Full of love may be the right words to describe this music duo. This year, Endah n Rhesa will be celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary and 15 years of playing together as musicians. An album is currently prepared to be released this July to celebrate their wonderful years. There are many things they offer on this album. We got a chance to sit down and talked about the album, how to keep their romance going, and any possibility they would create music with K-Pop vibes.

Text by Fureyl Sroevan. Photographs by Ila Schaffer.

So tell us about the album that will be out this July
The album called ‘Regenerate’ and this is our interpretation on ‘what’s in today’ in music and we tried to keep seeing it from our point of view. There are 10 tracks, 9 full track with 1 interlude. If you follow our music, the vibe on this album will be quite similar to our first album. But in addition, you will hear our friends lending their voices here so it would not only be dominated by Endah’s voice and maybe the sounds will be more groovy and energetic.

Have you considered in exploring new sounds for this album or it will be still in line with your previous albums?
Rhesa (R): Of course, there will be the additional instrument we can stepped on stage. So the songs will have ‘kick’, ‘snap’, and ‘clap’ played by us.
Endah (E): We tried to make use of our feet on stage with percussion. Then we transferred the idea from live performance to our recording session.

Will there be collaboration track like the ones you’ve done with Andien and Dialog Dini Hari on this album?
We don’t call it collaboration. It’s more like they help us to give more colour to the songs in this album. One song will have Beda, a duo of Dias Betong and Ario Dakoi, they play guitar and trumpet while also singing. Then there are Budi from Class Meet Journal and Karina Kristi lending their voices here. Adhitia Sofyan also joining us to make this album be more colourful. But it’s still not a collaboration, more like a group of friends we have at our basecamp lending their talent for this album.

Tell us about your collaboration with Andien. Is there any back story on ‘Everything in Between’?
The song was written by Andien for her brother and his wife, Diego and Marlies. This couple riding their bicycle from Netherland to Jakarta for about 11 months for charity. The fund collected will be given to various places like animal shelters, orphanages, and organic farms.
Somehow we were crossed Andien’s mind when she saw her brother riding a bicycle for the charity because we also do that in our free time. Then she asked us to collaborate for the song, although at that time we didn’t know what to make for the project.

‘Everything in Between’ actually the second song we created in this collaboration, the first one we save for the next project. Because it felt like we need to do some research when we dedicate a song for someone. Research on their experiences and what they got during the journey, the excitement they felt, and what was inside their mind while doing it. Of course, the energy of those things can’t be equated with our experiences and excitement while riding our bicycle, theirs were more contemplative. For them, a journey is like finding your true self and life goals, where do you want to go in your life, and home is the journey itself.

After in-depth research, ‘Everything in Between’ happened with a quite gloomy mood but still has optimism in it. The lyric was processed from Diego-Marlies’s writing and Andien’s. So there’s that.

How is it like to create a song from scratch?
We always try not to repeat anything we have done before. Trying to find something new because whatever we haven’t done yet is always interesting. The process is more like to know what we want to say or things to tell. For example, if we want to tell something about the beach, then we will say whatever happened at that beach in our song. After that, we will brainstorm about what kind of music will fit with the things we want to tell and what kind of mood we want for the song.

In your musical journey for 15 years, what song is considered as the most romantic number?
‘When You Love Someone’ might be categorized as a romantic song. But for us, the value of this song is more than how sweet the lyric is or how romantic it is. It has historical value for us because this song considered as our milestone in the musical journey and we realized that in 2009 when this song became so popular. This song was made back in 2004 and at that time we didn’t have the intention to make it romantic. We didn’t think that this song tells about our romance and it wasn’t even our story in the first place. We made this song for the sake of our productivity as a musician. So maybe the romantic value of this song is from the historical side of it. The recent song that people say is romantic maybe our single ‘Menua Bersama’ from last year. It is about growing old together. This song makes us realized that whatever we do and how hard or tensed our relationship, we will always be a best friend until we get old.

How to keep the flare in your romance life?
(R): To be honest, we are not as romantic as you see us on-stage when we are off-stage. Because we considered our relationship as a companionship between two friends. Endah is my life companion and I am hers. What you see on-stage actually just us giving each other codes while we played our music.
(E): So when you see us looking at each other on the eyes, that is not us saying, “Oh I love you so much, I need you in my life,” but me or Rhesa saying, “Let’s finish it on three, two, one.”
(R): But after watching it many times on YouTube, I get it why people say what we do is romantic (laughs).
(E): If you ask on how to keep the romance, we just realized that somehow when growing old, we only have each other until one of us die. I have Rhesa by my side, and Rhesa has me by his side. In other words, the only person I trust, I depend on, and I can count on any hard times is only Rhesa.

Will you ever try to make K-Pop-ish music?
We will never close our preferences or possibilities to anything that can trigger creativity because, for us, music is our playground as well as the stage. Anything can happen. I don’t know but these days we learn more about not to discredit genre, trend, or anything that currently popular worldwide. Basically, if you learn music history, you would know better because those changes will always be happening along with the development of sociocultural, technology, up to the skill of the musician’s themselves. So we always open for any kind of input for our songs in the future.

Read more articles at 247 COTTONINK Magazine.

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