The Squeaky Voice is Rabbit’s

“Do it from the heart, one said.” | “It ain’t easy, the other responded.” And in the background a little voice sings, the kind we rarely hear before. Unmasked and far from pretentiousness, here is that voice’s story—Stars and Rabbit, on joining their identity forces and making music from a fragile part. 

Coming from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Stars and Rabbit is a singer-guitarist duo whose household name has been whispered intensely these past months, signaling how the crowd loves them. The duo consists of Elda Suryani, an energetic girl with unique voice who acts as singer as well as lyricist, and Adi, a calm guy equipped with melody sensitivity who translates Elda’s inspiration to the magical music arrangement. This organic collaboration, to begin with, is not instant. Once a fan and later helping Elda during her gigs, Stars and Rabbit was born after their meeting in tunes happens regularly. The year 2011 then marks the start, though up until now, they live in two cities apart.

But, no, VOCIFEROUS did not extensively discuss their history, because their energy and love for music definitely speak louder.

People seem to relate their feelings with your music easily, including me. You know, I was once in a miserable state and literally cried when I was listening to Man Upon the Hill. What is the inspiration of that song?

(Elda) It feels good that what you do means something for someone, doesn’t it? The song itself is about closure—that moment when you know you finally let that person go. It was quite a heavy journey personally for me because I need to grasp the feeling myself first before I can pour it into the song. As a matter of fact, every Stars and Rabbit’s song does really reflect what I have gone through. The process begins when I am fully aware of what is happening in my life. Inspiration then simply flows. I previously thought that it would be easier to write songs about something else, but having undergone the emotion myself, it is far easier and more honest.

I previously thought that it would be easier to write songs about something else, but having undergone the emotion myself, it is far easier and more honest.

Both of you are the elements of Stars and Rabbit, means that it has become part of your life. Will you say that Stars and Rabbit affects your identity and musical choice?

(Elda) I guess it goes both way. Indirectly, it affects each other, like chicken and egg. Stars and Rabbit is born from our personality therefore how it grows affects us. In terms of music, I do listen to a wide array of genres, I love the soul and groove of RnB, I also love old music. I am currently listening to Koes Plus! I listen to Lana del Rey, anything current. Everything I hear affects my musicality.

(Adi) We both will always be like that, absorbing everything. From my point of view, I listen to various song because every piece is worthy to be appreciated. I personally like British Pop and I am open to Elda’s music references to smoothen the communication.

What gets you into pop folk? Is there any moment when you think, “Hmmm… maybe this kind of song does not fit us.”?

(Elda & Adi) We actually do not want to be defined or limited by anything, we simply make songs and play whatever we like. People label us with pop folk, maybe because the way Elda sings and our performance that is always acoustic. Yet, we never set any boundaries. We cannot really define ourselves by genre and we let it be that way.

We cannot really define ourselves by genre and we let it be that way.

Who or what are your biggest influences in music?

(Elda) It does varies. There are certainly some musicians we adore, I always listen to Sia, Copeland, Mew. Adi loves Radiohead. We both plan to catch Sigur Ros later on! We are definitely influenced by many musicians. However, influences can really come from anywhere. During night driving, for instance, I can get inspiration and hum, then I will directly record it so I won’t forget. Adi then will help me with the arrangement, as always. (laughs).

Talking about roots, were you both musical as kids?

(Elda) Well, I joined choir and did several performances during elementary school days. Later I joined a band in high school and from then on it sort of develops.

(Adi) My dad has a Keroncong group back during my childhood days and did a performance once a month. So, yes, music has unconsciously planted in me since I was a kid. But it was during college when I made decision to learn how to play guitar. Before, sport is the thing I had in mind.

Unforgettable gig?

(Elda) One fatal moment was when I choked. It happened in Singapore, our first international gig! There was also a technical problem, the laptop broke. But the problem yields a great crowd though, they were really supportive. I tried to sing and choked again, until few more tries and we finished that last song with an applause.

(Adi) Such thing is actually what we want to avoid. We want it to be neat and clean, but such accident makes everything feel natural and more fun.

What is your plan for Stars and Rabbit after this? 

(Elda & Adi) Definitely finishing an album. We previously planned for an EP but we feel that we owe this to the growing number of fans. You know, processing an album is like getting married! It involves a lot of preparation and we can only do that when we feel comfortable. When we feel absolutely sure.

Text: Gabriela Yosefina.
Big thanks to Riva, Elda, and Adi for making this happen. :)