Going Through Time with Danilla InterviewGoing Through Time with Danilla: New Album and Future Endeavor

Danilla, a sensation on indie music scene when she emerged with her debut album “Telisik” in 2014. She was relatively unknown before she blew up throughout 2015 and she became the indie darling she is known today. Danilla grew up before our eyes and little by little revealing her personality which is both charming and bold. She has just revealed her new album “Lintasan Waktu” last week, and on her sophomore album, she dared to take a bigger role as the producer. After her much anticipated performance on MLD Spot Stage Bus Jazz 2017 in Malang, she (and photographer Anindyo Suryo) sat down with The Display to spill more about what “Lintasan Waktu” is about, which is said to be an accidental release on her part. Check out our interview with the songstress below.

The Display (TDP) : Hello, Danilla you’ve just released your sophomore album “Lintasan Waktu”, could you tell us more about it and why did you choose that title?

Danilla (D) : The title is taken from a song in the album and it’s called “Lintasan Waktu”. It’s actually from my debut album “Telisik” which initially divided in two parts “Pendahuluan” and “Penutupan”. The whole song is called “Lintasan Waktu” which you can find in the album. On my second album I mostly write the song and the lyrics, but Lafa also contributed. It’s like 70% and 30% combination from both of us. I have a desire to write music to my liking, whatever I want to write. And after listening back to the whole record, the songs are like… tripping… like having a trip in your imagination. I got confused to find the perfect title for this song, I’m so bad at finding the right vocabularies, so Lafa suggested “Lintasan Waktu”. People who listen to this album are hoped to go through Danilla’s time.

TDP : Who else contributed to the album?

D : Whoa, so many! If I did it all by myself, I’d probably go abroad and boast about it. Basically all the band players are involved in this record. There is Dimas Pradipta who played 50% of the drums, there is Aldi Nada Permana as one of the producer since I found some tracks that I did not want to arrange. So he came up with string section, and the result is so cool. For me! Hahaha… Suryo also helped, by indirectly giving suggestions on what should be the single. I think it helps. There is also the string section players from Jogja, Eko Balung and the other two whose names I forgot and cello player Dani Kurnia. Their chemistry was like they’re having sex in the studio, it was very incredible. Sigit Agung Pramudita from Tigapagi also collaborated on one of the track “Entah Ingin Ke Mana” which was recorded a long time ago to be honest. Eventually our other collaboration “Tidur Bersama” came out first, we have this connection to collaborate. Dimas and Aldan also helped, Aldan Prasetyo was the operator in the studio. No matter how small their roles were, I’m so grateful for their help.

TDP : How different “Telisik” and “Lintasan Waktu” in terms of its process?

D : Very different. On “Telisik” I was reluctant to record the songs. Most of the times, Lafa just texted me and asked me to listen to the song he made. If I liked it then I went to the studio and recorded it. I heard the record and arrangement, thought it was nice, then sang. We also did it from night till dawn, but in this second album the inspiration and mood often came only in the morning. Five or six in the morning, or when I couldn’t sleep, I played the guitar and found the right melodies. Other than that, like I said earlier I wrote most of the songs. So I recorded the guitar, got confused, took a shit, and tried to find the meaning of the song.

TDP : What is the album mostly about then?

D : The album tells about uneasiness, sadness, hopelessness, and all the foul things can be found there. Like a song called “Meramu” is about human’s desires. I believe that many people must have desires, including me. Sometimes the desire is very disturbing and leads to someone’s disadvantage. For example, I want to kill you but at the same time I also want you to make me happy. If I kill you then I’ll hurt you, that kind of thoughts should be put in songs. Overall, I ask you to enter the world where sadness is a beautiful thing, and you also participate in donating happiness if you listen to it. By expressing my sadness, I become happy and my burden is gone.

TDP : You also just revealed “Aaa” music video, tell us more about it..

D : It was trash. Actually we didn’t planned the result to be so grainy like that. There is much noise in the final result, but since we have created it, let this trash be useful. Seeing the reaction from fans was very satisfying, some of them even go as far as observing the scenes in the video. Like, look at this minute, seems like Danilla doesn’t wear any bra. Something like that. They even crowned me as the ambassador of making love on the comment section of that video. Hahaha…

TDP : Why did you release it digitally? How about the physical record?

D : It was not on purpose! The digital release was definitely a mistake since we initially had set a specific date. We didn’t know what happened but it was already out. Someone tagged me on Twitter about the album and once my team landed after a show from another town, we got to work. That day, we spread the flyer and posted about the album. There is already the pirated version of my album, tried to take it down, but several other ones appeared, so we just let it be. Actually it is a form of appreciation, but the material loss is also big. Looking at the release date on Spotify, the album is listed in August so the mistake must be on their part. So this is actually an accidental release. The physical records is currently on the work right now, but maybe later. We are planning for an exclusive boxset for 200 people only, the release date and delivery haven’t been decided. We don’t want to be another accident.

