally my body too just refuse to do more works. So I switched on the TV before Ratih is awake and tried to find something worth seeing.
It turned out to be my lucky day as there were American Idol Season 11 and Golden Globe rerun!!!
I have been waiting for the AI since I heard that one of my favorite band frontman is gonna be the Judge!! And I was not disappointed…Steven Tyler made an entertaining judge. Sure he has a lot of antics and blurbed unsuitable words, what can we expect, he is a Rock Star πŸ˜€ But, he was honest, genuine and most of all unpredictable!! You never knew what he was going to say…And he has great sense of humour too. I was a bit skeptical for J-Lo though…but then she warms up to me, because she’s not mean and she is so gorgeous πŸ˜€ and well Randy, he was Randy as usual..So all in all I was immediately hooked!
After Idol, there was Golden Globe. I was not into the globe this year so much until I heard that Colin Firth won Best actor for The Kings Speech…and looking at some of the preview I cant wait to watch!!! I also want to watch the Social Network now. It looks as though the movie capture the ups and downs of Mark Zuckenber (did I spell his name correctly) pretty well. I must admit that I got into the Facebook phenomenon quite late, as always. I am quite resistant to anything that is addictive you see. I also think that there are some issues of privacy about Facebook. But, the man has created worldwide phenomena, so I am interested to see how he came up with such an innovative idea and see the entire story!

Currently…

Trying to fit in with a new office…

Trying to cope with so many deadlines…

But, all is under control as I am also currently enjoying the sound of Daniel Powter! Yeah, he’s the guy you probably know for singing that song

Because you had a bad day
You’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don’t lie
You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

Honestly, I thought that he would be a “One Hit Wonder” too…but, I stumble across his new video a couple of months a go…and it goes..

And I’m so lonely you’re not here with me
thats why I’m gonna be on the next plane home
And you’re you’re the only face I wanna see
thats why I’m gonna be on the next plane home

Simple lyrics, catchy tunes…and it got me hooked…Then there are also “Love You Lately”, “Best of Me”…Its no wonder critics compared him to Elton John and Billy Joel for his piano-based singing.

You know i’m hoping you sing along
I know it’s not your favorite song
Don’t wanna be there when there’s nothing left to say
You know that some of us spin again
When you do, you need a friend
Don’t wanna be there when there’s nothing left for me
And i hate to thought of finally being erased
Baby that’s the best of

Ahhh (swooooon)…Thank you Mr. Powter for rescuing my days πŸ™‚