Filed under: Indonesia
Diah Iskander, and her backing band The Steps, were from Indonesia.
Under the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism, several kingdoms formed on the islands of Sumatra and Java from the 7th to 14th century. The arrival of Arabs trading in spices later brought Islam, which became the dominant religion in many parts of the archipelago after the collapse of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. When the Portuguese came in early 16th century, they found a multitude of small states, vulnerable to the Portuguese, and later other Europeans wanting to dominate the spice trade.
In the 17th century, the Dutch became the most powerful of the Europeans, ousting the Spanish and Portuguese (except for their colony of Portuguese Timor on the island of Timor). British occupied Benkulu (south of Sumatra) from 1685 to 1824 and built Fort Marlborough. The Dutch ruled Indonesia until the end of World War II.
Before 1965, pop music was banned from being broadcast on the state run Radio Republik Indonesia. The government had rejected Western culture, and specifically rock and roll. But after 1965, a new regime came into power, that embraced European and American music. Soon, The Beatles and Rolling Stones were became very popular, and as a result there were many groups forming in Indonesia.
I have not been able to fins any information about Diah Iskander, other than I have seen a couple of singles by her. The Steps recorded a half dozen or so albums, mostly instumental “Krontjong” music. I have only seen one other record that they recorded together, which was a single with all of the songs in English (also on Pop Records – catalog number 112300 PSE).
Catalog number PSY 112 221 on Pop Records of Indonesia. No release date listed.
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