My Jakarta: Kevin Wibowo, Video Musician
Kevin Sanly Putera
You might have heard of Sinta and Jojo, the YouTube duo made famous by their infectious cover of the dangdut tune ‘Keong Racun’ (‘Poisonous Snail’). Some people said the two had merely found a funny way to pass time, while others thought they were showing off their fine singing voices.
Kevin Wibowo, 20, is doing something similar. When he’s not in his college classes, Kevin, a design major, spends his time making videos of well-known songs. He says he does it to showcase his talent rather than to kill boredom.
You direct your own music videos — what’s the most number of retakes you’ve had to do for one video?
It once took me about 20 takes to do a single cover video. This is my record and it is one that I don’t want to break. The problem at the time was that I was trying to sing and play guitar simultaneously. It’s tough to try to carry a tune while still remembering the lyrics and concentrating on playing the guitar. It is as hard as when you are covering the song with a real band, which I prefer to do.
Since I try to complete songs in a single take, I have to make sure it is perfect from start to finish. But sometimes I just get too tired to give it another try and just go with it. But I think that my videos aren’t that bad, although they are not that good either. As long as they are ear-friendly, it is not a problem.
Has this online gig become a routine?
Not yet. Boredom has been my greatest motivator, alongside some really good songs. I always make my cover videos in whatever clothes I have on at the time, sometimes even in my pajamas [laughs]. In the future, I will try make this into a more serious routine.
Is this just some trend-based, short-term impulsive act to gain online fame?
I have been doing this for almost two years now, with around 20 videos under my name. The genre spans from pop to R&B to jazz to groove. I have about 120 subscribers and a few hundred more people have given me 38,000 views. Those are the facts. Let’s let the viewers answer that question.
But it has to be about fame, right? The question is, how serious are you about performing at your best?
I might say its about recognition. Increasing the number of viewers means a wider scope of exposure. This may lead to new relationships and job opportunities, especially in music.
Meeting fellow video-sharing singers is fun too. And it’s always great to get to know many more people. All of this was started by curiosity after seeing some of my friends doing the same thing. Besides, singing is my hobby, and trying to do this doesn’t cause any harm.
So far, do you have many fans?
I can’t say I have [laughs]. But because of my videos, I have more followers on Twitter. Many of them mention me, and thankfully they say good things about my voice. I think that’s a start.
What does your family have to say about this hobby?
My parents and some of my relatives have seen some of the videos. And they are happy knowing that I am sharing my hobby with the world.
But my dad said that I needed to make better videos. That I should put in a little more preparation time and use better equipment.
What do you think is the most important thing in recording a cover video?
The usual preparation, including the music, the lyrics, your voice and facial expressions. You want to have good equipment to have good audio and video quality. You do not want the overall music quality compromised because of a blurry camera and a lousy microphone.
Any harsh comments in your online feedbacks?
There was one. A stranger once gave my video a rude, demoralizing comment. Of course these things break you sometimes, but I tried to see past the comment. If it makes sense, I will take it as advice for a better video. It is still a lesson, regardless of how rude it is.
What do you think about spreading a non-singing self-recorded videoto gain fame?
I have no problem in expressing myself in an appropriate forum. I am doing it by singing. Some do it with their videos. I notice that some people do weird things to get attention and be famous. In a general way, I feel pity for those who make videos for instant fame without it being related to any of their real talents.
What have you achieved so far?
One of my videos was used by Indosiar on its show ‘Histeria.’ The program was talking about the girl band trend in Indonesia. Many people covered the band’s song and my video was played there. Another of my cover videos, of ‘This Road,’ was shown during the ‘Indonesian Idol’ audition stage.
Kevin Wibowo was talking to Kevin Sanly Putera.
Visit Kevin’s website at youtube.com/user/kevinbabehh or follow him on Twitter @kevinbabeh.