Popping out in the hip-hop scene in the country few years ago, Ariel Nayaka got the serious game in his palm in a snap. The young rapper is now roaring high as his first single, 3AM in Jakarta, blew up and put him on to the spotlight of the industry. And just last April, he released his new album, Cadence Blue, and right now busy doing post-promotion for the album. As we had this conversation, Nayaka shared that he was preparing a supporting music video for one of his song. Letter F dug up about his new album and his thoughts on his music and life.
How was your feeling during the preparation of the album? Is there any difference from the first one?
“I was so thrilled, but yeah of course there is a difference. My team and I evolved through the process. I feel that our taste in music and composing is changing, but in a good way. But at the same time I felt a bit nervous since people anticipated the second album, so I could feel the pressure. Thoughts like, if I composed a new sound, I was afraid people wouldn’t like it – yeah, yeah, bad thoughts like that. But it drove my motivation, although it was a challenge in a way. Thankfully, once it released, everyone was happy with it.”
What kind of theme that you try to portray in your new album?
“I think it’s not much different from the previous one. Like I wanted to show people how I’m having fun in a very teenage-ish way in the past album, but right now my aspect of having fun is changed. I’m now prefer stay at home, chilling with my friends and making music. It’s like a part of growing up, I guess? And it reflects in my music.”
Hardship during the process?
“Everytime I compose something, there is a challenge in it. But when I make this album, the hardest thing is to find the links in the album. Like for example, when I wrote a single, all I have to worry about is that one song. But when I make an album, somehow I have to put links to each songs and make them into one entity. That was kind of hard. Yet once I found it, making the rest of the album was easy.”
This album, Credence Blue, what does it mean to you?
“To say it again, the album is more personal to me. I mean I have always been personal to my songs, but this time I learned how to express my words and my life. And because many people helped me – even my friends from Malaysia, SonaOne, featured in the song. We cooked up our material together in studio and trading things too. But it’s a little different with Ayub Jonn, as we only made it work through email and stuff. Oh and there’s one producer from Dubai who made beats for my songs, but we never met before. We just sorta did it all through Instagram conversation and email. I felt thankful with all the inspiration and exchange of thoughts with everyone.”
When was the first time you realized that you wanted to do this?
“I think it was two years ago, at the end of 2016. Way before that, I did rapping around 2013-2014, but I didn’t take it seriously. Then I dropped 3am in Jakarta and the response was surprisingly good and I got invited to perform in Malaysia because of the song. I even made to Rolling Stone Indonesia’s best 20 albums in 2016. Then it hit me, I think I wanted to do this seriously. The more I grow up the more that I find happiness in music, and it’s like a therapy for me.”
The turning point in your life to focus on your career in music?
“When I dropped out from college. I wanted to learn more about everything, everything outside of campus. Like I didn’t have any motivation left to continue my school so I ended up skipping classes to make music and spent hours in the studio. For two years I only did music without my parents knowing. I gained my confidence in music as the time went by and finally opened up to my mom that I didn’t finish my school and all. Surprisingly, my mom was actually aware about my music and knew my progress. But it took me another one year to convince my mom that music is my passion. And then maybe she saw through me and gave me her blessing to do this path.”
Do you wish to collaborate with one rapper from Indonesia?
“Not a rapper, maybe a singer. I want to work with Teza Sumendra because I like his baritone. But honestly I want to have a collab with more producers.”
What do you see yourself in five years?
“I hope I can be on top line of rappers in the country, as for my career. For personal life, I hope I can provide my mom wholly. But my ultimate dream is to have some sort of an institute for student exchange but for music major or sort. Especially in Indonesia, music major is still underrated and I want to fund that kind of student exchange where the students can learn in another music scene abroad.”
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Editor: Olivia Elena
Photographer: Vicky Melly
MUA: Nadia Renata
Fashion Stylist: Ervina Michelle
Digital Imaging: Dela Naufalia
Videographer: Iqbal Safie
Location: Swillhouse, Jakarta