Filed under: Indonesia
Dangdut. Besides be a really fun word to say, it is a music that is byproduct of the cultural collisions of Malay, Arabic, Hindustani, and Western sounds that could only happen in Indonesia. Having emerged in the early Seventies, dangdut has continued to grow in popularity to this day, even spreading to parts of Malaysia and the southern Philippines.
Oma Irama was born December 11, 1946, in Tasikmalaya, West Java. During the height of his stardom in the 1970s, he became the self-proclaimed Raja Dangdut (King of Dangdut) with his group Soneta. He was known by Oma Irama before he made a pilgrimage to Mecca and became a haji. He later took the name Rhoma Irama, which is a shorten version of “Raden Haji Oma Irama” (Raden is an aristocracy title for Javanese and Sundanese cultures).
Irama’s career began in the late 1960s when he recorded solo records and with the group Orkes Melayu Purnama. He sang duets on several record albums with Indonesian female vocal stars such as Inneke Kusumawati, Ellya Khadam, Vivi Sumanti, and the later to be crowned ‘Queen of Dangdut’ – Elvy Sukaesih. Once Oma broke from recording with the Purnama Group, he eventually formed Orkes Melayu Soneta – the first so-called Dangdut group. In fact, Oma established the term “Dangdut” with a song by the same name. Rhoma was also known for adding rock to the music and political content – much of it Islamic – to the lyrics, earning him the ire of President Suharto. Once Soneta was established in the early 70’s, Oma changed his name to Rhoma and went on a decade long run of successful hit records and films – all of which starred Rhoma playing himself while performing all of his hits.
As for Rita… There is no information available.
Catalog number IMR-90056 on P. T. Yukawi Corp. of Bogor, Indonesia. No release date listed.