By Taniya Dutta
Clad in hijab or traditional scarf, three Indonesian teenage girls are breaking the glass ceiling in the conservative Muslim country after forming a ‘metal’ band.
Firrda Kurnia, lead guitarist and vocals, Widi Rahmawati, bassist and vocals and Euis Siti, drummer, are slaying stereotypes in the country where metal genre is yet to make a popular space and girls singing is yet not widely accepted.
The girls aged between 15 and 16 from Garut, West Java, call themselves ‘Voice of Baceprot’.
They are a vision of confidence when they hit the stage and exude their true ‘rockstar’ side, rocking and rolling on both popular English songs and original numbers.
The have been enthralling the audience with their musical performance for last three years and cite Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, System of a Down, Eminem, Sublime, Linkin Park, Tool, Gigi, PAS Band and Netral as their influences.
With their never-seen-before captivating performances, the artists have become extremely popular in social media and have a huge fan following who regularly visit their Youtube channel.
Early last week, the band posted of them performing their original song “The Enemy of Earth is You” on their social media which has now gained 5,99,000 views, 11,000 shares and 8,000 reactions.
“We feel lucky to have been accepted by people. The response has been amazing,” says an elated Kurnia.
But for these girls dreaming about forming a metal band was not always easy.
They had to practice their music secretly and win a championship to convince their conservative parents.
“In our country women playing metal music is still very rare. Let alone Muslim teenage girls who wear hijab. For our conservative-minded society, metal bands are considered to be a violation of cultural and religious norms.
“Metal bands were not very popular among the music lovers and accepting a completely new form of music was not easy for the society. Even our parents were against it as they considered a girls’ band a taboo.
“Our parents were very angry with us when we expressed our desire to start a band. So, we secretly started practicing and performing until our band won a championship in a music festival and our parents felt proud of us and accepted our talent,” say Kurnia.
Since the music industry in Indonesia is often associated with alcohol and sex, the girls wish to change people’s perception by showing them that hijab-wearing women can stay true to their beliefs and teachings while also rock and roll at the same time.