Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dangdut Invasion

File under "Things That Make You Go Hmmm ..."

Spotted in the Jakarta Post, "A recent dangdut singing competition in the U.S. was won by an African-American, Arreal Tilghman of Delaware. Tilghman is currently in Indonesia, teaming up with local musicians in crafting what would become the first dangdut album with an American singer."

That's something I've gotta hear. For non-dangdut-lovers, it's a musical style that's a melange of Indian, Arabic and Western influences, usually associated with lower-class folk and/or sketchy dancehalls, but in recent years garnering more prestige and international fans. The reigning dangdut king and queen are Rhoma Irama and Elvy Sukaesih, and the genre has even been spicing itself with beats from hip-hop, R&B, reggae and Latin music.

Now, how exactly dangdut made the jump to urban African-American culture, I have no idea. But more power to our multicultural world. Somebody tell L'il Wayne!

Tomorrow: Bahasa Indonesia as global language?

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