During the second half of 2021, Voice Of Baceprot (VOB) staked their claim on international fame. They went viral, precipitated by the release of their single “God, Allow Me (Please) to Play Music” and their Fight Dream Believe European Tour 2021, which saw them perform in eight cities across Europe. Critical acclaim in North America and heated anticipation for more new music followed.
And now, the rock trio from Garut in West Java, Indonesia, is back to make even more waves with their latest single “[NOT] PUBLIC PROPERTY”. This is the first song to be written by the members of VOB without the aid of their mentor and former teacher Abah Erza, who played a significant role in encouraging the formation of the band. The brand-new empowering anthem will be the trio’s contribution to International Women’s Day, as it will be available on all digital streaming platforms from March 8, 2022.
Running for three minutes and nineteen seconds, the theme to “[NOT] PUBLIC PROPERTY” remains rooted in the concerns that Marsya (vocals/guitar), Sitti (drums/vocals), and Widi (bass/vocals) have about the violations they have witnessed of women’s rights around the world. Bodily autonomy and bodily integrity are rights central to being a whole, independent person, but ones that are so often cast aside – particularly in the cases of women. Escalating domestic violence, female circumcision, limiting of abortion rights, human trafficking, and pornographic exploitation are merely a few examples of the erosion of bodily autonomy in our society.
While their previous single “God, Allow Me (Please) to Play Music” criticises acts of intolerance that happen to others and themselves, “[NOT] PUBLIC PROPERTY” embodies VOB’s holding space for their fans who are suffering these kinds of violations of their inalienable rights. With the amplification of oppression because of being quarantined from a global pandemic, it has been omnipresent in the news of late.
This has stirred a fire within Marsya, Widi, and Sitti, who air their dismay from the get-go through the first few lines of the song: “God, hold my tears, when I see a girl crying, she lost her trust, to the world and to the source of her love…” This discontent morphs into anger when the song reaches its first chorus with a bold and explicit roar: “Our body is not public property! We have no place for the dirty mind!”
With unflinching chants of “This is how the fight will be remembered, And this is how the voice getting stronger and louder!”bookending the song, “[NOT] PUBLIC PROPERTY” sounds akin to a war cry for the never-ending battle against the barbs thrown at women from every side. From Texas’ abortion restrictions and African countries’ female circumcisions to “honour killings” in South Asia and the domestic violence “next door”, there is so much to rally against.
Brilliantly feisty, “[NOT] PUBLIC PROPERTY” is produced by Yuka Dian Narendra, an Indonesian producer who has worked with several high-profile Indonesian artists such as Anda Perdana, Bonita, Gribs, and Alien Sick, among others. In the vocal arrangement department, VOB enlisted the help of renowned Indonesian vocal director Irvan “Irvnat” Natadiningrat, having had experience directing the singing of Krisdayanti, Tiga Diva, Indonesian Idol, X-Factor, and many other top Indonesian vocal groups and singers. For this single, the two deliberately took VOB’s musical direction towards funk-rock with a dose of old-school straight-up riot grrrl punk, resulting in a relatively uncomplicated arrangement and structure to ensure that all ears are on the vocals and lyrics to highlight the message behind the song further.
“[NOT] PUBLIC PROPERTY” was mixed by Danish producer and sound engineer Tue Madsen, whose portfolio reads like a who’s who of heavy music with Meshuggah, Suicide Silence, Mnemic, and Sick Of It All amongst his former clients. While the mastering itself was done by Howie Weinberg, an American audio mastering-engineer who is responsible for over 2,000 mastering credits, including 200+ certified Gold and Platinum albums by the RIAA, 20 Grammy Awards and several other honours. Howie was also credited as the master engineer for Nirvana’s “Nevermind” and Beastie Boys’ “Licensed To Ill.”
“[NOT] PUBLIC PROPERTY” is set to be accompanied by a music video that was helmed by Indonesian award-winning film director Yosep Anggi Noen, whose decorated works include “The Science of Fictions” and “Solo, Solitude.” It will be unveiled as part of Women Of The World (WOW) UK’s annual celebration of International Women’s Day. Supported by British Council through its Connection Through Culture programme, VOB will be collaborating with WOW UK as the first-ever digital artist-in-resident for WOW Sounds, a collaborative project to support the powerful message behind their latest single and premier it at WOW Fest in Southbank, London from March 11-13, 2022.
“[NOT] PUBLIC PROPERTY” is available on all digital streaming platforms starting from March 8, 2022.