Gabriela Fernadez | Musician

Gabriela Fernandez this multitalented woman, had a brief stop at Rumah Sanur Creative Hub. She shared with us fragments of her life experience as well as a little story about her music tour entitled “Heading to the East”.⁠

When and why did you start playing music?
Since I was a little, I’m always surrounded by music. My family from Flores always sing and play music in every family gathering. My grandfather taught me how to play the violin and guitar. I took a piano class in elementary school, vocal class in junior high school. I learned guitar from my little brother and the internet. Also in Yogyakarta, I learn a lot from the musicians in the community here. We can learn from many places, that’s what I believe.
As for why, simply because I love doing it.

What kind of genre music do you play?
It’s kind of hard to put my music in a fixed genre since I like to explore and use any kind of music, but mostly it is folk. It could be ballad sometimes or might contain some jazz aspects.

Can you tell us a bit why you choose that genre?
Because those are the music I love the most! I really like the music which is simple but delivering its message through the lyrics or the ambiance it brings. And also, those are the genre that I do my process with these last several years.

What musical instrument do you play?
Guitar, and harmonica. I use looper/effect too.

Why did you choose that instrument?
My grandfather was really good at playing guitar and harmonica, and that inspires me to learn those instruments.

What are your inspirations?
People who are ‘rebels’ in their own way. Musicians who break the ‘mainstream’ formulas, or artists who create their own style.

Aside from being a Musician do you have a Day job?
Yes, I paint and do visual art commissions. Sometimes I give workshop and classes about art, psychology, or both (since I took psychology degree). I’m actually trying to find a way to combine all of those in my music. I use my painting as the artwork for my singles and putting psychological issues in my lyric (and my soon-to-be-released ‘albuk’ or album buku).

Tell us about the background story of your recent Tour (Menuju Ke Timur)?
Going to 11 cities by myself, I arranged a tour where I perform, do radio interviews, and giving workshops while exploring the cities I’m visiting. It is a tour of ‘going home’, since East Nusa Tenggara is my hometown, yet I realized I haven’t explored much or attribute much to the music growth or to the education of the children and teenagers there. So that’s why I’m doing this tour, while I can also promote my music and art, especially my third single: Rumah, Raga, Tawa, which tells a story about missing home as well.

What do you want to accomplish from that tour?
Doing my first solo trip across the cities, while promoting my music and artwork! To share and exchange experience and stories with the people I meet, also the stories and cultural richness of my own hometown in NTT.

Any interesting story you want to share with us?
A lot! I met so many people with different backgrounds and movements. Got new friends. Learn some new meaning of ‘home’. Oh, and my third single, Rumah, Raga, Tawa is finally released on the last day of the trip: on a train, back to Yogyakarta.

What’s next?
Record my first album. Making inter-discipline showcases: something across music, visual art, and theatre. And also, I’m already planning Trip Menuju ke Timur #2 and wish to bring more people to experience ‘dunia timur’ as well!

What makes you want to collaborate with Rumah Sanur?
Rumah Sanur, in my opinion, is one of the active and well known creative hubs that encourage the growth of young, unique musicians.

Why are creative hubs such as Rumah Sanur important for fostering local Indonesian talent?
There are so many talented young people that need some places, people, or community that can actually encourage and help them grow.

Any advice for becoming a good musician/creative?
Simply have the courage to do something even when others tell you it’s impossible to do. Because it’s worth all the effort.