Firda Marsya Kurnia (vocals, guitar), Widi Rahmawati (bass), and Euis Sitti Aisyah (drums) – the members of Voice Of Baceprot – have suffered quite a bit of intolerance, even within their own community in West Java, Indonesia. Wave after wave of backlash and stigmatization came at them from all directions and nearly exhausted them out of the music scene in 2016.
“The more we tried to avoid the criticism, distance ourselves from it, it became even more vile. It provoked us to fight back even more bluntly. It kept going to the point where we became so tired,” Marsya recalls. They made efforts to find support from those they thought would better understand their situation. However, there was always a catch: they would ask the band to align with ‘their side’.
When they told their former teacher, Abah Erza Satia, about their dilemma, he responded with pearls of wisdom. “According to Abah, if we still believe in God while feeling that certain people are not allowing us to play music while others lend us their bogus support by forcing us to side with them, then why not write a song that confides directly in God? We could cut lose any allegiances with our fellow human beings,” explains Marsya. Together with Abah, the trio then began to write lyrics that were very confessional yet brimming with their dislike towards allegiances. They would eventually become the building blocks to “God, Allow Me (Please) to Play Music”.
The framework of the song was built gradually. It started from jamming sessions at Abah’s studio back in their hometown. Further refinements were made across a series of workshops in Jakarta after each band member had been prepared musically by several senior local musicians who served as their mentors, including Stevi Item (Andra & The Backbone, Deadsquad), Alan Musyfia, and Andyan Gorust (Hellcrust), as well as Gusti Hendy (GIGI). The band also received a lot of input on the song’s arrangement by their producer Stephan Santoso, who also helmed the production of their debut single “School Revolution” back in 2018.
The result after the gruelling process was a full-blown single, heavy yet melodic and catchy at the same time, showcasing each member’s musical development and hard work. Musically, “God, Allow Me (Please) to Play Music” is the embodiment of the results from explorations that Marsya, Sitti, and Widi embarked on in uncharted musical territories.
This journey is highlighted in several of Marsya’s guitar riffs that have become increasingly direct in filling up spaces in the arrangements. No longer adhering to her slap-and-chop techniques, Widi displays her bass tapping abilities in full force. At the same time, Sitti’s beats sound more solid than ever, providing a robust foundation for the other instruments with her trademark double-kick blasts, resulting in a firm, groovy,
and smile-inducing bottom line.
Meanwhile, Marsya’s distinctive vocals feel more cultivated and considered as she bellows, “I'm not the criminal, I'm not the enemy, I just wanna sing a song to show my soul…” with a tone that befits the emotional underbelly behind the lyrics. The appearance of a choir section adds a beautiful touch to the song during its coda, which implicitly sends a message of longing for tolerance.
“We want people who listen to this song to become more tolerant towards others. God does not belong to just one person or one group of people. God belongs to anyone who believes in Him. So, everyone has a right to be creative, create, and take responsibility for their creations given by the God that he or she believes in,” Marsya concludes.
Released on August 17, 2021, “God, Allow Me (Please) to Play Music” is available now
on all digital streaming platforms.