Tulus – Selftitled (2011)

Tulus – Selftitled (2011)

1968

Artist : Tulus
Album :Selftitled
Released  : September 2011
Label : Musik Tulus/Demajors Independent Music Industry

The opportunity to grow up in music industry is widely open for everyone. Musical developments around the world obviously move like a high-speed train now. We always hear new kinds of jazz as something that’s often surprised us like bombs especially performances from many young singers and musicians who have given fresh air to all music lovers. Many of them have successfully got new listeners, but the rest have failed. They should make an accurate strategy to stand up at the top since the competition is getting tougher. With the genres that they have chosen to bring, knowing which segment they want to reach is essential. And Muhammad Tulus is aware of this. He’s a talented singer from Bandung with a distinctive sense of jazz. Amazingly, his debut album with his nickname “Tulus” is well received by public, particularly the youth. On September 28th 2011, he launched it in the Centre Cultural Français (CCF) Bandung through a very special solo concert and got standing ovation from the crowds. It seemed that he already has his own fans. (Check out the review from that event here).

He deserves praise for his bravery to explore the current market, without leaving the jazz side. Although he is a crooner, he doesn’t get caught up just in swing and big band areas. This guy can give such beautiful vibes when appearing in an acoustic format or with full band, taking his musical space wider to reach soulful R&B to even bebop scenes. He has proved his success recipe with his single “Sewindu” which is currently very popular among the radio listeners throughout Indonesia, especially in the big cities. It has reached top charts in some radio stations and has stayed there for weeks. This became a joyous surprise for Tulus! We may dub it ‘an everybody song’, because it has memorable melodies, mixed with lyrics of love that fit into people daily life, which is qualified as an easy listening one. Domination of 80’s pop-jazz and R&B sounds is in vogue right now, and “Sewindu” totally contains those elements. No doubt, this tune has big potential to be a national hit!

By writing and creating the whole songs, Tulus was determined to make an album that truly shows his uniqueness of croon voice. “It came naturally. I learned every song in my own way.” He explained. Officially he took part as a co-producer and got supports from several names that gave important contributions since the beginning of production. Particularly, he mentioned two names, Ari ‘Aru’ Renaldi (drummer of 4 Peniti band), as a producer, man behind the whole process, and Riri Muktamar the executive producer. After working hard together with the team for a year, he felt so relieved to release the album that consists of 10 impressive tracks with colorful nuances. He said, “I hope this album belongs to all of us, people who have helped me during the production.”

When you start playing the CD, you’ll be treated by a chic-simple song called “Merdu Untukmu”, a one minute jazzy acoustic which shows the sweet taste of Anto Arief‘s guitar playing. It was made pretty clear to greet the listeners before they move to the next nine tracks, as well as describing what he intended to do from the start. Tulus carried a nice opening here! Let’s take a look at “Teman Pesta”, presented by upbeat Motown pattern. A cheerful vintage ambience is going to lead our minds to a dancing party, move our body freely right to the rhythm. We could hear the harmonization of three backing vocals (Grace Sahertian, Marshella Safira, and Lukman Hakim) brought the Motown soul more visible.

We are reminded of 1960’s bebop era while listening to “Kisah Sebentar”. Expressive trumpet shots came from Brury Effendi plus seasoning from Imam Praseno’s solo piano  in the middle of the track, conjured it up into a big band, samba, and rock & roll sensation. This is a complete music package. Then, here it comes! A familiar tune among today’s youth, the shining “Sewindu” is on. Sewindu means eight years. It told us about a disappointed man after being abandoned by his girl who chose to be with another guy. We know that, such themes always thrill everyone’s heart, so people easily drift into it. In fact, this one was made in two formats, full band and rhodes version. You can enjoy the full band version on this track. Touches of Ari Renaldi’s arrangement will take you to a cozy land and find why it is so lovable. This song is really potential in every corner, no wonder it’s doing really well right now in the Indonesia’s music scene.

