Fellas, it might be time for us to collectively apologize to Andika Mahesa of Kangen Band fame. After years of being mocked by Indonesians for his alay (tacky or cheesy) songs during his stint as Kangen Band’s main vocalist in the mid-2000s, Andika has emerged as an unlikely LGBTQ ally through his new music video.
The music video for his latest solo single, Tunggu Aku (Wait For Me), was released last week, with Andika describing on Instagram that the feeling of longing is a right celebrated by both “majority and minority groups,” and expressing hope that everyone who watches the video can celebrate that feeling of missing their loved ones amid the ongoing pandemic.
“Coming with a new color and vibe, Andika featured a lyric video with a message that the celebration of longing is the right of every human being regardless of their orientation of feelings,” the video description reads.
Though it’s been about a week, the video recently caught netizens’ attention, most of whom appear to be outside of Andika’s usual audience. Many expressed appreciation for the video’s message and praised Andika’s new music direction, while hailing the artist for including same-sex couples; which is virtually non-existent in Indonesia’s mainstream entertainment scene. At the time of writing, the video has been viewed more than 128,000 times.
Andika Kangen Band advocating LGBTQ right is probably the biggest plot twist this year.https://t.co/jmrWfVfDWv
— Daniel Santosa (@daniel_dian) July 10, 2020
I just found out andika kangen band made a music video about missing ur s/o and it included gay couples yes i cried during the sapphics putting on makeup on eachother scenes
— anggi wants with con mutuals (@LVNDRTONES) July 14, 2020
Born Maesa Andika Setiawan in Lampung, he formed Kangen Band (literally translates to “longing band”) with his friends in 2005, and released their first album in 2007. The band was associated with Indonesia’s working class, just like the members’ background, with a genre that could be classified as Malay pop. They were known for their singles such as Doy and Cinta yang Sempurna (The Perfect Love), and had released five albums until 2011.
Andika resigned from the band in 2012 and has since focused on his solo career. In recent years, the 34-year-old singer has unfortunately been known for news surrounding his personal life, including legal problems and reports of several marriages and divorces — the latter prompting netizens and popular celebrity gossip accounts to mockingly dub him as “Babang Tamvan” (from Abang Tampan, meaning handsome guy).
Prior to Tunggu Aku, Andika has released other singles such as Cinta Luar Biasa (Extraordinary Love) and Tetap Menunggu (Still Waiting). Hopefully, through Tunggu Aku Andika can inspire others to create music that matters instead of vapid, cheesy pop songs so popular in the mainstream.