TDP : We are intrigued with the exclusive boxset. What is in it?

D : It’s a secret. You can see it later. For certain, it is hipster, and might got weird reaction from the netizen.

TDP : Do you plan any tour or exclusive concert for this album?

D : Yup, the tour might be across Java. I want to make a concert though, since “Telisik” album has not got any showcase, so I want to give present for it. In the mean time, we’re still like cooking up the ideas, but haven’t broken it down into real actions. It can happen this year….or…. this year, so this year it is. I don’t know, it’s up to the manager.


TDP : Three favorite songs in this album are….

D : “Laguland”, “Dari Sebuah Mimpi Buruk”, and “Ini dan Itu”. Laguland is the least sad song in this album, it talks about an escape to sad things. If I’m sad, I go to “Laguland”. “Dari Sebuah Mimpi Buruk” early materials have been made few months ago, but it was completed one morning when I got the mood and inspiration, after waking up from a nightmare. It was arranged by Aldi, and I trusted him for arranging a string section. The last one is “Ini dan Itu” which talks about plants and animals, and human too. I used to stand for animal rights and was against those who eat dogs, but some people still feel like it’s part of the culture. So, in the end, I could not force my principal to other people, this world is just a fucked up place. At one point I got angry at those people and wanted to bomb them, but I also read about a doctor who saved a goldfish’ life from tumor. Shit, this is so minor yet showing me that this world is balanced. There is bad and good, and I have to decide where to be. I used to be on that side that is seemingly ‘good’, I used to join this movement but eventually I just want to be the observer and the one who explains that the good and bad exist. There is this and that.

TDP : Whose music inspired you in this album?

D : Radiohead, for certain. Mac DeMarco as well, since I listen to his record lately, St. Vincent, and Sean Lennon is a must. So far, it is more towards Radiohead. Their album came out in the middle of making of this album, and when I listened to it, it felt the same. But Suryo thinks that the vibe of the album sounds like Silverchair “Diorama”.

Danilla Lintasan Waktu Album
Artwork by Eunice Nuh

TDP : How about the artwork for “Lintasan Waktu”?

D : There is contribution from Eunice Nuh, funnily I found her in 2015. She contacted Lafa back then to meet us and she is an illustrator. She said that she loved “Telisik” and wanted to make an artwork for me. Lafa got her to listen “Entah Ingin Ke Mana”, she said it’s good. But, we haven’t contacted each other afterwards. When this album was finished, we remembered her and I visited her home. I saw some artworks and pointed to this one and she said the drawing is about universe. The artwork used to belong to someone else for a tattoo, but it got cancelled so it’s like a match for me. The back album sleeve is an artwork of rabbit, coincidentally, this album talks about someone who has rabbit Chinese zodiac, so I believe it’s fate. There is another artwork for “Aaa”, it’s already made, but I’m waiting for my salary first hahahaha….

TDP : How about the collaboration project of Dara Muda between you, Rara Sekar and Sandrayati Fay?

D : It is postponed until next year, since Rara Sekar has to finish her degree, while me and Sandrayati have just released an album. Actually the plan is only half finished, and on Folk Music Festival was the very first time we met. They asked for a collaboration, the producer is the one who is very ambitious in fusing our music. When we met, they played the guitar with their hippie and folk music. On the other hand, I want to play electronic, so we didn’t get the connection we wanted. Then we got to a workshop, we took a trip together, tried to find the chemistry as an initiation while making music together. So during the initial announcement of Dara Muda, we actually haven’t met at all.

Going Through Time with Danilla InterviewTDP : So there hasn’t been any recording process?

D : It’s still just talks. *in this part Suryo chimed in* We don’t want to rush, like any other collaboration project. There is nothing to hurry for.

TDP : How about your collaboration with Tigapagi then?

D : We have known each other before, and Sigit is a close friend of Lafa. When he offered me to collaborate, I feel honored. Because he is a very selective person, starting from the person he works with and down to the listeners! Haha.. The music video “Tidur Bersama” is their first ever music video, and I got to be in it!

TDP : Other than those two collaboration projects, have you got any offer?

D : Many! There is this DJ who asked me to come to her gig in a club. When I got there, her music was trance. So I got confused with my part. We decided to minimalize collaboration project, not to join the A x B hype. I try to be very selective, since not any music could match with mine. There is another ongoing project, in which I participate but it’s not a collaboration, but more towards support. I love that band and my name won’t even mentioned in the title, even though I contributed.

TDP : Any plan or inspiration for future album after “Lintasan Waktu”?

D : There are many raw materials as of now, the ones that did not make it to “Lintasan Waktu”. I collect it little by little, but I love trip hop so much. Disco as well. So it might influence my next album.