The interplay between piano and bass dominate the content of “Diorama”, we can feel the unique mysterious ‘detective movie’ scene here and mixed with bluesy flavor. Facetious piano sounds, played by Ivan Jonathan, have a significant affect in this song. He brought The Pink Phanter-ish style to the opening. Tulus said, “This is one of my favorite tracks.” Certainly we understand why he said so. The sixth track is “Tuan Nona Kesepian”, a relaxed atmosphere with a catchy blend of guitar by Anto Arief and bass by Sindhu Banyusekti, dynamically raised a chill out tune. Tulus sang it really narrative, so we’ll sink deeply into the story. Truly, he put himself as the narrator who tells of a man and a woman constantly imposing their love on someone who doesn’t love them. Again, he gives a classic storyline packed with a delightful arrangement on this one.

“Jatuh Cinta” has a soft beginning, so we might think it will be a ballad one, but it won’t. It delivered a groovy jazz flow in medium beat, with Brury Effendi played the trumpet and flugelhorn to add some tones and liven up the music. We’re going to get more attractive nuance since the modulation to the end. Trust it! This song could make us feel surrounded by love. A sweet romantic sensation on the next song “Teman Hidup” is going to lead our souls to fly away. Mature vocal of Tulus has made it pretty classy. It showed his sensitivity and softness in a beautiful way. You’ll never skip this one on your playlist especially for those of you who are in love.

Track number nine is the rhodes version of “Sewindu”. A sentimental mood created by Ivan Jonathan on keyboard is very touchy. Like Tulus said, “I made this version because I want it sounds more emotional.” Yes, he achieved the mission very well. Sorrow, pain, and broken heart fused into one theme. Seriously, it will hypnotize us or at least make us feel the same way too, so watch out! “Merdu Untukmu” also became the closing (outro) of the entire track. With only one instrument, guitar by Anto Arief, can make this song much alive. By the lyrics, Tulus wanted to say about his desire in singing, hoped that his first album can be enjoyed by everyone, and public will keep appreciating it.

Beautiful poetical lyrics in Bahasa Indonesia is quite thick in almost of whole track, and this has become his smooth-powerful weapon to make good songs. They contain meaningful words about love, trust, and hope of our daily. Each song has a strong soul without sounding trite. Tulus has been through all of the creative process and get lot of precious experience. He said, “I did it all by using the same energy, none of them were dormant.” Although the album contains jazz elements, but it is a highly recommended one even for those who are not jazz addict.

His recent success with the self-titled debut album might make more people know about him today, but actually Tulus is not a newcomer at all. It was started when he was a child. He loved to sing while accompanying his mother in her record store. By listening to many songs from different musicians, made him realize his passion is in music. He told that, “Every time I sing I felt like in my own dreamland.” He remembered the first time he created a song in 2006 when he was a student at Parahyangan University, only with a guitarist and saxophonist. Then, he continued with Sikuai Band, a group based on friendship among the personnel. With Sikuai, he regularly got chances to sing at various events, including Sunday Jazz, an event that organized by a jazz community in Bandung, called KlabJazz. No doubt, KlabJazz has a big role on his musical maturity. And after he decided to be a solo singer in 2010, he also formed his own band to support his album and stage performances with several friends in Klab Jazz. And now we can enjoy the outcome of their ‘one year’ hard work.

Tulus was born to sing. We can find him sitting while singing on stage or chatting with the audience as if they were friends or family. He seems to consider the stage is a home, a comfortable place that provides a warm aura. He makes the crowd feel closed to him and eliminate the limit between them. Jazz has a different face due to his tender croon voice which can alter the appearance of a song. Decades ago Indonesia had adorable Broery Marantika, Koes Hendratmo, and world had Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr and many other legendary crooner in the golden years. Surprisingly, the unique voice of Tulus doesn’t make him to be an old man. He’s favored by young generation and going to be the special one because today we rarely meet local young singers with that vocal style. Today we already know the west has Michael Buble, and then we have Tulus here. Although they grew up from the same root (jazz) but definitely they got their own personality. Pop jazz, R&B, Motown, soul, and big band have enriched Tulus music. It’s going to be a long journey for his musical career, but he has great talent in it, and there are always people who supported him, so no worries at all!

Everybody can be a star in jazz music industry because Indonesian public today, particularly in big cities, has enthusiasm in jazz and has a great curiosity to it. So many musicians appeared massively to carry the innovative breakthrough. One of them is Tulus. He expected he would explore his musicality more and more to show his better quality in every aspect in the future. And we will always keep waiting to his further surprises.

“Ku ingin bernyanyi, melekat di telingamu. Bingkai seisi semesta, semua yang bisa bercerita. Ku ingin bernyanyi, melekat di dalam hatimu. Bingkai beragam nada agar semua merdu untukmu.” (“I’d like to sing and let it stick to your ears. Framing the whole universe, to all who can speak. I’d like to sing and let it close your heart. Framing various notes so they will sound good to you.”) Tulus – Merdu Untukmu

Buy Tulus album at Jazzuality store: http://store.jazzuality.com/products/cd/tulus-tulus/

Get in touch with Tulus through his official website: Musiktulus.com, Facebook and Twitter

Supporting musicians:

MERDU UNTUKMU (Intro/Outro)
Song by Tulus (lyrics/vocal) /Anto Arief (music, guitar)

TEMAN PESTA
Song & Lyrics by Tulus, Music by Ari Renaldi
Tulus: vocal/backing vocal
Ari Renaldi: drums/keys
Rudy Zulkarnaen : upright bass
Anto Arief : guitar
Grace Sahertian, Marshella Safira, Lukman Hakim : backing vocal

KISAH SEBENTAR
Song & Lyrics by Tulus, Music by Ari Renaldi
Tulus: vocal/backing vocal
Ari Renaldi: drums/keys
Rudy Zulkarnaen : upright bass
Topan Abimanyu : guitar
Brury Effendi : trumpet
Imam Praseno : piano
Grace Sahertian, Marshella Safira, Lukman Hakim : backing vocal

SEWINDU
Song by: Tulus, Razis Henri , Music by Ari Renaldi
Tulus: vocal/backing cocal
Ari Renaldi: drums/keys
Gega Nesywara : electric bass
Topan Abimanyu: guitar

DIORAMA (Studio Live)
Song by Tulus, Ivan Jonathan

Tulus: vocal
Sindhu Banyusekti: bass
Ari Renaldi : drums
Ivan Jonathan: piano

TUAN NONA KESEPIAN
song & lyrics by Tulus, music by Sindhu Banyusekti, Anto Arief

Tulus: vocal, backing vocal
Sindhu Banyusekti: bass
Anto Arief : guitar
Marshella Safira, Lukman Hakim : backing vocal

JATUH CINTA
song & lyrics by Tulus, music by Ari Renaldi

Ari Renaldi : drums/keyboards
Rudy Zulkarnaen : upright bass
Topan Abimanyu : Guitar
Brury Effendi : trumpet/flugelhorn
Grace Sahertian: backing vocal

TEMAN HIDUP
song & lyrics by Tulus, music by Ari Renaldi

Tulus: vocal
Ari Renaldi : drums/keyboards
Rudy Zulkarnaen: bass
Topan Abimanyu: guitar

SEWINDU (RHODES VERSION)
Tulus: vocal/backing vocal
Ivan Jonathan : rhodes

Reviewed by: Bintang Steffy Tania
Proofread by: Alhenri Wijaya
Photos were taken by Jazzuality team, except the one with the Dog belong to Tulus
Riandy Kurniawan
Position: Editor in Chief | DOB: September 14 | Occupation: Jazzuality CEO | You like Jazz because: many reasons, but mostly because this is the music that’s been with me from the moment I was born, and another thing, it’s unpredictable. I love it that way. | Motto: Nothing is impossible, impossible is nothing.

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply