Felix Martua (The Jakarta Post)
Mon 12 September 2022
Indonesia’s first festival to showcase hip-hop, R&B and soul artists has taken over Jakarta’s iconic sports complex with its third edition.
With more than 50 musicians performing on four different stages at the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex, also known as Istora Senayan, the 2022 FLAVS Festival lived up to its aspiration to be the counterpart of pop and music festivals. rock by bringing hip hop, R&B and soul music and their dedicated artists to the forefront.
Organized last weekend from September 10 to 11 by the South Jakarta-based VISICITA network, the third edition of the festival also featured non-musical performances like freestyle dance and graffiti battles, a showcase of cycling and skateboarding. freestyle and music workshops.
Jakarta rapper Ramengvrl was enthusiastic about the festival’s focus on hip hop music.
“[Because] Hip hop is about celebrating your individuality. It’s about celebrating being you! she said on the final night of the festival, just before she took the stage and got the crowd going with her high-energy number, “I AM ME.”
Haven of hip-hop
Both hip hop and rap artists appeared at home throughout the two-day festival. Jakartan hip-hop collective Dreamfilled turned up the heat despite the overcast weather with catchy tracks from 2022’s debut album, YOMBEX.
On another stage, Kripikpeudeus mixed a fiery rock style with barbed rap verses and gorilla-masked freestyle dancers to celebrate the band’s 25 years on the hip hop scene.
Straight out of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, rapper and producer Januarta The Goat has used FLAVS to introduce his discography to Jakarta audiences, including past tracks such as the slow-burning “Bad Loves Business.” For the 18-year-old rapper, real name Januarta Raja Dira Tome and known for his raspy, raspy verses, the opportunity to showcase his music in the nation’s capital was not to be missed.
“I feel so thrilled,” he said Jakarta Post minutes after his performance. “They really showed their love, coming all the way here to see me.”
He also praised FLAVS for providing a platform for all hip hop artists and rappers across the country, especially since “there are a lot of players, but not enough stages.” The icing on the cake, Januarta The Goat generously teased what to expect from his next album, a sequel to his 2021 EP. Cerita Selesai di Timur (The story ends in the east).
“I can assure you it’s going to be very different from the [current] Indonesian hip hop scene. I experimented,” he said, without divulging anything more.
One of the highlights of the festival was the one-night rap team. Rap Rock United, a supergroup consisting of St. Loco, 7 Kurcaci, Kripikpeudeus, Ragajimesin, MasterWu, Andy from rock band /rif, Iwa K, John Doe, Laze, Yacko and Eka Annash, proved that rock and rap cousins are practically musical.
Another supergroup dubbed Symphony From Hell brought together some of the hottest rappers in the country today, such as Ramengvrl, Tuantigabelas, and Mario Zwinkle. Across the Pond, rapper A. Nayaka has teamed up with his hip-hop group Blue Room Boys to take the band’s debut album, 2021’s, to the stage. You’re wonderful.
Next-gen lineup: R&B duo (L-R) RL KLAV, Moneva and Gavendri lit up the night at FLAVS Festival 2022, held September 10-11 at the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in Jakarta. (JP/Felix Martua) (JP/Felix Martua)
From the R&B scene, female artists hit the fences, delivering some of the festival’s most memorable performances. Next-gen R&B artists Gavendri, Moneva and duo RL KLAV showed off their individual chops before sharing the stage to cover Lauryn Hill’s rendition of Frankie Valli’s classic, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”
Meanwhile, Marion Jola ditched her pop persona for a deliberate application of R&B musical arrangements in her signature bops, such as “Overthinking” and “Tak Ingin Pisah Lagi” (I Don’t Want to Part Anymore).
Another festival highlight was when songwriter-producer Nikita Dompas brought together Reza Artamevia, Imaniar, Sania, Shanty and singer-rapper Denada in a nostalgic production of R&B bops from the late 90s and 2000s. majoring on stage after more than a decade, Shanty visibly broke down in tears as she performed her signature dance jams “Hanya Memuji” (Just a Compliment) and “Oh Kasih” (Oh Darling) to the packed house.
“Hey, Jakarta, I’m back!” Shanty cried out in tears to the applause of the audience.
Representing the alternative and soul genres, Oslo Ibrahim was giving off romantic vibes with his latest single, “All My Friends Are Fallin’ in Love.” He also gave what was arguably the most Instagrammable moment of the night when he licked the strings of his electric guitar in front of an elated crowd.
Singer-songwriter SIVIA has made the case to be the country’s future soul queen, with her commanding presence particularly evident on the gospel-influenced “Butterfly.”
“A festival like this provides options, that Indonesian music is [actually] very diverse. It’s a statement that there are so many music scenes in Jakarta alone,” the 25-year-old told the Job.
“I want [also] like to explore more, musically. I plan to release album number two next year, so stay tuned! she added.
Inspired: Pop singer Tiara Andini wows the crowd after heavy rain and a technical glitch at FLAVS 2022, and hinted at possible expansion into other genres. (JP/Felix Martua) (JP/Felix Martua)
Pop artists are always present at the festival, with traditional artists such as Rizky Febian, Yura Yunita, Juicy Luicy, Raisa and Tiara Andini hitting various stages at FLAVS.
Tiara’s set, in particular, encountered significant obstacles in the form of heavy rain, wind, and audio issues. As such, the 20-year-old singer told the Job after her set that she didn’t expect the crowd to still gather for her performance.
“It was a pretty big storm, but they stayed with me until the last song. It really made me cry,” Tiara said.
She also didn’t expect a hip-hop, R&B, and soul festival crowd to turn up for a pop singer.
“Oh my God, it was such a joy and such a relief!” she says. “Turns out the crowd was huge and they got to sing as well. Even though the rain interrupted things, overall it was great fun.
Could her participation in FLAVS imply that she plans to explore hip hop, R&B or soul in the future? “You’ll see! Hip hop, R&B and soul, even rap too!” she answered with a knowing smile.