What was once a golden era of local music in the ‘90s, the rap scene in Indonesia actually led the rap movement among musicians in Southeast Asia. We can all thank Iwa K and Denada that helped shape the rap and hiphop landscape. The golden era has slowly died out in the public eyes, but the community is still going strong and solid. Introducing the next female rapper about to become a wonder, goes by Insta handle @ramengvrl. Been rapping music since 2013, she released a music video for her first official song, I’m Da Man last July. And now she is working on her new single about Gojek and preparing the songs material for her EP.
What is your name and role within Ramengvrl?
I’m Putri and i rap/sing/perform under the alias Ramengvrl.
We’re intrigued to ask: why Ramen?
I used my real name back in SoundCloud days. But at some point, I tried to find the best name for me. Hiphop names, I don’t relate to the hiphop-ish name and the excessive gold chains and stuff. (laughs) After putting into some thoughts: since I love Japan, I decided to use Ramengvrl as my stage name.
How did you start?
I’ve always loved expressing myself through words. I had like 10 diary books documenting my life during junior high until college. One day i was really stressed out with my thesis so i made a silly track about it (using Audacity) and people loved it. After that i started uploading demo’s on Soundcloud for fun until the local hip hop community started to notice me, but it was when i joined Underground Bizniz Club (a Jakarta-based hip hop collective) that everything just kind of snowballed until now.
Please give an example of your music writing process?
Pretty standard. My formula: beat-flow-theme-lyrics. Usually i just start to mumble when i hear a new beat until it sounds good to me, ‘coz personally i think flows and notes are the most important part of a song—words are important too of course, but it’s how it sounds that make people wanna listen to your stuff in the first place. Only by then i start to lay a couple of bars and the overall theme just kind of evolve around it.
What is your gear setup?
Super basic. My go-to equipment is AT2020 mic, Xenyx 302USB mixer, and.. Garageband. I don’t feel like i should upgrade to a more widely used DAW at the moment. I think right now it’s more important to upgrade the quality of my music and performance rather than breaking the bank to cop these premium stuffs.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
I like reading young adult fiction books. One of my fave is Haruki Murakami. He has this gift to bring out emotions and meanings in mundane things. At the same time though, my Tumblr likes is full of pretty weird stuffs, so it’s just the best of both worlds. Oh and Netflix and chill for life. I’m a simple gal.
How would you describe your music genre?
Inappropriate Asian girl on drugs. LOL i really don’t know. People say i’m new school, new wave hip hop, asian drill (wtf is that), or even “female version of Rich Chigga”, but i never assign myself to a specific genre ‘coz for me it’s limiting.
The last time we checked, you were featured in Ariel Nayaka’s song, Hyperballin. How was it? And name us rappers with whom you really want to have a duet?
It was all Ricky’s, or better known as Sihk, idea. He came to one event and saw me perfom, then he contacted me and told me that he had this sick beat. After that, he contacted Nayaka, too, and he thought that we both were rising rappers and made us a collab. That’s how Hyperballin made. And I really want to do a collaboration with Rich Chigga. He is one of my inspirations and his music is really dope. While one local rapper whom I would like to have a collab with is Noise, I like his music a lot.
As a female rapper, do you want to have your signature style which distinguishes yourself from other male rapper?
I think that I wanted to have my own style because of two reasons: this is the real me and I want to look different from other rapper who wear gold chains and baggy clothes. I don’t want to force myself to become someone that is not me.
What are your plans for the future?
Work on an EP, make a girl scout, and buy useless stuffs without worrying. In the far future, i’d like to have a side music project that isn’t hip hop—i’m actually pretty experimental and the tracks that i’ve released are just like 20% of my mind.