Rico Setiabudi, also known as “Rico Setiabudi Skandar Bin Abdol Shukor” is a pop singer and songwriter (with a hint of RnB) from Singapore. He is the youngest of a family of five, and started music at the age of five in a Malay art group, where he played the gong. Over time, his passion for music steadily grew and he began to learn other instruments such as the guitar, cajon, ukulele and drums. As this was occurring, he also began to write his own material.
Rico Setiabudi has released a new single called “Hanya Tanya”. This is a refreshing change of pace from the world of pop songs. Rico relies on the effective simplicity of his writing, and this allows the true nature of his art to stand out. Based on the sincerity of the vocals, one doesn’t necessarily even need these lyrics to be translated. Sung in what I can only assume is in his native tongue, one can still understand the moods and intent behind the music. The lyrics, translated to English, speak of love and desire for reunion with a loved one. The instrumentation is simple enough, with a beat, synth lines, and vocal harmonies that weave in and out. The chorus is a great hook, and this song is rife with an elegant simplicity and a refreshing take on pop music. We definitely recommend you check out Rico Setiabudi and see what this young Malay artist has to offer!
Don't miss out on Rico's "Hanya Tanya" and listen to the single here.
Keep scrolling for the artists personalized interview with BuzzMusic!
Thanks for chatting with us! To start us off, would you mind describing a bit about your background and how, why and when you got interested in music and songwriting?
I started music since I was five. Music has been in my blood as my family is into performing arts. I loved music since i was a kid. I actually started from playing percussion in a Malay performing art group. Then my passion for music grew so I decided to pick up and learn more instruments like cajon, djembe, darbuka, guitar, ukulele, drums etc. When i was 12 that was my first time trying out songwriting. However, I was too shy to let other people listen to it. Even my family members. So I keep it to myself. As I grew older I took the courage to let others listen to my song. Thank god, after few years of hardwork, one of my song became a theme song for a Telemovie and it was nominated for the "Best Theme Song" in an award show. It encouraged me to even compose more songs. In 2017, I also went to Spain, Madrid for a singing competition called Aim2Fame. I was selected among other thousands contestant, being the top 8 finalist. That is when I decided to take music seriously and push myself beyond my comfort zone.
How would you describe the music scene in Singapore?
Music scene in Singapore is very small. However we have a lot of talents here. So I believed that we need a bigger platform to promote our music into the international market. We have our neighbour country like Indonesia and Malaysia who have their own scene too but why not aim big and try to expose your music to the world? So if you would ask me. My goals is to let my music (Singapore music) travel to different parts of the world.
Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
My influences are Bruno Mars, Marvin gaye, Jason Mraz, The Jackson 5, Earth Wind and Fire, James Brown, Neyo, Sheila on 7 and Judika.
How do you write your songs and how does all your music come together in the end?
Personally i feel that music is something that comes out from your heart. Something that you wanna express. It is an art where there is no right or wrong but depends on one preferences. So how usually I write my song? I do it when I have something to express or share. I will find the melody first according to my mood at that moment. Then comes the lyrics. Lyrics is the most important part of the song. Where your message is being conveyed to people.
Next is when my arranger start to arrange the tracks according to what we feel is right. Tada! All done. Hahahaha of course then, I send in for mixed and mastering.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
What can you expect from me in the future is more Pop/RnB songs obviously hahaha in Malay and also English. Bringing the branding as a Singapore artist. Spreading love and compassion thru my songs.
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