A Rebel At Heart: An Interview with Grow Rich
Grow Rich is a one man band out of Jakarta, Indonesia. Abdur Rahim Latada or “Oyi” makes music for himself, first and foremost. His songs are short, punky, full of melody and noisy guitars and pounding drums. His vocals are up to your own interpretation and his delivery is so upbeat and joyous that Oyi’s strength of personality shines through whether he’s singing about a friend or a dangerous animal lover. Rock’n’roll is a language that travels well around the world, and Grow Rich‘s music will brighten your day, wherever you’re from.
How did you discover Rock’n’Roll? How old were you and what was the song or band that really got you interested in learning an instrument?
I discovered rock music when I was 12 or 13 years old. I like the cover art of rock albums, they are unique and more attractive than most pop albums.
Nirvana’s third album In Utero clearly has the biggest impact on me. the loudness, sadness and anger on it captivating my heart since the first time I heard it on cassette back in 1996.
Who are a few of your favorite bands or musicians and why?
Kurt Donald Cobain because he never tried to impress anyone other than himself.
Kurt didn’t give a damn about what people thought or said about his music.
Kurt broke all the senseless rules and was not afraid to challenge the status quo .
Kurt kept moving forward with what he wanted and never backed down.
Kurt refused to follow the herd. a rebel at heart, a pure genius. one in a billion.
What do your family and friends think of you being a musician? Do they believe in you?
My mother was at first resistant about me being a musician, she doesn’t want me to end up as a bum. but I cannot lie to her, I cannot lie to myself. I love making music. It’s my favorite way to stream negative emotions in me into something positive, or else I may end up ruining my life or the people I care about.
I have Taurus sun sign and Pisces moon sign, if you care about astrology. It means I’m so prone to depression while at the same time I refuse to get beaten by the demons in me. Because my pride is unable to accept that kind of defeat.
One thing’s for sure. my mom digs my Cash to Kyodo song. It’s good for work outs she said.
You make all the music yourself, besides the drummers. Who are the drummers and what do they bring to the songs? What are some of the instruments you play and how do you put the songs together? Do you have a producer?
On the Senen Lempuyangan EP I invited Arya from Dead Vertical and Qory from Trench Horror, both are Grindcore influenced Death Metal bands from Indonesia. Jati Xeno, the guitarist in my previous hardcore punk band named Nervous Breakdown, played drums on Cash To Kyodo. He’s a multi-talented musician and is also the one who engineered the whole recording session of my EP. I was curious about what if the simple structure indie rock song of mine, met such drummers. I asked them to bring the twin kick drum pedals.
Because I want a drum style like what I heard on Agnostic Front‘s second album Cause For Alarm which sounds so riotous and epic and besides on Bleach by Nirvana, I never heard any indie rock band use a twin kick pedal on their drums.
I play bass, rhythm guitar and lead guitar and do all the vocals all by myself. The only producer is me. It’s something I prefer to do alone, since I have very specific tastes about what I want, and I don’t think any producer can understand and manifest what I really want.
What is it about your personality that leads you to make such upbeat and fun songs?
Don’t get fooled by the fun and uplifting music on it, check the lyrics. You will see the gloom is hiding in plain sight. remember I have Pisces on me. I’m a melancholy punk.
Will you be getting a band together and playing your music live?
Yes maybe. but not today or tomorrow. but definitely I will do it later.
What is the music scene like in Jakarta? Where are there places to see live music? What are some of the bands from the area that you like or are popular?
Jakarta is cool, Bandung is cool, Yogyakarta is cool, Medan is cool, Palembang is cool, Pekanbaru is cool, Balikpapan is cool, Makassar is cool, most music scene in Indonesia every city is cool, why it’s cool? Because it’s full of good talented musician, some of them are extraordinary with bright minds full of ideas. Every genre you want is there: from Punk to Metal to Ska to Indie, Noise Rock to Shoegaze. It’s all there.
Not just music, i’m talking about the literacy scene such as fanzines, Online news, music organizers, booking providers, video making and graphic art too.
You definitely should visit Indonesia.
I like a Jakarta shoegaze band named Sharesprings, they already released a cool single called Trush. They sound more like Twee Punk. Also Grrrl Gang from Yogyakarta or Semarang, they are cool.
There so many awesome small club and big venues in Jakarta. Some of them located in the Kemang area, where many foreigners stay and gather.
What is Jakarta most known for?
Traffic congestion and the poor management leaders in this city. I blame the current governor of Jakarta and his vice, they seem like they don’t have a clue how to run this city in a smart and correct way. and as a tax payer it pisses me off.
The previous governor of Jakarta is far more awesome than this current leader, his name is Ahok, unfortunately now Ahok is in jail for a blasphemy charge. and it’s sad because I knew he never meant it. Somebody set him up and spun his words. Very devious. You can google about him by typing these keywords: Ahok Blasphemy. He’s a great man. But a victim of dirty politics.
What dish and drink should I eat if I visit there and where should I go to eat and have fun?
If you’re vegetarian you should eat Gado-Gado, but if you don’t you should eat Chicken Soto, Tongseng, Padang Satay. and so many more. You will love my country if you’re fond of good and unique food.
What is a place I should visit that shows the true Jakarta, not the places in the travel books?
Well you should try walk as a pedestrian in Gatot Subroto in a rush hour, feel the pain of pollution and traffic congestion. It may drives you insane. I warned you.
What does the title of your EP mean?
Senen is the name of a train station in Jakarta which connects with a train station in Yogyakarta named Lempuyangan. It’s an eight hour travel by train between stations. Full of unpleasant experiences but worth taking in the name of passion and being true at heart. Imagine you travel by road from California to Albuquerque.
Grow Rich’s music is available now at Bandcamp.
(by Bret Miller)