Ikke Nurjanah. (Photo courtesy of Ikke Nurjanah)

Ikke Nurjanah to Reintroduce US Audiences to Dangdut


AUGUST 19, 2016

Jakarta. Dangdut singer Ikke Nurjanah will give a second guest lecture at the Pittsburgh University in the US touching on the history and development of dangdut for students of the ethnic music department.

The lecture is part of a series of cultural programs “America Seduced by Dangdut 2016” from September 1 to 15, in which Ikke will promote the music genre which led to her fame in Indonesia.

“I will also discuss the book 'Diary Dangdut Ikke Nurjanah,' in it there’s also the story of my journey to America six years ago and what I obtained from that experience.” Ikke said, during a press conference on Thursday (18/08), as quoted by Antara News.

Ikke will host a book discussion in one of the oldest libraries in the world — the Library of Congress in Washington DC — as well as the Smithsonian Folkway, a record label specializing in ethnic and folk music from around the world.

Ikke plans to visit three different cities; Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York. The cultural program is a collaboration with Sireedee Entertainment and it is supported by the state Creative Economies Agency (Bekraf) and is a continuation of Ikke’s tour six years ago.

The musician reminisced on her first trip to the US to promote dangdut. The trip was filled with surprises, she said, especially when she found foreign music fans appreciative of the distinctly Indonesian style.

“When you’re still striving in your own country and you discover an appreciation from foreign nations, it feels like a huge bonus,” said Ikke, whose real name is Hartini Erpi Nurjanah.

Ikke plans to invite street musicians to perform dangdut songs in Times Square, New York, so the genre can be heard by the public.

“Dangdut has the potential to be a world-class product,” said Ricky Pesik, vice head of Bekraf. 

He noted a strategic plan is needed to compete on the international stage, pointing to the success of Korea's K-Pop and Jamaica's reggae as possible blue prints.

“It isn’t impossible, as long as we are careful and creative about it,” Ricky added.