[UPDATE: The Transcript
Indonesia’s affection for jazz has resulted in several major international events every year, and several jazz clubs in the capital.
Nita Aartsen is a rising star indonesian artist who uses her classical training to create world-class music.
NA: Classical is my first love, it’s my first touch, basically and for my personal opinion, it has the most beautiful melodies. Classical, like Fur Elise, Turkish Mars, Bach Serenade. And then for me personally, jazz has the most thick harmony, in the world, of all kinds of music. And I take Latin because it’s my passion, Latin. And I like to cook everything which is my ingredient.
IN: But did the classical set up what you do? If you didn’t have the classical training, you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing?
NA: Yes, of course, because for somebody that studied classical and for somebody that didn’t study classical, it just becomes a melody, one of the pop melodies, I guess. But of course, classical also has a huge history, right? So to cook it is not just to put all the artificial of each one, but I really sit and think like “Moonlight Sonata” and again it also has a message in them, the ambiance of classic is also thick in me, basically.
IN: When you perform, you perform passionately, it’s like you’re in a trance. Where do you get that?
NA: I think music gives us, or art gives us to express ourselves and to be ourselves. I think the passion is just me. At some parts in some songs I can really express myself, but maybe for other people it’s more interesting to see when I’m so much in my passion(ate) things But basically I do all sides, basically. Some are really (a) quiet piece, some are just joy(ful) and cool and some are just…how do you say it…chill…chilly…something like that.
IN: Where do you want to go as an artist? Do you want to be a star, an international star? Where do you hope to end up?
NA: Of course it will be great if I can be the messenger for the whole world. Especially if I can stand up as an Indonesian female artist. And again, I feel blessed with all the opportunities. I already got some invitations from Europe and the States to perform. And I also try to cook more Indonesian music into it. Because then again this music could belong to everyone, basically, that’s how I see it. If I could be the world’s messenger, that would be my dreams, yah?
Aartsen will perform music from a new album at a concert December 17 at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta.