Trio Lestari in Melbourne: “Don’t forget Indonesia”

BEFORE tonight’s show, Meld’s Marcella Purnama catches up with Indonesia’s Trio Lestari and finds out how this non-traditional boyband is set on making waves both on and offshore.

Meld's Marcella Purnama catches up with Trio Lestari. From left, Sandhy Sondoro, Glenn Fredly, and Tompi.

Heavy rain, broken umbrellas and the bitter Melbourne chill did not dampen the spirits of international students who turned out in droves to meet their favourite stars from Indonesia Trio Lestari.

The trio are due to perform at the annual Indonesian cultural showcase Etcetera this evening, but took time out before the show to meet their supporters at Ramen Ya Paramount Restaurant last night.

The 200-strong crowd comprised students from universities all around Victoria, including Deakin, RMIT, Monash, Swinburne and Melbourne universities. It was the first time many of them would have gotten to see Sandhy Sondoro, Glenn Fredly, and Tompi – all soloists in their own right – perform together as a band.

Formed last year, the trio stand apart from other traditional “boybands”.

While Sondoro, Fredly and Tompi have all recorded individual albums which have sold widely in Indonesia, the trio revealed yesterday they had no plans to cut an album as a group.

Instead, the trio are focusing their efforts on live performances and starting a “cultural movement for a better Indonesia”.

Tompi, who is also a budding plastic surgeon, says the trio’s musical journey began when he was performing at Indonesian artist Cornelia Agatha’s birthday bash, and it was there where he first met Sondoro.

They decided to collaborate and perform together on stage, but as preparations went ahead, they felt there was still a missing element.

They thought Fredly would be the perfect “magnet” to knit the group together, and so Tompi plucked up the courage to pick up the phone.

“Before that we rarely contacted each other, but it turned out that Fredly had some very amazing ideas. To be honest, the idea of Trio Lestari was his brainchild,” says Tompi.

“The three of us got together, and we decided to make this movement – a movement of culture.”

Their performances are unique, blending music and talkshow elements. Despite their socio-political commentaries often being blanketed by humour, they are unafraid to speak their minds about the causes they are passionate about.

“Every time we go on stage, we will talk about the people struggling with famine, the people who need help, or even the people who need to sit up and take notice,” says Tompi.

For Fredly, it’s about remembering where one comes from.

“The mission is to never forget your homeland. Because for me, in this global era, identity becomes very important,” he says.

“When the nation’s leaders are busy thinking about politics that align with the Western culture, I think it’s time for us to move back towards identity.

“That’s why, never forget Indonesia. Never ever forget your homeland, Indonesia,” he tells the crowd of teenagers and 20-somethings from Indonesia who have come to Melbourne in search of better education and brighter prospects.

Trio Lestari will be performing live at Colours of Indonesia, Etcetera 2012 tonight at the Melbourne Convention Centre. Doors open at 5pm, but tickets have now sold out. Follow MUISA on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates.

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