Kanina Brings Out Sexual Taboo on “Hell/High Water”
Among all the things that can make us proud as an Indonesian, recognition or acknowledgment of various sexual identities isn’t one of them and Kanina apparently realizes this as well. The singer/songwriter who is a part of hip-hop/R&B collective hailing from Semarang called HILLS has just released her second single called “Hell/High Water”. Kanina’s second single after “Lust” highlights her concern about the underrepresented sexual identities and self-acceptance in Indonesia’s mainstream media. The topic which is often considered taboo is translated into smooth melodies and lyrics on “Hell/High Water”. Kanina talks about the LGBTQ+ community and how their identities should not make them ashamed to embody their truest selves. This song was produced by herself with the help of her label-mate, Cosmicburp.
Echoing the spirit from Troye Sivan, a renown singer who often advocates self-acceptance, self-love, and recognition of various sexual identities, Kanina wanted to let the listeners know that they are not alone in this journey. Her timbre and vibration become the main attraction of this song from the get-go. Paired with easy listening melodies, R&B beats, and irregular drum patterns, “Hell/High Water” is definitely interesting to listen to, especially if you like this type of music. You can also hear a hint of soul, blues and jazz in several parts of this song.
As a comparison to her previous single, this tune carries a heavier message as well as a denser theme. As you can see in the lyrics, Kanina doesn’t explicitly voice out her concern by mentioning who or what part of the community she refers to. Instead, she uses analogies, metaphors, innuendos and popular references. We think that this is a smart move since so many netizens would rather swallow controversies, instead of substance. “Hell/High Water” can be consumed in all of its glory below.