Didi Kempot, the self-styled Godfather of the Broken-Hearted. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)
The Godfather of the Broken-Hearted
BY :RIVAN AWAL LINGGA, ANTARA PHOTO
MARCH 10, 2020
"My wife is far away I cannot sleep a wink
I want to see her again but she's nowhere to be seen
O beautiful one, wait for me to return to you."
Didi Kempot began releasing his trademark campursari records in 1989. Campursari songs are usually sappy ballads that cleverly mix influences of pop, keroncong and dangdut. The genre is often derided by critics for being unsophisticated and overtly sentimental but also attracts hordes of die-hard, weepy fans.
"Stasiun Balapan" ("Balapan Train Station" – the train station in Solo, Central Java, where Didi hails from) and "Sewu Kutho" ("A Thousand Cities") are only two of a series of radio hits Didi scored in the early 1990s, when his fame rivaled that of the biggest rock stars.
Didi's career went through a bit of a trough from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, but in the last few years, a Didi Kempot revival has gone fully mainstream, with the pop crooner being rechristened as "The Godfather of the Broken-Hearted," a patron saint to his millions of rabid, handkerchief-wielding "Sad Bois" (and Sad Girls).
Rivan Awal Lingga is a Jakarta-based photojournalist currently working for Antara Photo, the Indonesian Press Photo Agency. He is one of the grantees of the Permata Photojournalist Grant 2019 from PermataBank, Erasmuis Huis & PannaFoto Institute. He created this photostory to commemorate National Music Day on March 9.