Last Updated on 2023-06-29 by a-indie
A talented indie-pop producer in Indonesia, “The Corner Of My Room” will release a new EP, “Perplexed and Confused; very puzzled” on June 30.
We asked her how she started a solo project by playing all the instruments, about artists who influenced her, and collaborating with Carrieland.
Meet The Corner of My Room, an indie musician from Indonesia
Artist:Annisa Callystha(The Corner of My Room) Interviewer, Translations:Lisa Tominaga
A brief introduction to Bekasi, where she lives
-I know that you are from Bekasi City, Indonesia. I looked up Bekasi on Google, I saw a big stadium and an inverted pyramid. Could you tell us what Bekasi is like?
Annisa Callystha(The Corner of My Room):I actually just moved into Bekasi in 2020 when the pandemic happened, 3 years sounds like a long time but when you were in a pandemic, does it really? haha so I’d say I’m fairly new in the city, I’m originally from a rural area in Bogor, some town in West Java. Bekasi is Jakarta’s suburb so it’s pretty close to the big capital city. It’s pretty similar to Jakarta as well, with traffic, cars, motorbikes, malls, and as you said stadium, and an inverted pyramid haha, but well, I guess less tall buildings around here. It’s also pretty hot in here, people would love to joke around and call Bekasi a “different planet” that is super close to the sun to exaggerate the temperature and distance. haha. And there’s an active art and music community too around here, a bunch of live music and cafes so it’s pretty nice.
How she started making music by herself
-I know your first single “25 O’clock” was released in 2020.How did you start making music by yourself?
I was in a high school band before I was on my own. I was the guitarist. And just like any other high school band, we went our separate ways when we went off to University. I’ve always loved playing music and so in University I tried to form a band as well, but it never worked out, so I started playing on my own, making guitar covers on my Instagram account, learning how to play other instruments like the bass– which is how I got into doing bass covers on YouTube in the first place, inviting my friend over to sing on acoustic covers of songs we loved since I was never a singer, and then my friend got busy, forcing me to sing the covers myself and when I finally at the stage where I could make a full cover completely on my own, I knew writing and producing original songs by myself was meant to happen any time then and so it happened, and it became even more like a real thing as time went by. From doing it through an app on my phone to having an Ableton license, from borrowing my friend’s bass and guitar to having a bedroom studio, it’s been quite a journey! I’ve made so many good friends through my YouTube covers as well and one of them is my music collaborator Ethan Bricknell a.k.a Carrieland from Melbourne, Australia– who’s also featured in my new EP.
The Corner of My Room – 25 O’clock
-I’m surprised that you play all the instruments, make all songs, and even mix them on your own.How did you learn how to play them？Have you ever had an idea to form a band instead?
Forming a band had always been the priority and this solo project is the result of failing to do that, haha. But in the end, it worked out pretty well, I might’ve not learned any other instruments other than a guitar if I was in a band, and I wouldn’t have had the urge to figure out how to produce or mix music by myself if I had other people to do it. So, I’m kinda glad the band thing didn’t work out, and yet I still tried to make music anyway. I’ve learned so many cool things through this process, and I have a better appreciation for music because of it. Surely I’m still an amateur and have so much more to learn but I’m really glad I took this route!
-I wonder how you play a gig. Do you sing with playing the bass guitar？
I have a band for playing live! I’ve recently debuted my live gigging journey in April, at this bar in Jakarta. It was so much fun to be able to play live with a band again! Obviously, it’s different now I have to be the band leader, play my own songs, and do the arrangement myself but it’s sooo good to be on stage again! I have three other people helping me, and I myself sing while also playing the guitar and occasionally some synths. I have my older brother Cakra on guitar and synths as well, my friend Danang on the bass, and Arzya on the drums. I guess as some people say it, it’s Tame Impala style. haha.
Men I Trust – Ring of Past (Bass Cover with Tabs)
-How did you decide on your project name “The Corner Of My Room”? Is it taken from Turner Cordy’s “Corner Of My Room”?
