Grunge Diaspora in California: Navicula US Tour

In the Indonesian music industry there’s a word that has been used frequently—a bit too frequently, maybe—and sadly inappropriately: go-international. Every time Indonesian musicians tour overseas, or perform in any way outside of Indonesia, it will, most of the time, be easily referenced in the media as them “going-international”. But more often than not, in fact, the event is organised by Indonesian expats (students/workers), using Indonesian on stage/to communicate, played in front of Indonesian communities (and when you see bule/non-Indonesians, they are either the husbands/wives of the Indonesians or ex-Indonesian residents), and have usually received full—other than financial—support from Indonesian consulates in the cities they play. In other words: from Indonesia, for Indonesians. Business as usual. Don’t even imagine the phenomenal Asian invasion like Psy via “Gangnam Style”. Nothing really international at all, except being physically outside of Indonesia. Instead of go-international, the correct term that should’ve been go-diaspora.

What happened with Navicula last month was neither go-international nor go-diaspora. But it might be the most international recognition you can imagine for a relatively unknown Indonesian band in America, the music mecca of the world, the biggest music industry globally. After winning two different rock competitions organised by two different, huge international business entities, the Balinese quartet were flown to and played in Quebec, Canada, in September. Then, just a few weeks after that they were again flown to Los Angeles for a 3-day recording session—with some concerts around California following: in Berkeley, San Fransisco, Davis, Ventura, and Bakersfield, to name a few.

Homegrown & Well Known: Dodix

He has chosen to live a rock-n-roll life and spins reggae tunes now, instead of pursuing his previous brilliant career as a hotelier. Following his heart seems to have worked out well.

Domestic Groove: Syaharani

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).

Homegrown & Well Known: SUARNATHA

The guy behind one of the longest running NGO in Bali—Wisnu Foundation, the person who walks the talk of so-called “creative industry” even before the term was coined; the calm but sharp man, Suarnatha, has a big plan. A very big plan.

Domestic Groove: ADE DARMAWAN

Mostly rock and metal. I’m kind of stuck in 60’s to 90’s music hehe… I don’t really follow current music trend. Plus I’m not really listening to radios or watching TVs anymore.

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