Born in the social media era, GAC – Gamal Audrey Cantika, started their early days by doing a heap of cover songs in their YouTube channel. There, the three of them gradually built their own audience; the millennials. Their dedicated days and hardwork paid off as they’re signed under Sony Music Indonesia in 2012 through their first album, Gamaliel Audrey Cantika. Reaching out to their fifth year, they already achieved huge recognition from the public. In fact, back in 2014, they even got featured in Grammy’s nomination bumper for their Justin Timberlake’s Mirror cover. And recently, GAC had a song project with another YouTube sensation from Singapore, The Sam Willows.
Seems like you guys have a lot of projects coming your way. Mind sharing us about it?
Gamal: “We are still busy with off-air events and stuff and we already released our closing single from the second album, Untuk Indonesia, dedicated to Independence Day. Other that than, we are preparing our upcoming album. We just got back from Sweden to record the materials for our album. As far as the album release schedule goes, it’s still in discussion. But the single will be released in October.”
You guys grew up in the hype of social media. And during the early years, cover songs are a hit and you did that as well. Does it ever come across your mind, the public’s reaction to your work?
Gamal: “We actually didn’t bother by that until we released our own album. In the first album, we were helped by many, including the songs, so the burden was about our lack of professional experience since all we did was doing cover songs. Wasn’t really a burden, but more like a challenge.”
Audrey: “More like a phase where we adapted to the situation, where we went from doing cover songs to recording our own songs.”
Gamal: “And the fact that we just formed into a group two years before we release our album was also part of the challenge. At the time, we were still trying to figure ourselves out, harmony wise. We used to do acoustic because we don’t have a full set of needed musical instruments. Most people expected us to have an acoustic album, so it kinda threw them a bit of surprise when we released our RnB album. For out second alum, we went to Sweden and had a workshop there. We all made the lyrics and it made us happy. Though it’s hard to please everyone, but we’re trying our best to make the best album for our fans.”
Audrey: “This time, we had a different approach – we focused on ourselves first. We want to release songs that we like, that make us happy. We can’t expect people to like our songs if we didn’t like it in the first place, right?”
During the recording process, you must’ve felt some kind of stagnation. How do you overcome any challenge that comes from the process and keep going?
Gamal: “Music itself has a big impact on us. Music is always evolving. As time passed by, we matured a lot, so did our music. We got a lot of experiences to be poured in the songs – even the latest issues that happen inspire us. So we always have something to deliver through our songs.”
Audrey: “The inspirations and ideas are always there, and since we have a deadline to keep, we must always trigger ourselves to keep inspired. We already discussed the theme and mood of our album to make it easier.”
Cantika: “That’s the funny bit actually, due to deadline, we were able to complete all the necessary materials for the album (laughs).”
Being in a group of three, sometimes you have different opinions to one another. What d’you guys do when that happens?
Gamal: “Imagine you have three differents opinion to make one conclusion, it’s not simple, right? We maintain our communication to each other constantly, we’d always share what’s bothering us and whatnot.”
Cantika: “Because in the end, when it comes to work where we wrote our lyrics separately, we always listen to each other’s opinion.”
Audrey: “We already have that mindset where we do it for and from us.”
Due to its viral nature, social media can have good and bad impacts in every influencer’s life. Tell us the worst thing you hate about social media?
Gamal: “The newer social media generation is growing to something, well I must say, towards negative side. I’m talking about bashing people online. Of course, social media has a positive side, don’t get me wrong but I’ve seen how some would use the power of internet by commenting bad words and hiding themselves (behind the pseudonyms).”
Cantika: “In my opinion, they’ve an identity crisis. They tend to follow the stream to impress others. Somewhere along the process, they forgot to stay true to themselves.”
Audrey: “I think the most disturbing is the negative comments. Maybe some feel content by bullying people online. And these kind of people, they always find something to be bullied, even if it’s the slightest mistake.”
Cantika: “It’s a bit tricky. Their defense if we’re being bullied is cause it’s the consequence we’ve to face as a public figure.”
It is indeed difficult to live in this digital era where people can hide behind pseudonym. But we also notice that you brush them off elegantly and keep focusing on your music. Speaking of which, who’s your fave idol?
Cantika: “Although our based is RnB, but when I hear something new, I’d gladly share to Gamal and Audrey. We often take notes from those songs. Good thing we have our own spot in one solo song to pour our idealism in the album. So it’s all good. And talking about the artists who inspire me the most are Queen Beyonce and Boys II Men.”
Gamal: “As time goes by, many songs and artists influence me, but the ones who shaped my musical taste actually comes from a movie Sound of Music, singers would be Mariah Carey and Chris Brown. Sound of Music is my mother’s favorite movie and it’s a life changing kind of movie for me. I learned how to do a harmonization from it.”
Audrey: “True, Sound of Music is my favorite, too. Plus, Rihanna and Stacie Orrico inspire me a lot.”
Moving on to fashion department, share us more on that.
Cantika: “Truthfully, we don’t stick to one style because we constantly change with new reference. We basically seek the comfort in every outfit that we wear. Like in our second album, the monochrome vibe was so strong, but we eventually put more colors after.”
Audrey: “Yes, I second that. Plus, we always decided together what kind of clothes that we were going to wear in every of our own performance.”
Gamal: “Of course, at first we wanted different styles from others. But again, we also see the trend for a reference.”
Do you think your daily style and perfomance style are the same? And is there any stylist included to pick the wardrobe for you?
Audrey: “Come to think about it, it is similar. Because we mostly did an off-air performance where we tend to wear our own wardrobe.”
Gamal: “Yes, we kind of handle it by ourselves.”
Cantika: “We don’t want to feel uncomfortable in our clothes while performing, so we choose what to wear and what not to wear.”
Describe your style.
Audrey: “Up-to-date casual style!”
Cantika: “It depends on my mood – I can wear skirt today and the next day I like to dress up a little bit boyish.”
Gamal: “I wear anything, from casual to formal. Three of us have a versatile side when it comes to style.”
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Photographer: Moody Wijaya
MUA: Nadia Renata and Fadilah Putri
Stylist: Hilarius Matthew
Digital Imaging: Rendra Martin
Wardrobe: The Story of Kai, AIME and Bloom et Champs, available at TheFThing.com