Rich Brian Talks To Us About Recording ‘1999’ During Quarantine & His Favourite Sinetron

The pandemic has definitely made us take a step back from our daily activities but most of all, performing and making music, especially if you’re multifaceted Indonesian rapper Rich Brian. However, Brian has managed to conquer the storm and has launched his latest project 1999

1999 is the first project since the artist’s critically acclaimed album The Sailor. 1999 includes hit singles like ‘Don’t care’ and ‘Love In My Pocket’ as well as new tracks ‘DOA’, ‘Sometimes’, ‘Long Run’, ‘When You Come Home’ and ‘Sins’.

With Joji making an appearance in last year’s Good Vibes Festival, a lot of us were hoping to meet the full 88 Rising crew this year but the pandemic happened. But thanks to technology, JUICE had the opportunity to speak to the brain and talent behind 1999 about the experience of recording during quarantine, staying creative and finding out his favourite sinetron.

Why is the album called 1999?
That was the year that I was born!

*shooketh* That was the year I was born too! Now I’m hooked to know more about this album. How hard was it to make 1999 due to the pandemic? 
To be honest I think it was actually one the easiest project making process that I’ve done because everyone was away from each other so I had to do a lot of stuff by myself like recording and producing so it was a really smooth organic process. Although everything was happening super last minute it was a really fun experience. 

(Source: Straatosphere)

I listened to the album and it’s amazing too but since it’s released now, what else have you been doing to stay creative? 
I would say, what I’m doing to stay creative would be recording a lot of stuff for fun as an exercise because I think it’s important to explore and make some different type of tunes especially the ones that I’d never put out just to have it out of my system. 

Sometimes I draw stuff on paper, watch movies because it keeps me inspired and gives me ideas. All in all, I resort to a lot of different things to be creative.

(Source: South China Morning Post)

Coming back to the album again, what song from 1999 hits you close to heart and why?
I really like the first song sometimes because I’d really like the stuff that I was saying in it because here’s the thing, I wrote that song when I was 19, and I wrote it in the perspective of me as a 20-year-old and I didn’t want to put that out immediately because I felt shy about it. 

However, I listened to it again and I was like OMG! I really like this song now. Also, all the things I was saying in the song was about the things that I want to get and listening to it again made me realise, I already have all these things. So listening to it again was such a crazy moment. 

The way it sounds also gives me a very Kanye West, Childish Gambino and Kid Cudi kind of vibe and that’s what really inspired me when I was making it.

Apart from sometimes, ‘Love in my pocket’ was also a song that drew a lot of attraction especially with the unfinished music video and all the made-up parodies. What’s your favourite love in my pocket parody?
My favourite one is so far the Minecraft one that someone made, and it’s just me walking in the Minecraft world and there’s this sound of this guy singing it and replacing with Minecraft related lyrics. It was the funniest thing ever.

You know what, I saw someone editing it into an office video and I think that was my favourite. Now coming back to the official ‘Love in my pocket’ music video, Indomee made a little cameo! Was that your idea to have it in it? 
Actually, it was more of a collaboration that happened pretty naturally because I met the guy from the Indomee company and they really wanted to do something for us and it was a collaboration that was going to happen for a while now and we were actually going to do it for the ‘Drive Safe’ music video but the pandemic happened. 

Anyways, we were going to do the ‘Love In My Pocket’ music video anyways and I felt like this was a perfect combination for the video because we needed a good amount of budget for that video and Indomee coming in was great timing. 

Who do you see yourself collaborating with in the future? Anyone from Malaysia perhaps? 
Let me see, in the future, I would say this might too far in the future but who knows? I would really want to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar. 

In Malaysia, to be honest I have to listen to more Malaysian artists but I would really love to collaborate with Yuna. Do you have any recommendations? 

(Source : Billboard)

Yes! You should really listen to Lil Asian Thiccie, Zamaera, Orang Malaysia, Alex TBH and even the guys down in Hoax vision! Speaking about Malaysia, I’m pretty sure Malaysia and Indonesia share some similarities in culture especially when it comes to watching Sinetron. What’s your favourite Sinetron? 
When I was a kid in Indonesia, there was this Sinetron which was my favourite but it was so sad and it was called Buku Harian Nayla and it had this actress from Indonesia, her name was Chelsea Olivia and it was basically about her dying. It was like really sad but when I was a kid I used to have the biggest crush on her and it might have been why I loved that show.

You know, I grew up watching Nada Cinta with Luna Maya and Randy Pangalila and that was like my favourite sinetron ever and Randy himself is actually really famous in Malaysia… 
OMG, super random fact Randy Pangalila went to my house a long long time ago when I was a kid but I did not know that Randy was famous in Malaysia. That’s nice to know! 

The more you know right! As much as I’d like to stay and chat more about Sinetrons our time is running up… But here’s one last question! I don’t know if you’ve seen it but a lot of people in the YouTube comments for ‘DOA’ are talking about how you used a Honda Civic in the video since most rap videos usually use other fancier cars like BMWs and Lamborghinis. Is there a specific reason why you went for the average Honda Civic?
I rapped about a Honda Civic in my song ‘Confetti in The Sailor’ saying “Pulled up to the Grammys in a brand new Honda Civic” and I feel like there needed to be a continuation to the series of talking about Honda Civics and in the song DOA, I talked about “Type R” and I felt it just fit with the music video and you know to be completely honest it went good. 

Listen to Rich Brian’s 1999 here: