Between Us & Lala

Lala Karmela
Lala Karmela isn’t the same singer you used to know. Having released one generic, commercial pop album, the girl better known as Lala, has returned to the scene of her crime and decided to show her ‘as close to the truth as pop-gets’ version of herself by way of Between Us. According to Lala, getting other songwriters to write her material past history, at least for the most part. This time around, she presents her own stuff, her stuff, and nothing but her own stuff, with help from one of the finest young music producers in Indonesia, Joseph “Iyub” Saryuf, who already proved his quality “guru” status with Santamonica, BRNDLS, The Porno, Blackwood Sun, and Roman Foot Soldiers.

The Jakarta-based singer thinks that Between Us is one of her few best creations in her entire career. New label, Sinjitos Records, enabled this new honest-to-Lala album approach. Consisting of eight songs, Lala explores wider than she’s tried in past recordings, musically speaking. She’s excited to be able to prove that she can extend herself, visiting different musical influences, while still very much moving around pop’s corridor. On the first song—which is also the first single—“Morning Star” Lala goes sophisti-pop a la Swing Out Sister and Lisa Stansfield-lite. On the second, “Between Us”, she goes all out indie pop (a perfect soundtrack-esque addition to her usual image: singing while playing guitar). On the third—picked as the second single—“Berkilau” she’s all girly girl performing tunes to the style of a Sunday morning breeze. And the rest? She mixes jazz, adult contemporary, alternative rock, and even adds a little glorious choir, which makes for quite a colourful album.

Speaking in themes, Lala isn’t straying too far from life and love. In “I Don’t Know What to Wear” she finds a way to make a light topic sound heavy when she manages to question which clothes should be worn for going on a date, but with a heavy musical arrangement: a modern big band jazz composition.
Lala Karmela
Born from an Indonesian father and a Filipino mother on April 2, 1985, Lala began her career in entertainment via youth-oriented sinetron. From television she jumped to music by joining the band, Inersia, with whom she release an album called Bersama. Her video clip with the band attracted Warner Music Philippines who offered her a contract to release a solo album. Contract in hand, Lala relocated to the Philippines to pursue a career. While in the process of publishing her solo debut, Stars, she sang from Manila bar to Manila bar, slowly building her reputation within the Philippine music circuit. In 2010 she released a cover song in Indonesia, “Satu Jam Saja”, as a soundtrack to a movie with the same name. “Satu Jam Saja” was followed up in 2011 with a full-length album, Kamu, Aku, Cinta (under Sony Music Indonesia), and there you have it; Lala’s story. And now of course, she’s got Between Us.

Get yourself Between Us in your local record store or find Lala online via iTunes Indonesia.

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This article was firstly published on The Beat (Jakarta) #90, October 2013
Co-editor: Lauren Shipman
Check out her second single, “Berkilau”, on YouTube:

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