Funnily enough, I discovered that song after a while I named my music project The Corner of My Room. So no, it isn’t taken from Turner Cordy’s Corner of My Room! It’s actually from this British musician/YouTuber Cavetown’s video on YouTube called “My Bedroom Studio”. He was doing a bedroom studio tour and I was so in love with the whole idea of it, it’s imperfect but it’s very personal and intimate, and at some point, he said something like “I don’t think you can call it a studio, it’s just the corner of my room” and at this point, I already had my YouTube channel and had been doing covers in my room, so it just….fit. It depictures this project so perfectly. And yeah, there we have it, The Corner of My Room.
My Bedroom Studio
Why she uses English in her lyrics
-I’ve heard that about 500 languages are used in Indonesia.
Yeah! There are so many dialects in Indonesia, and since I’m from Bogor, West Java, I do speak one of them, it’s called Sundanese, I’m Sundanese! So, I speak three languages, Bahasa, Sundanese, and English.
If your home language is Indonesian, why do you use English in lyrics instead of using your first language？
Well, mainly because almost all of my musical influences sing in English so it just happens naturally for me even though English is not my mother tongue. And writing in Bahasa is….very hard. There are quite a handful of Indonesian songwriters who feel the same way I do. So, yeah.. Bahasa is very tricky. I am interested in writing in Bahasa though, someday, when I’m cool enough to do so. Haha.
How she collaborates with Carrieland
-“I Can’t Keep Up Anymore”, which has already been released as a single, is my favorite. I’m looking forward to listening to “Stay Clean”, which was made with Carrieland in this EP. How did you decide to collaborate with him？
Wow, thanks so much! Carrieland is one of my closest friends now, and we met for the very first time earlier this year after 3 years of being internet friends and collaborators. Making music with him is just so easy and fun, and he’s just super duper talented, I love the way he writes and produces, he inspires me every day. So when I sent him the earliest version of Stay Clean and he said yes to collaborating, I knew immediately it was gonna be good. We actually have another song to extend Stay Clean with, so in other words, we have a collaborative EP, but with only two songs in it, one being Stay Clean. Super excited to share it with the world.
Song of a Recluse (feat. The Corner of My Room) | Carrieland
The challenges and joys of being a female musician in Indonesia
-I’ve read the interview of “Voice of Baceprot”, which is a band formed in Indonesia as well, talking about the difficulty of being a female band because it is an unusual thing where they live. Is it just a difference between big cities and small towns? Have you ever had such obstacles when you make music？
Well, I guess it’s better in a big city than it is in a small town but I can say it’s pretty much still male-centric. I guess for me personally, I don’t really see it as a big obstacle but it would be so amazing if there was more feminine energy in the scene. It would definitely motivate me to keep going more. However, I think it’s starting to change now, there are plenty of cool bands with a front woman and some all-women bands just like Voice of Baceprot around, so I have hope!
Her musical influences and inspirations
-I watched your cover of Alvvays, Tame Impala, Men I Trust, etc. on YouTube. It was great and I thought they would affect your music. Please tell us about three albums that have influenced your music. And tell us about the specific part that inspired you in each album
Ah, answering this question is never easy. Hmm, I think the three most influential albums for me, specifically at the early stage of producing my own music, are…. Good at Falling by The Japanese House, InnerSpeaker by Tame Impala, and The Velvet Face by HalfNoise. I remember being blown away by The Japanese House’s music when I first listened to it randomly on a streaming platform, I wouldn’t have known I could sing and make music the way that I do now if it wasn’t because of The Japanese House. The way she stacked her vocals on her songs inspired me to start doing it as well and it resulting me finally liking my own voice. How she sounds like she uses a vocoder on every song when it’s actually just tons of layers of her vocals is just so so mesmerizing. I discovered Good at Falling around the time I started learning how to play the bass, and with me obsessing over The Japanese House while also teaching myself how to play the bass, it just made sense for me at that time to learn all of The Japanese House’s songs on the bass, and oh how much I was in love with the bass after. If you listen close enough, the way I write my bassline is heavily influenced by The Japanese House, well, because of this. Tame Impala’s music is also a big part of my musical journey. And InnerSpeaker is my favorite Tame Impala album. When I first discovered Tame Impala, it felt like discovering a whole new world, it begins my obsession with producing music, and also with psychedelics (music, paintings, etc), one of the best types of art if you ask me. I’ve never done drugs though, in case you’re wondering. Haha. My bass playing/writing is also heavily influenced by Tame Impala. One of the greatest musicians of our generation. The Velvet Face by HalfNoise also has a big impact on my music-making because it’s how I’ve always wanted my music to sound– fun, quirky, vibey, and catchy indie rock/pop music. Paramore’s Zac Farro captures that perfectly in his solo project HalfNoise’s EP The Velvet Face. And the whole vintage aesthetics associated with HalfNoise was always something I wanted to apply to my own project. I always thought it was so cool. Haha.
Alvvays – After The Earthquake (Cover) | the corner of my room
Tame Impala – Borderline (Bass Cover with Tabs)
About Asian indie music scene
-How do you think of the Asian indie music scene these days? And do you think are there any competitors in Asia?
The Asian indie music scene now is awesome!!! Ugh, there are just so many amazing bands and musicians around here. And the internet makes it so easy to discover new music and communicate with other musicians across the globe. There are plenty of festivals and concerts going on now around Asia again, finally. And so it’s nice that the music scene is coming back to the way it was before the pandemic. Two of my favorite albums ever are from a Korean musician Mid-Air Thief (Gonjoong Doduk & Crumbling), his music is exactly the music that I didn’t know I was looking for all my life until I found it. There’s just this quality that only Asian musicians have that just hits…home. And I’m so proud to be a part of it. So no, I don’t see other musicians as competitors, I’m a music enjoyer way before I am a musician, so I admire and appreciate them a lot, I know doing music isn’t always easy!
 공중도둑 (Mid-Air Thief) – 무너지기 (Crumbling) [Full Album]
Her dream of performing with Japanese bands
-If you have any Japanese bands to perform with, please let us know.
I love CHAI so much!! I can say that CHAI is one of The Corner of My Room’s primary inspirations. They’re quirky and fun, just the things I like! I also love Cornelius, I mean who doesn’t? My friend Ethan recommended me an old Japanese record– Takako Mamiya’s LOVE TRIP which he loves and I now love it too. I know this is so out of my league, but I would really love to do any type of collaboration with CHAI in the future. Haha.
CHAI – N.E.O. – Official Music Video (subtitled)
-Is there any particular listener or person are you aiming for?
I guess the goal is to have my favorite musicians listening to my music and liking it and asking me for a collab. haha. But I have never really thought about any specific listeners to target, I don’t think. I always think music would attract the right people for it naturally by itself so I don’t really have any specific targets.
Her message to listeners in Japan
-I believe that a lot of indie music lovers in Japan will be into your music soon. Could you give a message to listeners in Japan?
Oh wow, thank you! Well, it would be amazing to come and visit Japan soon! Japan is on my top list of countries in Asia I would love to visit. It’s just so beautiful. The music and culture are just out of this world, so I will definitely go there the first second I have the chance. Also, I hope you guys would enjoy my upcoming EP as much as I do and I hope we can all hang out soon!
Perplexed and Confused; very puzzled
Release Date:June 30, 2023
The Corner of My Room profile
The Corner of My Room is an indie-pop music project of the Indonesia-based singer and producer Annisa Callystha. Although she just started learning how to produce her own music in early 2020, followed by the release of her first self-produced single ‘25 O’clock’ in September 2020 and an EP ‘All Good!’ in January 2021, the 23-year-old artist’s interest in playing and creating music began at the age of 12 when she picked up her older brother’s guitar and pretended to play and write a song on it. With the perfect combination of her brilliant talent and infectious demeanour, it’s no surprise that her YouTube covers have received attention and praise from internationally celebrated artists such as The Japanese House, Pond, Alvvays, Caroline Polachek, and HAIM. Her single ‘Come Back To Leave’ found the Jakarta-based artist soaring atop the Pophariini Top 10 charts, landing at 2nd place and scoring her a slot on their live performance showcase ‘Irama Kotak Suara’. This showcase, which was held in partnership with the worldwide music distribution service TuneCore, debuted The Corner of My Room’s live band, marking the start of what will certainly become a beloved fixture amidst the indie-pop music scene.
The Corner of My Room is in the midst of releasing her new EP ‘Perplexed and Confused; very puzzled’ which will see a global release on June 30.
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