Joining a talent show was probably Teza Sumendra’s best decision ever back in 2006. After being one of the top 20 Indonesian Idol finalists, he consistently continued pursuing his dream. Even after he got eliminated, he didn’t give up easily. He decided to upload more of his singing ability through SoundCloud and became a vocalist in a band. Hard work paid off in 2009, he was finally asked by Indra Lesmana to be a feature singer in his new single. Since then, he got a lot of offers to perform and to collab. Spending a year to composing his debut album, Teza eventually released his self-titled album in February 2015. Currently, he’s preparing tracks for his upcoming album, which hopefully will be released next year.
Do you feel any difference in your music when you first started your career up until now?
“Personally, I don’t think I even got the half of it, but I can pay my bills every month (laughs). Because I think my activities and my career as singer haven’t reached a certain point where people will know my entire discography. I mean, I’m still on my way there. I’m still developing my career. But musically speaking, I can listen and take notes from many other genres beside RnB. I’m more open now to any kind of music, less picky.”
“After I participated in Laskar Pelangi musical play, it opened my eyes to a new genre of music. I got to know the Broadway-ish kind of music. It gave me new insight.”
By mentioning it, are you trying to put a certain genre in your upcoming album?
“Probably. I might put new sounds that I never used before in the previous album. I hope that I can explore more and give a fresh sound into new album. To be honest, the next album most likely sounds the same, with a strong Soul and RnB vibe – because it’s my safe haven.”
Tell us more about your involvement in the musical play.
“Yes, I was one of the casts. I got to try and learn acting from the expert. Singing while acting is hard, I diligently kept on learning. The singing technique was also different than usual. I really enjoyed the reading and the rehearsal process. That was a huge show, there were a lot of people included and I learned about team work as well.”
“I met many new people with many different characters, and it was fascinating. I also got the chance to get a long with vocal group. As a solo singer, I had to suppress my ego to bring out the best in the team. Being involved in a musical film, it takes a lot of time and energy, so I’d definitely sign up again if I have a lot of time.”
Now talking about your new album, do you want to have a new theme than the previous one?
“Just because love’s theme still dominates the market, I will still do the same theme for the next album. Maybe because a lot of people can relate to it – it’s our daily life’s story after all.”
Do you have one stage dream that you really want to join and perform there?
“I want to perform and sing my song at St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival in Singapore. That’s like my dream. I don’t want to expect much because I know my own limit. Performing in Asian countries or cities are probably my aim for now on.”
How about the best moment from all your gigs so far that still lingers?
“When I perfomed at the Java Jazz Festival in 2014! I was performing as Teza Sumendra, the solo singer. At that time, I performed in a hall and it was packed. Even I heard that there were people queueing outside because it was packed. I was so thankful and I will never forget it. People appreciate my music is more than enough. I was so touched.”
Ever thought of having a solo concert later after your new album is released?
“I don’t think I’m ready to have a solo concert, even after I release the new album. My first album only contains 12 songs, even when I add the songs from the upcoming one, it still won’t cut it. Those can’t be considered as a proper material for a concert. And I’m fully aware that my songs haven’t been widespread among the public. But if I ever made one, I want to make an intimate concert for people who enjoy my music. With a smaller venue, I hope I can interact with them, heart to heart.”
“I’m definitely down for someone who appreciates me, my music. I prefer a small group of people than the large one that don’t appreciate me.”
Last question, how do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
“Actually, I never make a target. But maybe in 10 years, I’ll be able to buy and have my own house (laughs). And for my career, I will go with the flow, because I go through this job with a flaming passion. Although I sound less ambitious, I love this occupation so much and will still be doing music for the next 10 years for sure.”
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Photographer: Vicky Melly
MUA: Nadia Renata
Stylist: Hilarius Matthew
Digital Imaging: Dela Naufalia
Wardrobe: Legiteamate, available at TheFThing.com