‘Dangdut music is my soul’: pop star Siti Badriah

Jakarta, Sept. 24 (CNA) Siti Badriah, a rising star in the world of Indonesian pop music, sees the dangdut genre as soulful, despite some criticism that it is vulgar.

In a recent interview with CNA, Sita, 26, said she had been exposed to dangdut music since she was a pre-teen touring with her musician father, who had a band, and she had heard many comments about the vulgarity of that type of music.

"But no matter what other people think, dangdut music is my soul," said Siti, whose "Lagi Syantik (Pretty Full)" has become the most popular Indonesian song on YouTube, with 360 million hits since it was uploaded in March.

She said that when she was touring with her father, his band was earning 70,000 to 150,000 Indonesian rupiahs (US$4.7 to US$10) per show but she now makes 70 million rupiahs for each of her music concerts.

The success she has gained, Siti said, is all because of her focus on dangdut music, a genre of Indonesian folk and pop music derived in part from Hindustani, Malay and Arabic music.

The modern form of dangdut also incorporates Western influences such as rock, hip-pop, contemporary R&B, and Reggae.

In 2016, Siti brought dangdut to Taiwan, performing at the Taipei Expo Park at celebrations to mark Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Her performance of "Lagi Syantik" was a big hit with the Indonesian migrant workers and Taiwanese who attended the show.

"Lagi Syantik," a song about a woman dressing up for her lover, has become popular not just in Indonesia, but also in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and India.

It drew thunderous applause at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on Sept. 2, where Siti performed live with Korean boy band "Super Junior."

Meanwhile, the singer says she would like to return to Taiwan for another show.

"If I get such a chance again, it won't be like I'm working there," she told CNA at a promotional event in Jakarta for her new dangdut album in June. "It'd be like I'm visiting friends and relatives, having a party with them."

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel