Indonesia’s beloved pop/rock band Naif officially disbands after 25 years

Legendary Indonesian pop/rock band Naif has called its quits after a successful, 25-year-long career. (L-R) Jarwo, Emil, David, and Pepeng in March 2020. Photo: Instagram/@naifband
Legendary Indonesian pop/rock band Naif has called its quits after a successful, 25-year-long career. (L-R) Jarwo, Emil, David, and Pepeng in March 2020. Photo: Instagram/@naifband

Legendary Indonesian pop/rock band Naif has called its quits after a successful, 25-year-long career. 

The news was confirmed by Naif’s frontman, David Bayu Danangjaya, in a video he uploaded on his YouTube channel yesterday.

“Yes, we can say that [Naif] can be categorized as disbanded,” David said in the video, adding that the band has never once performed on stage since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

“I feel like 25 years is a good enough cap to say, ‘let us discuss together about not working together under NAIF any longer.’” 

Naif’s latest formation consisted of David, guitarist Fajar Endra Taruna AKA Jarwo, bassist Mohammad Amil Hussein AKA Emil, and drummer Franki Indrasmoro Sumbodo AKA Pepeng. 

David said that he had once suggested an idea to announce Naif’s disbandment to the public on their 25th anniversary, which fell on Oct. 22 last year, but the band decided to postpone the announcement.

Prior to this announcement, Emil and Pepeng had actually left Naif in September of last year. Emil said it was time to leave because he had been “in the band too long,” and said he wanted to focus on growing his sneakers and wedding catering businesses.

Meanwhile, Pepeng vaguely said yesterday that he has yet to announce why he left the quartet, but hinted towards “unresolved internal matters.” He has released a number of tracks under his solo project called Frank N’ Friends.

As for the remaining two members, David appears to be busy with his YouTube channel, David Bayu Tube, where he interviews fellow musicians and performs either solo or with other artists. Jarwo is also pretty active on YouTube, where he posts trainspotting videos on a channel called Bugsbook Railway.

Naif was formed in 1995, when the four members ⁠— who were all students of Jakarta Arts Institute (IKJ) ⁠— often gathered to play music together instead of doing their college assignments. The quartet got their name from one of their friends, who said their songs were simple, while also sounding harmonious and carrying their own “weight.” 

The band, which has since become popular thanks to its signature retro-inspired sound, debuted with a self-titled album in 1998, which had Mobil Balap (Race Car) as their single. Since then, Naif has released 11 albums with numerous hits such as Posesif, Aku Rela (I’m Willing), Benci untuk Mencinta (Hate to Love You), Air & Api (Water & Fire), Piknik ‘72, and Curi Curi Pandang (Stealing a Glance), as well as the nature-themed Dia Adalah Pusaka Sejuta Umat Manusia yang Ada di Seluruh Dunia (It’s a treasure for millions of humans all over the world).

Naif’s latest releases included an album titled 7 Bidadari (Seven Angels) in 2017 and a single, Selama Ada Cinta (As long as we have love) in 2019. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to listen to our favorite Naif songs and sing our hearts out.

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