Diana Rosa a voice with a difference

Published 31 May 2016   

Diana Rosa. Local singer goes for glory in the cut throat music world.

Diana Rosa.
Local singer goes for glory in the cut throat music world.

To be or not to be, that is the question. Well, wam bam, thank you mam, Diana surprised the hell out of us, and if there ever was a winner, this gal is it!

S.B. Show time.
D.R. Diana Rosa, I’m 34 years old. Omg, I can’t believe I said that. Born and raised in Jakarta and I’ve been living in Bali for the last ten years.

S.B. A bit of your background?
D.R. I went to the University of Indonesia and I have a degree in health management, which I never used, although I did some internships in some big hospitals before I moved to Bali in 2006.

S.B. What brought you to Bali?
D.R. I came with a touring band. I was replacing one of their singers for a month in the Ritz Carlton Jakarta, then came with them to Bali.

S.B. Which leads me to how long have you had the music bug?
D.R. Oh man, since I can remember. Probably when I was 4 or 5 years old. My dad collected all these old cassettes and he had the whole wall covered basically with everything from the 1920s to the 1980s. I guess that’s where the bug came from.

S.B. What made you to stay in Bali?
D.R. I met someone who I fell in love with, da, da. But the music I was doing at that time wasn’t really what I wanted to do. My first gig in Bali was in La Vida Loca, because it was where all the touring bands, including the one I joined with at the time, took a “transit period” while waiting for the rotation schedule. Initially to make money to live here in Bali, then I landed a job in the fashion industry designing and did two years making pretty decent money. My parents and others kind of drilled it into me from an early age, that doing music is a hard way of supporting yourself, the usual jargon every artist hears. So I kind of drifted away from music slightly (not by choice) and focused on the designing. Music has always been a huge part of my life and always will be. I still struggle to get my head round the fact that I stopped for a brief period while designing. Never again though, music really does make my world go round! After a while the calling came again and I did some networking with musicians and bands and I eventually hooked up with Guy Josef and Rita band, then another mixed band of Balinese and Javanese members called Souled Out. From there, I joined Audioflirt and started doing electronic dance music.

S.B. Why electronic music?
D.R. I started in blues and rock and soul, that’s my core. To bring that to electronic music gives it a whole new edge with a cool funk twist to it.

S.B. At what point did you get the idea to try out for The Voice auditions?
D.R. I’ve been watching The Voice for years and the one thing that I loved about the show is the fact that you’re judged purely on your voice for the blind auditions and the coach doesn’t see you. It’s all about your talent/skills as a vocalist/singer.  I figured The Voice would be the right platform for my voice to be taken seriously and not about the way I look.

S.B. So you think your looks take away from your voice?
D.R. Years ago I did the Indonesian Idol twice. The first one I didn’t get through the group part, and the second one was even worse. It was almost as though judgements and the decision had been made before I’d even sang a note.

S.B. A crushing blow?
D.R. Yes, it was quite a heavy blow, along the way, but hey, this is the music business. The oldest business in the world. It’s a do or die industry with lots of competition, I can’t be broken hearted every time I get rejected. I just pick myself up, dust myself off and aim to sing better everyday.

S.B. Watching your video audition you seemed quite shocked when it happened for you?
D.R. When it happened, I have to say, I looked up in the last five seconds before the last note. I was confident, but no chairs had turned around yet, I was pretty happy with how I was singing and I was just concentrating on doing my best and giving my all. But I finally remember thinking “they gotta turn around, all this practice, all this hard work all this way, they’ve  got to!”  Then that glorious moment… da, da, da, boom, boom … and two coaches turned their chairs.

S.B. Why did you choose your coach?
D.R. He was my idol growing up. Kaka Slank is an Indonesian rock icon and the front man for a band called the Slank. Anybody growing up in the eighties would either have his poster or a picture of him or their wall. But it’s more than just that. Kaka has withstood the test of time and is still regarded as one of the best and most iconic rock stars of Indonesia.

S.B. Dreams come true. When you say coach, what does that entail?
D.R. Myself and the other chosen singers are put into quarantine and we meet our chosen coaches. The coach will then assign a song and pair two singers off against one another for the battle round. Whoever wins will then progress to the next stage. Competing, competing further, and for the lucky artist who wins, they get signed to Universal and are contracted to sing two single record releases and one album within two years, which includes concerts, publishing and merchandising. The whole shebang.

S.B. A long process with a lot of insecurity along the way, but it’s a song they pick?
D.R. The first one, yes. If I manage to win, I can pick the second song, and that’s for the top twelve elimination.

S.B. How many battles?
D.R. Before the blind auditions there was a preliminary round, then the blind audition (the one that’s just been on TV), then the battle rounds, followed by the final knockout stages that lead to the top twelve. That’s where they do the live shows.

S.B. Lets say you win, are you ready for the big picture?
D.R. I am more than ready, believe me! However, that doesn’t stop the demons in my head talking, asking, can I do this? The doubts and thoughts of past stumbling blocks that are always there in the back of your head. However, I feel strong, solid and confident. I’ve put in a lot of studio time, live gigs and performances, and in the words of Nina Simone “I’m Feeling Good”. Knowing I have the right people behind me and on my side. I feel I have the right mindset going into this. My boyfriend, Graeme, has been more than amazing, he’s my rock! If I get distracted he’s on my case (I need it sometimes), “Hey, this is where you want to go, focus and you’ve got this”.

S.B. What’s happening now with this stamp of approval video?
D.R. Yeah, it’s been interesting to say the least. The last five days I have been getting approached by various venues and events to sing and perform, but I’m currently piecing together the final stages of a dance music album I’ve been working on for the last six to eight months (I’m super excited about it!). I’m looking to get some sponsors for it and see where it takes me. Outside of the dance music project, I’m also working with an acoustic guitar player. I’m not in a position to obligate myself with a band right now, but looking forward to hitting one again soon in the near future with the right opportunity.

If it’s ok, I’d  like to add a huge thank you to everyone for their constant support, and that I’m really happy to be where I am right now and extremely excited and motivated for what the future may hold. Thank You.

S.B. And most surely deserved, wishing you all the best Diana

Unfortunately, Diana was knocked out in the finals but the dream lives on. You can catch her singing in many night spots around town, Bali that is.

Chow mein, Salvador Bali.[FRV]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *