Craziest Thing Happened in Our Flat – An Interview with Ardhito Pramono about Global Impact, Film, a
This piece originally appeared in the Strand Magazine's Summer 2020 Issue.
It’s 2am on a Tuesday night.
We’re scouring Spotify for a distinct low-fi playlist. In uni-student terms: something chill – something vibey, for another all-nighter. The first few soft strums of piano play out of our cheap speaker, accompanied by the melodic crooning of Ardhito Pramono singing Bitterlove, my introduction to the 24-year-old singer-songwriter-actor from Indonesia. The syncopated rhythms and moody tones of Ardhito’s reimagined genre of jazz-pop are melancholic tunes of young love, ambition, heartbreak, and the complexities of coming of age.
However, what truly separates his music from others is his attention to form – how he is adept in combining various genres and in turn, subverting them. His songs recall the swinging sounds of Bossa Nova and old Hollywood jazz, while also incorporating upbeat and contemporary pop music. He mixes English and Indonesian, alongside his trademark sense of wit and wordplay which encompass his lyrics. It then becomes obvious that his blend of the old and the new, the cheery and the melancholy - is what truly catapulted his rise to fame amongst the bilingual and artsy Indonesian youth scene. With his boyish style and gentle voice, Pramono seems primed to break through the conventions of the Indonesian and the global music industry as a whole.
Following the release of Craziest Thing Happened In My Backyard earlier this year, we sat down (on Facetime) with Ardhito to talk about all things jazz, film, and global impact.
Q: Does your music aim to break the mould of traditional jazz? How did you start creating this idea of pop jazz?
Ardhito: Yeah, I would definitely describe my music as jazz, mixed w