HIJABS AND HEAVY MUSIC YOUNG, FEMALE, INDONESIAN ROCK TRIO - VOICE OF BACEPROT ASKS FOR A BLESSING ON “GOD, ALLOW ME (PLEASE) TO PLAY MUSIC”
“Beyond blowing away local audiences with their banging music, the three girls are also challenging entrenched stereotypes about gender and religious norms in the world’s most-populous Muslim-majority nation.” – NY Times
Firda Marsya Kurnia (vocals, guitar), Widi Rahmawati (bass), and Euis Siti Aisyah (drums) - the members of Voice of Baceprot - have suffered quite a bit of intolerance - even within their own community in West Java, Indonesia. Wave after wave of backlash and stigmatization came at them from all directions and nearly exhausted them out of the music scene in 2016.
“The more we tried to avoid the criticism, distance ourselves from it, it became even more vile. It provoked us to fight back even more bluntly. It kept going to the point where we became so tired,” Marsya recalls. They made efforts to find support from those they thought would better understand their situation. However, there was always a catch: they would ask the band to be more of what they found acceptable / ask them to align with ‘their side.’
“It isn't just the band's loud music that's attracting attention: Voice of Baceprot has also entered the spotlight for breaking the mold of a typical metal band.” - NPR
When they told their manager and former teacher, Abah Erza Satia, about their dilemma, he responded with pearls of wisdom. “According to Abah, if we still believe in God while feeling that certain people are not allowing us to play music while others lend us their bogus support by forcing us to side with them, then why not write a song that confides directly in God? We could cut loose any allegiances with our fellow human beings,” explains Marsya. Together with Abah, the trio then began to write lyrics that were very confessional yet brimming with their dislike towards allegiances. They would eventually become the building blocks to “God, Allow Me (Please) to Play Music”.
The framework of the song was built gradually. It started from jamming sessions at Abah’s studio back in their hometown. Further refinements were made across a series of workshops in Jakarta after each band member had been prepared musically by several senior local musicians who served as their mentors, including Stevi Item (Andra & The Backbone, Deadsquad), Alan Musyfia, and Andyan Gorust (Hellcrust), as well as Gusti Hendy (GIGI). The band also received a lot of input on the song’s arrangement by their producer Stephan Santoso, who also helmed the production of their debut single “School Revolution” back in 2018. The video for “School Revolution” is coming up on 900k plays on YouTube at present.
The end result after the gruelling process was a full-blown single, heavy yet melodic and catchy at the same time, showcasing each member’s musical development and hard work. Musically, “God, Allow Me (Please) to Play Music” is the embodiment of the results from explorations that Marsya, Siti, and Widi embarked on in uncharted musical territories.
“We want people who listen to this song to become more tolerant towards others. God does not belong to just one person or one group of people. God belongs to anyone who believes in Him. So, everyone has a right to be creative, create, and take responsibility for their creations given by the God that he or she believes in,” Marsya concludes.
The new single follows the band’s “Other Side of Metalism” campaign this month (July 2021) that will feature the weekly release of covers of some of the band’s favorite songs - System of a Down’s “IEAIAIO,” Rage Against The Machine’s “Testify,” Slipknot’s “Before I Forget” and One Minute Silence’s “I Wear My Skin” (out today – NME featured the video via https://www.nme.com/en_asia/news/music/voice-of-baceprot-announce-new-live-ep-share-riff-heavy-one-minute-silence-cover-2986287)
The group is honored to have been invited to play Wacken Open Air 2022. They will play alongside headliners Slipknot, Judas Priest, Rammstein’s Till Lindemann and more, at the event, scheduled to run from August 4 - August 8, 2022.
“God, Allow Me (Please) to Play Music” will be available on all digital streaming platforms starting from August 17, 2021.
Official website www.voiceofbaceprot.com