Three teenage girls from Indonesia are fighting to play their music, despite gender stereotypes, and even death threats cast against them. They comprise the heavy metal band ‘Voice of Baceprot’ which is gaining popularity.
The band includes Firdda Kurnia, 17, Eusi Siti Aisya, 17, and Widi Rahmawati, 15. Last month they performed in front of a 2000 people. The event was organised to mark the country’s 72nd independence anniversary celebrations and had senior government officials, business leaders and more in attendance.
The girls are daughters of rural farmers. After taking a music class in 2014, they formed a band. However, their parents initially forbade them from playing, but they practices anyway – in secret. Further, they uploaded videos of their local performances on Facebook, and these quickly gained popularity.
A hijab and metal music are different, Firdda told the Times. “A hijab is my identity, and metal is my music genre.”
The girls all wear headscarves. They want their music to show that religion does not have to be at odds with the music. Muslim hardliners have threatened them, they have even had stones thrown at them.
They sing about intolerance, gender equality and the rights of young people in the country.
“They said that if we produce an album, they would burn it, and some people threatened to decapitate us,” Eusi said, about the threats they receive. Even their school principal does not approve of their band. He is a conservative Muslim and says music is ‘haram’ says Eusi.
The Jakarta event’s creative director, Jay Subyakto said that they booked the Voice of Baceprot band to give them a national stage and to prove a point to those who threaten them.
“I, and I think many other Indonesians, want to see lesser-known bands who are young, have a good ideology and have amazing lyrics in their songs,” he said.
The band is in the process of recording its first album. Kudos to these teenage girls who are breaking boundaries and choosing what they love!