If you’re a huge R&B fan in the local scene, Emir Hermono should already be a familiar name. Doesn’t matter if you were exposed to him through alextbh or just happened to be well-versed about the Indonesian R&B scene, Emir Hermono has been the purveyor of emotional electro-soul since 2016, crossing the straits and collaborating with Malaysian and Indonesian artists. In honor of his upcoming performance at Good Vibes Festival again this year (21 – 22 July), we got to talk to Emir about his love for Matchbox Twenty, his time as a university lecturer or how the Papua scene has made him who he is today.
Emir has also recently released a single called SHE with A. Nayaka and Rayi Putra. He’s never strayed too far away from the ‘sadboi’ sound, and laughs while hesitantly contemplating what his sound in the future would be like and if it would ever stray far from heartbreaks and longing.
For a period of time, Emir Hermono was also a lecturer at Limkokwing University, carrying on his affinity for collaboration into teaching and nurturing talents. One of his proteges, Aliff Ilham, from that university is now slowly rising up in the hip hop scene under the name Puffie Top. He is responsible for the production on Altimet’s single Mambang.
This connection with society through nurturing and developing talents is also the basis for Emir’s participation in NGOs or movements aimed at solidifying the relationship between Malaysia and Indonesia.
That being said, music is still the crux of the discussion here as Emir inadvertently as a bridge between the Indonesian and the Malaysian music scene. In a bustling cafe, we geeked out with Emir Hermono about Iwa K, Too Phat and his casual encounter with Australian musician, producer and photographer, Ta-ku.
Catch the interview below:
On giving up his rap dreams for producing:
“In small little Papua, I thought I was okay. But when I came down to KL and saw all these rappers, I realized I don’t have the swag or style to keep going up. After that, I just told myself, ‘I want to try producing’, after never having touched it before and then I fell in love with it. I’m still in love with it until now”
On Too Phat:
“Too Phat is nasi goreng kambing”
On influences and songwriting:
“It’s not that I don’t want to write songs that are socially aware, but I don’t want to push myself into being something I’m not”
“I don’t want to reach out too much to the point that it’s not real”.
Get Good Vibes tickets now to check out an awesome lineup: