Dipha Barus, DJ of The Year

Now tell us, who doesn’t listen and dance to Nothing Can Stop Us and All Good whenever the songs play in the radio? We got the chance to have an interview session with the mastermind behind it: Dipha Barus. Last year, we already had an encounter with the DJ, and we can prove how fame has not changed Dipha, not even the slightest. Currently, the 31-year-old DJ is still doing his tour around Indonesia and South East Asian cities. He just got home from New York to promote All Good. Also in good musical spirit, Dipha is producing a song for Bams and Lala Karmela.

dipha barus for letter f tft9Well, a busy bee, aren’t we?

“I have around 10 singles that will be released throughout the year. I also have a list of monthly club tracks for festival events that can be downloaded for free. The current biggest project so far is preparing my own label. Despite all that, I still manage to have 7 hours a day to sleep and 2 hours to go to the gym.”

And we found out that you starred in a short movie. What’s up with that?

“Well, it’s actually a documentary film with me being myself. I wouldn’t call it as acting because I just went about my day and had it filmed as a doco. Believe me, I won’t do any acting for now or even in the near future, I’ll just focus on music.”

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If you aren’t going to try acting, how about making a soundtrack for a movie?

“I got so many offers actually, but there are a lot of things to be considered because I’ve always wanted my songs to be remembered as my discography – not as a soundtrack.”

Okay now moving forward, if you have kids in the future, will you teach them about music, or you let them choose their own path?

“I definitely will teach them about music, making them familiar with it. But the first thing that I’ll do is to have them believe in themselves. I’m going to guide them and look after them, but I’ll let them choose their own path. To teach them to make a timeless work; a work that’s uniquely theirs with pure intention. I wouldn’t mind if they want to be a scientist or other non-music field. As long as they have good intention, they have my full support.”

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You’ve been in the music industry for more than 10 years. How do you feel about that – do you think that it’s sufficient enough?

“I don’t think 10 years in the music scene is long enough (laughs). But I also think that my music isn’t considered as an oldie. I have this in mind: ‘once people start to think that my music can’t relate to current generation, that’s my cue to retire’. Because when you are still producing music, your music has to be relevant – but, you don’t always have to follow the trend. It’s more like you have to be aware about what the public wants. If one day I have a thought like, ‘I guess I’m too old for this sh*t’ then I’m going to retire.”

“The thing is, I’ve always learned and found a new way to enrich my music in every way possible. Mostly, I got inspirations from my friends, my surrounding and the internet. I use social media as a platform where I can find new ideas. I follow many people in Instagram just to find a slight info about music, subculture, and arts.”

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Tell us, do you think Indonesian music scene has a hidden gem that has yet to be discovered?

“Lots of them actually! It’s such a pity that here in Indonesia, music isn’t considered as a basic need that everyone requires. So I guess people have a second thought before doing music. Also, the underrated ones rarely get exposures.”

“Many young producers in other provinces provide an experimental noise project whose quality is beyond average. To be honest, we have so many music genres that haven’t even been explored yet. They got influences from many genres, but they gave a twist and made their true identity.”

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“For example, Senyawa band – they have a killer music but people barely know and appreciate the music. The ironic thing is that I saw their performance not in our country, but in New York – and it was sick! Our subclutures are so distinct, I believe we have so many hidden gems inside.”

If you could give one humble advice to the new millennial musicians, what would it be?

“Okay, it’s probably cheesy and lame: but do listen to your heart. Most of them got stuck in the same activities for years and follow the stream that’s been formed, in a way, by society, so they don’t even dare themselves to break free.”

“You have to know what you want, but when the process isn’t as good as you thought it’d be, you can always have a fresh start again. You have to be aware of your dream—to realize your dream in an honest way. I actually meditate and I try to take every little thing in, the good and even the bad ones. So my advice would be: you have to know what you’re doing and to trust the process.”

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Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Photographer: Vicky Melly
MUA: Nadia Renata
Stylist: Hilarius Matthew
Digital Imaging: Rendra Martin
Wardrobe: Legiteamate, available at TheFThing.com

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