In a country the size of Indonesia, when a pretty little thing gets tagged as “the next big thing” there must be something pretty damn special about her. You can’t help but wonder what it is that makes her great. Right now, this is happening to a girl called Neonomora. Her one single, “You Want My Love,” released in November 2012, saw her almost instantly labeled as one of the lucky few—a girl with one of the brightest futures in the Indonesian music scene. And that’s quite a statement. So, is she that good? And does she deserve it? I’m not sure, it’s hard to evaluate when labels such as the one given to her are, more often than not, handed out according to the rules of the major music mechanics within Indonesia’s music industry. Let’s discard labelling her further and listen.
Following on from her star-status single, she got people hooked further when she released the video clip for “You Want My Love” back in February 2013. With this, Neonomora lovers began to pop up all around the globe; Aussies, Americans, and folk from SouthEast Asia, several European countries, and China are all began paying serious attention. Several weeks ago a second single called “Fight” appeared and, with this, the converted are more than willing to vouch for the validity of her aforementioned label. “Fight” is a brilliant track and has already begun to strengthen her position on the prestigious list. When she sings “You Want My Love”, Neonomora still sounds a touch too much like Florence Welch and yes, whilst that does still make her amazing, for “Fight” she has slowly begun to search out her own path. To this self-exploration, she’s added banjo and mandolin, there’s latin exoticism and a Middle-Eastern feel added in there too, and—just like her first—it’s definitely majestic.
When asked when her full-length debut is likely to be released, the Jakarta-based singer gave only a few hints; “The album will reach record stores this year but I can’t share the exact dates just yet but I can tell you that the songs, 9 of them, have already been through the final mixing and mastered process. I might add one more song so it’s 10 in total. Why? After all the positive responses I have received, my mood has been boosted, and I’m changing. This additional song will summarise my evolution.”
Born in 1988 as Ratih Suryahutamy, she’s actually not a newcomer to concert stages. In fact, she started to sing at 3 years old. Her first performance was on Christmas night, back when she was still little and living in The States. Her mother used to be a singer, her brother is a musician, and the only thing she’s very sure about is that she was born to sing. Her talent must come with her DNA.
What else do we know? Her brother, Bam Mastro, will be included as the main collaborator for her upcoming first record. The main theme of the album is her life journey, and chronicles how the seed of Neonomora came into the universe and continues to evolve. Therefore lyrics will cruise around the topics of love, hatred, betrayals, death, loss, respect, gratitude, vows, birth, rivalry, conspiracy, and politics. Or as she puts it, “Life in all its ups and downs summed up in poetry full of melody.”
Expand your horizons to Neonomora and you’ll soon understand why Indonesia is one of the most respected music entities in South East Asia. Go ahead, google her.
Homegrown & Well Known: BRIANNA SIMORANGKIR
Between Us & Lala
â¢ This article was firstly published on The Beat (Jakarta) #87, July 2013
â¢ Co-editor: Lauren Shipman
â¢ Check out Neonomora’s first single, “You Want My Love,” on YouTube: