What music are you into at the moment?
Well, I actually don’t really listen to any particular album these days. At the moment I’m working intensely on songs for my project ESQI:EF (Syaharani & Queenfireworks). But a bit of Chris Botti, Diane Schuur, Johnny Nash, Amy Winehouse and Adele is always nice for the rainy season. Some tunes by Sting, Paul Giamatti, Christopher Cross, and Paul Weller, also help to get me back on my feet, straighten me up and get me ready for the world.
What was the first record you bought—any interesting story behind it?
Wait, let me tell you about the first record I heard (and was gettin’ jiggy wit’ it): Osibisa Live. I stole that record from my elder brother. I couldn’t stop myself from falling in love with Osibisa’s “Sunshine Day”: …Everybodeeee do what you’re dooooing, smile while bringing a sunshine day… I was only 8 years old at the time. Hehe.
The first record I bought? Unyil. It was an epic moment for a 9 year old to own that record. Ah, those days were so fun…
What are your all-time favourite albums? Why?
All time favourite albums: anything by The Carpenters. So soulful, filled with self esteem and beautiful harmonies. I also love 007 songs. Each and every song by 007 is so damn cool! I have the ultimate respect for Charlie Parker’s, Billie Holiday’s, Astrud Gilberto’s, and Macy Grey’s work as well. …Oh, god, help me. I can’t make up my mind! There are so many good songs and albums in this world. I’m sure that I haven’t heard them all. Music mimics nature. Always brings surprises.
What was the worst record you ever purchased?
Worst record? …Hmmm …Hard for me to say. Maybe some records with poor mixing-mastering results.
Who do you want to be, other than yourself, next time you reincarnate?
Well, I don’t really believe—or care—about reincarnation, sixth sense, whatever. I don’t get the logic. But anyway, if I could choose, I just want to be me. Only slimmer, please. Haha.
What book are you reading now and what’s the score (1-10)?
Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein. I laugh a lot reading this—and think a lot afterwards.
What new movie should people see? Why?
I’m pretty much hooked on the Bourne series, Lord of the Rings series, and A Separation (an Iranian drama film). I especially like complicated mind themes, attention to detail, that kind of thing. I think it’s cool. It makes you put things in perspective, see life with more empathy.
What music do you choose to start your weekend?
To start my weekend: rock ‘n’ roll comes first! And then jazz, plus a little bit of blues.
And song you choose to end your weekend?
Song to close my weekend, I usually go mellow with “Wild Wood” by Paul Weller. Also my own song “Delight” which is always effective for strengthening my faith in love; the world is truly a beautiful place when we are falling in love.
Syaharani seems to be forever on tour, playing mostly intimate club gigs and occasional medium to massive concerts. She uses her break time to write new songs for upcoming albums.
*This interview was firstly published on The Beat (Jakarta) #77, Dec 10-23, 2012
*Photo on front page by Alisyana, photo on this page (concert photo) by Mia Damayanti Sjahir