Featured: Tesla Manaf/KUNTARI

A Conversation with Tesla Manaf

What makes you tick as an artist?

Tesla Manaf/KUNTARI
(Photo provided by Tesla Manaf)

I honestly do not have any other expertise other than music. I grew up with all kinds of music; metal, classic, 70’s/80’s pop. That habit of listening to all kinds of sound is still in me right now, combining all of the music that I’ve listened so far and taking it one step further, I experiment not only in terms of the genre of my music, but my instruments.

There’s a mix of sound guiding me for the past twelve years, and I will not stop experimenting until it stops and I only hear silence.

How would you describe your journey so far?

The cover for “Toija” one of Tesla’s album

Sticking around in all kinds of scene makes me feel “rich” in friendship, from the old heads to the prodigies, from concert halls to dark underground venues, I am very lucky to be embraced by each and every one of them. But it was a struggle at first, I have to admit, but they saw something in me, that I was not there to be “cool” but I was eager to be drowned in the scene.

I happily left my usual instruments and genre, pulling a 180 degree turn because I don’t settle. There’s this urge to keep on learning and chase after different kinds of sounds, until I feel stupid really.

What is your expectation in regard to the future of the local music industry?

Tesla Manaf on the cover of “Tesla Manaf feat. Mahagotra Ganesha – It’s All Yours” Album

We are experiencing the peak of the industry, the industry isn’t being dominated by a group of people and listeners have the independency to listen to anything really.

But I do have one expectation though, I hope when live shows come back, we, the audience, can come earlier to see the bands playing earlier, so there’s no gap between the supporting acts and the headliner. What makes a band is not the social media following or streams, it’s the crowd in real life, experiencing the music and discovering it for the first time.


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