Ariel Nayaka, 24, is one of Indonesia’s rising hip-hop stars, charting out the future of this genre in the Indonesia’s capital. He endorses the pursuit of passion with positive thinking and community building.

Ariel Nayaka performed at Noice Fest 2017. Photo by Achmad Soni/Flicker/NOW!JAKARTA

Why hip-hop?
I grew up with music and have been drawn to it.  I learned to play guitar, drums, I did vocals, I wrote lyrics and music. I started rapping in high school being influenced by artists such as Jay-Z. Today, Indonesian rappers have a community with the aim to bring the hip-hop scene into Indonesian pop culture. I work closely with my band, The Blue Room Boys in this effort.

Do you feel accepted here in Indonesia?
I have spent some time in the U.S. and have noticed that in Indonesia, we are very concerned with being polite. Behind the bouncy music that draws people to the dance floor, hip-hop is quite forthright. I sometimes feel that Indonesian audiences are not always ready for this. However, Indonesians are very open to the West in their music taste, so I anticipate a positive future for hip-hop in Jakarta.

What is your message?
I really think positivity and co-creation are important. In my music projects I do my best to find the right team and have a good time. I have done several collaborative projects so far with artists in Indonesia and overseas. The project Decide with the leading composer in Indonesia, Dipha Barus, peaked for a while on New York radio. Right now, I work closely with several friends I met during my studies at BINUS University. My teachers there have taught us to follow our passion, and this is the message we are trying to spread as The Blue Room Boys.

Where can we hear your music live?
I participated in Jakarta’s popular summer festival – We the Fest. I perform with my band The Blue Room Boys every Wednesday evening at Park 19 in Kemang. We do R&B cover songs and play our own hip-hop pieces.


 This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine September 2018 issue “Music and Nightlife”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.

NOW! Jakarta

NOW! Jakarta

The article is produced by editorial team of NOW!Jakarta