Ignatius Rosoinaya, or Igor, had never expected that he would be one of the most respected rappers in Indonesia. Through the most known song Online, Saykoji introduced himself to Indonesia’s music listeners. The various processes he passed and the experience he had took him to who he is right now.
What do you think of the hip hop scene in Indonesia and how would you compare it with the hip hop scene overseas?
“It actually depends on the country. Initially, when I just started rapping, Indonesia wasn’t exactly a bilingual country like how Malaysia already was. When you can’t speak English, sometimes this fact prevented you in having a significant progress. Just like others back in the days when there was no internet, we searched references manually through cassettes, VCDs, hip-hop printed magazines. The hip-hop scene in Indonesia has developed ever since the early 90s until now, trying their best to write lyrics in Indonesian language and find their own identity throughout. Compares to overseas, the scene rapidly grows since decades ago. Internet has helped these local hip-hop artists to release more music in order to be known by the public. But when it comes down to the industry itself, the process still takes more time because the current big genre is pop, pop still dominates the scene. In Indonesia, the hip-hop scene itself is still developing, we just need to make sure that these talents are to be found and get the proper exposure in the future.”
Your most memorable collab? And if you could, who’s your wish list rapper or producer to have a collab with?
“I would love to have a collab with Nas, his style in delivering lyrics and the way he raps is timeless. Also, his voice is crazy dope. I admire how he puts words together in his lyrics, because to me, hip-hop is also about how you feel when you listen to the songs. If you listen to Nas’ music, you can tell that he really understands where he belongs, the city where he was born in, NYC. For example, when you listen to Nas’ songs about the story of how he took the subway to Queens, you can understand that he knows what he’s talking about and where he’s from. So yeah, if you ask me, he’s one of the guys that I would love to have a collab with one day.”
“The most memorable collaboration that I ever did was with my friend, that was also inspired by Nas, with the reggae singer, Ras Muhammad. We produced music together a couple of times, and every time we do, we always come up with songs with deep meanings. We talked about social issues, our hope to the society, so that’s why it’s pretty memorable to me.”
Main inspiration for the rap lyrics that you wrote?
“If you listen to my music, you can see that my main inspiration is the things I’ve seen everyday. I like to keep it real and I have to tell a story that I really did go through in my life. As life changes, my perspective as a rapper shifted from being an individual rapper to a rapper who’s also a father. I did a couple of collabs with my sons, we talked about issues that matter, from doing their homework, the election, to the plastic waste issue.”
How would you describe your rapping style?
“I have to say that I have two versions. There’s a style of rapping that I do because I want people to understand what I’m trying to convey easily with simple lyrics and light kind of vibes. The kind of songs that people would just laugh when they listen to the words. You know, Saykoji, situational. But at the same time, I like to write complex rhymes in multi syllables. So, when I write rhymes, I don’t focus only on one rhyme at the end of sentences, but I also focus on the rhymes as a whole—and this is called multiple syllables. The more complex the rhyme is, the more challenging it is for me to find a way to write lyrics to amaze people. That’s the real challenge.”
Editor: Galuh Tathya
Writer: Dela Naufalia
Photographer & Digital Imaging: Rendra Martin