Malang, East Java |
Fri, March 16 2018
| 12:45 am

 Nova Ruth: Going global with nature and culture in music
Music with a cause: Nova Ruth raises public awareness of social and environmental issues through music. (Courtesy of Eta Fjulieroz)” width=”780″ border=”0″ height=”520″>Music with a cause: Nova Ruth raises public awareness of social and environmental issues through music. (Courtesy of Eta Fjulieroz)

Musician Nova Ruth Setyaningtyas has a principle that songs should not only entertain, but also communicate messages as well.

A gifted musician from Malang, East Java, Nova has now gone global.

She initially started out as a rapper in Malang during the 2000s.

Nova describes rap as an expression of her emotion and irritation.

“I’m angered by the prevailing social conditions,” she said during a discussion at the Hamur Dieng Café in Malang recently.

With time, her musical capability improved and her horizons broadened, thanks in part to the guidance of her father, Toto Tewel, a guitarist for the legendary rock band Elpamas.

In the process, she once blended her father’s melodious guitar strum into the song, “Arek Malang Kudu Seneng” (Malang People Should be Happy), in collaboration with Australian Sven Simulacrum in 2009.

“My dad didn’t realize it was his strumming tone but he liked the composition very much,” she recalled.

Several foreign musicians began to invite Nova to various international shows, including Grey Filastine from the United States who made her a vocalist on some of his albums.

Filastine’s music, based on electronic sounds, is uniquely combined with gamelan and Nova’s vocals, forming a sound steeped in Eastern elements.

Some circles classify their music in the local-accent electronic genre. She also filled it with Javanese lyrics; Lek wani ngomong jujur, bumi wis kate ajur, wong gak kenek diatur, sego wes dadi bubur (To be frank, the earth is crumbling, men are beyond control, the condition is beyond repair), to depict the deadly mudslide in Sidoarjo, East Java.

Nova has also appeared at festivals in Asia, Australia, Europe and the US.

Her world tours have also exposed her to immigration and licensing red tape due to her independent artist status, which is a potential hindrance to enter some countries.

“I was once denied entry into Germany without any explanation of what documents were missing,” she said.

However, she feels grateful that under such circumstances she can still maintain her musical activity without being overwhelmed by tight schedules. This enables her to move around to find inspiration from nature, culture and nearby environments.

Testing new boundaries: The former rapper experiments with all types of sounds, which are inspired by nature and culture. (Courtesy of Kirril Kotov)

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Music with a cause: Nova Ruth raises public awareness of social and environmental issues through music. (Courtesy of Eta Fjulieroz)Musician Nova Ruth Setyaningtyas has a principle that songs should not only entertain, but also communicate messages as well. A gifted musician from Malang, East Java, Nova has now gone global.She initially started out as a rapper in Malang during the 2000s. Nova descr…





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