Good Music Makes Waves in Indonesia

by Jam Bufi
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A little music in a time of fear and anxiety can go a long way.

Indonesia currently has one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia and people are trying to raise awareness about the virus, whether it’s about encouraging people to wash their hands, importance of social distancing, anti-hoarding and price gouging, or stopping discrimination against COVID-19 patients.

Some musicians in Indonesia have written their own songs that communicate different messages to disseminate correct information, to raise funds, or to simply spread hope to their countrymen.

Here are some Indonesian musicians who used their music to uplift others.


Project Pop – Gara Gara Corona (Because Of Corona)

Project Pop is a popular 90s comedy group in Indonesia also made their own fun education music video in light of the coronavirus. The group sang about washing hands and social distancing in the chorus: “Because of Corona, we change our handshake. Because of Corona, we wash our hands often.”

The song also targeted hoarders and price gougers of hand sanitizers and face masks, telling them to stop taking advantage of others and calls on people to start helping each other instead.

Many fans of the group were delighted to see them get back together albeit for unfortunate reasons. At least during the crisis, Project Pop were able to brighten up the day of a lot of their fans.


Rhoma Irama – Virus Corona

The 73-year-old also released his own version song on the pandemic to raise awareness. He is known as the King of Dangdut, which is a popular folk music genre in Indonesia and Malaysia. The song talks about the sadness, anxiety and fear of mankind in the midst of the virus. It calls on everyone to keep praying and ask for God’s protection. “I hope that this song can inspire all of us to keep the corona virus from spreading. And of course, let’s take care of our health and most of all pray for this disaster to pass and we can learn from it Aamiin,” said Rhoma.

The lyrics of the song says, “A gripping horror strikes nature when the creature comes, attacks and kills. It can neither be seen nor touched, but all humans are horrified.”


Various Artists – Menjaga Dunia (Protecting the World)

This initiative was organized by the Mahaka Radio Integra (MARI) group, which is the home of seven radio stations in Indonesia. They tapped 16 Indonesian singers to collaborate with this song, which includes Rian from d’Masiv, Anji, Judika, Titi DJ, Lala Karmela, Vidi Aldiano, Pamungkas, Rizky Febian, Cita Citata, Ilham and Neida from HIVI!, Claudia Emmanuela and Ifan from Govinda, as well as instrumentalists Ade and Jeje from Govinda and Dimas Joey.

The song is a message to Indonesians and people around the world that maintaining physical distance is important but our hearts must still stay united. The chorus says, “We must keep a distance, not because we do not love each other. I care, then I will stay away.”

The Chief Operations Officer of MARI, Adrian Syarkawie, shared their reason for this collaboration: “The MARI team is very concerned about the current situation and wants to do something to keep the community motivated. Departing from this thought, MARI then conveyed the message of the importance of keeping oneself by keeping a distance. This song comes as a “reminder” for Indonesian people in particular,” shared Syarkawie.

They also put up a crowdfunding initiative when they released the song. Anyone who wishes to help can donate through and will benefit people in need and other programs curated with the website.


Andre Hehanusa – Dirumah Aja (Just Staying At Home)

The 55-year-old Indonesian singer released a song that encourages people to stay at home in order to curb the spread of the virus.

The song says that we can take care of each other by staying at home and instills hope that this crisis will eventually end. The lyrics read, “Just staying at home, we help Indonesia. Just staying at home, we save the world. Just staying at home, we take care of each other. Just staying at home, we pray this storm will soon pass.”


Yessiel Trivena – Demi Raga Yang Lain (For The Sake Of Someone Else’s Health)

Singer Yessiel sang this song she wrote together with her husband, Eka Gustiwana, as a thank you to the healthcare workers. “When all disappears, you remain loyal to look after. You sacrifice silently for the sake of someone else’s smile.  When everyone falls asleep, you are awake all the time. You forget your fatigue for the sake of someone else’s health,” the singer sang.

The video uploaded in Eka’s Youtube account also links to an online fundraiser that will provide personal protective equipment to health workers working in the frontlines. Eka said, “Whatever your donation is, even just 100 rupiahs will be very helpful.” You can donate by going to Donations have reached almost 2,000,000 Rupiah and counting.


Music is a universal language that can unite people even in a time of crisis. We are reminded that we are not alone in this battle and that hope is not lost at all.


SEA Wave magazine’s SEAtizens initiative is a series of inspiring stories of people in Southeast Asia who champion the human spirit by demonstrating courage, ingenuity, generosity, and selflessness amidst the current crisis.


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