You might think you haven’t heard her name, but you would definitely recognize her voice in the 2015 hit, ‘Siapkah Kau ‘Tuk Jatuh Cinta Lagi’ with HiVi!, as her distinctive voice was the highlight of the catchy tune. Now stepping foot on her own as a solo artist (she left the group in 2016), she is pushing boundaries one project at a time. Having just released ‘Janger Persahabatan’, the Asian Games 2018 official song with Ariel, NEV+ and Guruh Soekarno Putra, in addition to the exciting collaboration single she just released with Alvin Chong, a pop-star from Malaysia, titled ‘Mencintaimu 99%’, she’s showing us the many tricks she has up her sleeves.

Text by Lala Claudia. Photographs by Ila Schafer.

We first met her at the set of our interview and photoshoot in South Jakarta, she was super sweet and got ready quietly, but once she was on camera, another person took over as she became an energetic ball of fire that radiates confidence with a delightful outlandish manner. We sat down with the fun Libran and talked about her love of singing, comfort zones and taking her music into a much wider audience.

Hi, Dea! How are you dealing with being a soloist after you left HiVi a couple of years ago?
This solo career that I have now is very exciting because it’s very self-exploratory and I can’t wait to see where it’ll take me! Who I am right now and who I was in HiVi are all a part of me, so I embrace all of the experience.

Tell us, what was the starting point of your love for singing?
It all started with Disney’s Aladdin, which led me to be a professional bathroom singer [laughs]. And oh! I did lots of impersonation of pop singers like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, then I just thought, ‘I could be a singer’.

How do you approach your music?
My music is definitely a process, it reflects what I’m going through at the moment. So I’ll never put any boundaries to it, it all depends where I am at the moment.

So as we speak, where are you at the moment?
I’m at the phase where no comfort zone exists.

Cool! Can you tell us a bit about your single with Nev+ and Ariel?
This is the biggest project I’m involved in so far! It’s called ‘Janger Persahabatan’, and it’s the official Song for the upcoming Asian Games. It’s all about the celebration of friendship so to speak. The song is written by Guruh Soekarno Putra, whom for me while growing up seems like a fictional character [laughs]. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps, because working with him is surreal, unexpected and wonderful.

It looks like you got a lot going on right now, is it true that you’re also working on another single?
Yes! I’m releasing a duet with Alvin Chong from Malaysia called ‘Mencintaimu 99%’!

How did that come about?
Our labels met, Universal Malaysia in his part, and Musica Studios [her label] set us up. I said yes because I feel this chemistry with Alvin. And I love how we mashed up our songs together instead of making a new one. Our song is made by putting together his previous song ‘Mencintaimu’ and my single ‘Cinta 99%’, hence the title. It’s something different, and the result is this interesting song that complements our work very well.

Is this international music affair with Alvin Chong, a way to kick start your music career into a wider audience?
You can say so, I think this is the start of something. But my main intention is to explore, I’ll just let things happen naturally and organically.

Last one, we love how expressive you become in front of the camera. Are you really this ‘ON’ all the time?
Yes, I’m a bit absurd [laughs]. But to be honest, I’m a bit awkward in front of the camera, so when I am in front of one, I started doing this [doing animatic hand gestures]. But yeah, when this camera’s off, I can be rowdier haha.

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