Kadangkala, ketika mendapat suatu tugas seperti ini, waktu luang yang ada tidak benar-benar terasa luang. Untuk orang-orang yang gampang khawatir seperti saya, waktu luang itu hanya jadi kesempatan yang lebih besar untuk mencari-cari alasan untuk lebih…khawatir?
Tapi saya putuskan untuk menabrak semua rasa takut; takut tidak bisa berbicara dengan jelas karena takut tidak diterima, karena kemampuan bahasa Inggris saya yang tanggung, dan apapun yang mondar-mandir di kepala saya saat itu. Yang jelas ini adalah privilege dan harus dimanfaatkan sebaik mungkin. Walaupun tangan tetap dingin.
Malam itu, di panggung pinggir pantai di kawasan Nusa Dua, saya menonton langsung penampilan Kirara di Joyland Fest, Maret 2023. Riset kilat saya lakukan beberapa hari sebelumnya agar mendapat gambaran tentang musiknya, menyenangkan, pikir saya. Buat saya yang hampir tidak pernah mendengarkan musik-musik elektronik, ini menarik.
Sampailah akhirnya kesempatan itu tiba. Setelah berkoordinasi dengan panitia, saya berkesempatan untuk bertemu dengan Kirara di belakang panggung utama, di ruang tunggu artis.
Di ruang tunggu yang penuh pendingin ruangan itu, peluh saya tak lagi menetes. Malah membuat rasa grogi saya semakin menjadi. Setelah menghadapi ujian skripsi bertahun sebelumnya, level keberanian saya tak kunjung meningkat.
Akhirnya Kirara tiba. Ternyata, ia pun tak ingin buru-buru, mau ambil nafas dulu katanya. “Sebat dulu boleh ’kan?” tanyanya pada saya. “Wah, asyik ini”, pikir saya. Saya tanya ke panitia apakah boleh merokok di dalam ruangan, ternyata boleh. Ya sudah, saya ikut ambil sebatang yang tentu saya beli sendiri, malu kalau minta.
Ditemani rokok dan bir dari panitia, saya memulai obrolan dengan Kirara, ditemani manajernya. Berikut obrolannya.
Wawancara dilakukan dalam bahasa Inggris.
FR: This is my first time seeing your live performance in Bali, even though I already did a little research about your music. So for first-time listeners, how do you define your music? Can you explain it to us?
KR: For many few years I have defined myself as a lot of expressions about me. Like the music which can dance and can cry at the same time, or the pretty and strong music, or many words are there. But nowadays I feel bored with all the definitions. Nowadays, I want to say just dance music, that’s all.
FR: Just in general, dance music, that’s all?
KR: Yes, dance music, that’s all. I think, (when I have to) describe something, it’s boring sometimes. I would like to say to all first-time listeners; just listen and feel what you feel. That’s all.
FR: And then, talking about the music, what or who inspires you the most, in terms of music production?
KR: Ah, Cornelius, a musician from Japan. They were the headliner of the festival a year ago, then Chemical Brothers from the UK. Cornelius taught me how to make music, Chemical Brothers taught me to get the attitude of a dance musician. That’s my 2 inspiration.
FR: That’s a new insight for me. Then, some of your songs use samples from conventional instruments like electric guitar and distortions, etc. Would you like to explain us a bit?
KR: I think my all influences are old music. From the 80s and 90s, I even think that I am a musician who failed to follow the trend. I always listen to past time musicians, maybe that’s the reason my music is conventional because I’m always influenced by the tradition of dance music. That is my big influence.
FR: But that makes your music sounds cool as well.
KR: Hahaha, I don’t think so.
FR: Personally I like it. First, you put the guitar sound, and the melodies remind me of game music, so this is cute in my opinion.
KR: Actually I use the game sound, 8-bit sound or chiptune because I am not good at synthesising. When we turn it on, and when we do nothing, the basis of the sound is chiptune. I just use it because it is so easy to make, and my favourite as well. That is the reason.
FR: But do you play games as well?
KR: I only play Pokemon.
FR: Which Pokemon? Pokemon go?
KR: Pokemon Go is weird hahaha, I play the one that was on Nintendo.
FR: At what year, if I may know?
KR: Pokemon Red, Blue, Black, mid 90’s if I’m not mistaken. I’m a very big fan of Pokemon.
FR: Before you really came and had a show here, have you ever gotten any feedback or appreciation from foreign listeners, especially Indonesians?
KR: I have been to many countries for my shows, usually I go to Europe maybe because I have an agency in Europe, and I don’t have any agency or labels (that deal with the events) in Asia. so performing in Bali is a very special event for me. Because I always want to have my show in Asia, and sometimes I meet foreigners on the internet who listened to my music. Actually, I’m not sure my overseas schedule would gather all the people (listeners) from Spotify to real life. It is very hard to trace their (listeners’) location, but anyway I think there are many people who listen to my music in other countries and I am just very grateful and happy. I actually a bit confused about this situation, I mean I don’t even know why so many foreign people listened to my music.
FR: Because your music is good, isn’t it?
KR: Hehehe then how do they know the music? I don’t know. But anyway I feel good.
FR: Based on your thoughts before, do you have any hope for your new listeners especially in Bali after you did your show?
KR: I think the most famous cultural thing in Korea is K-Pop – I’m not a brave person but let me say this: K-Pop is boring. I wish there are also people who think like me in Bali or anywhere. Maybe they can understand me, the way I play my music, the way I talk, my expressions, and so on.
FR: And then, Kirara is really fresh for me, I guess you have a chance to be heard in Indonesia, because there are people who like kKPop, but the one who is more into indie music, they really want to seek new, fresher music. Maybe between conventional and DJ things like yours. OK, about Bali, have you ever been exposed to the Balinese music scene?
KR: Actually no, never. But I will look forward to it.
FR: It’s okay, there is still a lot of time to search more.
FR: Outside of the show, is this your first time coming to Bali?
KR: Yeah, this is my first time to even come to Indonesia.
FR: What is your impression so far?
KR: My biggest impression so far was food. I think Indonesian and Thai food is the best in the world. Actually, I really want to try Rendang when we just arrived here but failed. We found some restaurants but they don’t sell rendang. We still have time until tomorrow so maybe we can try. And Nasi Goreng is also my favourite as well. Indonesian food is the best.
FR: So does the Korean.
KR: Yeah but it’s so spicy.
FR: Indonesians too. I mean, Indonesians really love spices so much, especially chilli. Have you ever heard of sambal? It is a chilli paste, used as a condiment. We dip something like fried tempe in it. OK, do you have prior expectations or thoughts before you came here?
KR: I feel more familiar with Indonesia than Europe. Europe was always strange, new. But when in Asia, everything feels familiar. I can eat the food, the atmosphere is very familiar. It brings a very good feeling. When I came here, I felt it as well. Someone told me that the stage is by the beach and I expected the wonderful scenery of Bali.
FR: And did you meet the expectations?
KR: Yes, and I really love this place. I feel I succeeded in enjoying this place.
FR: So that’s all. Thank you so much, have a good day here.