Domestic Groove: KIKAN NAMARA

Kikan Namara 1

Singer, Songwriter

What music are you into at the moment?
Well, right now I’m preparing for my first solo album—my first single, “Serasa”, is already out, by the way. So, I’ve been going back to my roots, which are in 90’s alternative/rock/grunge. I’ve been listening a lot to Padi and Sheila On 7. As for international artists, I’ve been listening a lot to Moonpools & Caterpillars, Alanis Morrisette, The Cranberries, No Doubt and Garbage.

What was the first record you bought—any interesting stories behind it?
Slank! Their first album, titled Suit Suit Hehe (Gadis Sexy), back in 1990. I was 14 years old, and in junior high school. I bought the album using my pocket money, meant for school. I heard their song “Maafkanlah” on the radio and I started to save my money to buy the album. I didn’t eat at school for like 5 days, so I could buy it. But after I bought the album I fell in love with another song called “Kalah”. Never in my whole life would I have dreamt that 13 years later afterwards, I would get to perform the same song, on stage with Slank, live for their 20th anniversary celebrations. So it was worth every penny!

What is your all-time favorite album? Why?
Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill. Because she’s full of angst like me. She’s basically the first female artist that, to me, was successful in creating songs/album that managed to mix idealism with commercialism. That album sold 34 million copies worldwide to date. And I’m still angry. Hehe.

What was the worst record you ever purchased?
That has to be The Best of Tommy Page. I was 15, traveling from Jakarta to Bali with my cousins overland and somehow my driver had removed all of my cassettes from the car while cleaning it before we left for Bali. Somewhere along the way we stopped at a small town and we found a very very old school cassette shop. I was actually looking for an LA Guns album and really can’t explain why somehow all of my cousins managed to persuade me to buy Tommy Page’s album. The trip took us 2 days and we didn’t manage to find any other cassette shops along the way, so it was “A Shoulder to Cry On” for 2 days straight. I’m still traumatized by it till today…

Who do you want to be, other than yourself, next time you reincarnate?
My mom. So that I know how it feels to raise a very very naughty rebellious girl like me. I love you mom!

What book are you reading now and what’s the score (1-10)?
Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead by Neil Strauss. I give it 8 out of 10. He wrote one of the most iconic rock biographies of all time, Mötley Crüe’s The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band. He exposed the truth about many a talented pickup artist in The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. And he’s covered some of the greatest musicians in the world for Rolling Stone, the New York Times, among many others. Neil Strauss is one of the most prolific rock writers and biographers working today. So, his next book took a natural turn—a collection of the most telling moments behind the more than 3,000-plus interviews he’s conducted over his career. Very interesting book I must say…

What new movie should people see? Why?
Dark Shadows. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Should I say more?

What album do you choose to start your weekend?
The Best of Sugar Ray. The whole album is sooo laid back and puts you in the holiday mood. Especially the song “Spinning Away”.

And album you choose to end your weekend?
I-Empire by Angels & Airwaves. The album is a good mood booster and makes you feel energized to start your week. “Everything’s Magic” is one of my favourites.
Kikan Namara 2

After separating from her old band, Cokelat, in June 2010, Kikan took a big part and kept herself occupied in a drama-musical show “Ali Topan”; while for her singing career, after some indecision about whether to be a lead singer in a band again, she has decided to do it her way: to go solo, to keep playing rock and to be fully indie.

Currently Kikan has stepped into a new chapter of her life: releasing her me-myself-and-I kind of records. She has already published the single, “Serasa”, to be followed by the album sometime soon.

Domestic Groove: SARA WIJAYANTO
Domestic Groove: MELANIE SUBONO
Domestic Groove: RISA SARASWATI


This interview was firstly published on The Beat (Jakarta) #65, May 28-June 10, 2012

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