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.

A fan enjoyed Didi Kempot
A fan cries his heart out during a Didi Kempot concert in Tigaraksa, Tangerang, Banten. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)
Peoples dance and enjoy campur sari music from Didi Kempot during a concert in Tigaraksa, Tangerang, Banten
The crowd goes wild at a Didi Kempot concert in Tigaraksa, Tangerang, Banten. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)
A fans shows a sad girl sign during the lord of broken heart concert in Tangerang
'Sad GIrls' at a Didi Kempot concert in Tigaraksa, Tangerang, Banten. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)
A portrait of The Godfather of Broken Heart, Didi Kempot
The Godfather of the Broken-Hearted relaxes backstage. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)
A fan watches the Didi Kempot on Youtube, Jakarta.
A 'Sad Boi' watches Didi Kempot's TV performance on Youtube. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)
Didi Kempot fans held a discussion forum in Rumah Blogger Indonesia in Solo, Central Java.
Sad Bois at Rumah Blogger Indonesia in Solo, Central Java, where the cult of Didi Kempot was apparently born. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga) 
Mixed tapes of Didi Kempot in Jakarta.
Didi Kempot mixtapes at a record store in Jakarta. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)
Campursari singer Didi Kempot entertains the audience during a concert at Kelapa Gading, Jakarta.
The Godfather of the Broken-Hearted greets his fans during a concert in Kelapa Gading, Jakarta. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)
The atmosphere after the godfather concert in Tigaraksa, Tangerang, Banten.
What remains after a Didi Kempot concert in Tigaraksa, Tangerang, Banten. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)
Portrait of Didi Kempot without his glory stage dress in Kemayoran, Jakarta.
Didi Kempot backstage in Kemayoran, Jakarta. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)
Residents enter the gate of the Solo Palace, Central Java.
Sad Bois and Sad Girls meet up at the Sunan's Palace in Didi Kempot's hometown of Solo, Central Java. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)
Campursari singer Didi Kempot in action during a concert at JIExpo Kemayoran, Jakarta.
Didi Kempot on stage at JIExpo in Kemayoran, Jakarta. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)

 

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