Cinta Laura Kiehl shares slick dance practice video for ‘Markisa’

Acclaimed Indonesian actress turned pop singer, Cinta Laura Kiehl, shares a slick dance practice video of her new single ‘Markisa’.

She says: “This dance video was actually shot two weeks prior to the filming of Markisa’s official music video. It was an impulsive last minute decision on my behalf to shoot our final rehearsal in order to be able to show my fans how much work we had put into the choreography. Given the fact that I knew that a lot of the choreography was not going to be seen in the music video, I felt that it was necessary to create a dance video showcasing the amazing moves my choreographer, Sandree Ha, had created. Overall my dancers and I had close to 30 hours of rehearsal time. Believe it or not, we all wore double masks during rehearsals to ensure everyone’s safety. It was tough, but we pulled through! I am so proud of each and every one of us!”

She goes on to add: “Prior to the making of Markisa’s choreography I had informed Sandree of the importance of creating a signature/catchy move for the song’s chorus so that people could follow along. I also felt that it was necessary to integrate some sort of Indonesian traditional dance into the bridge section. As you can see, Sandree was inspired by Papuan movements, which ended up looking great in both the dance and music video! This dance video in particular was shot in under an hour! Nonetheless, I am so happy that we managed to make it look super well thought out! I hope that people watching it can appreciate the art that my dancers and I have worked so hard to bring to life.”

For Cinta, markisa (passionfruit) is not only a fruit, but also an inspiration for her latest single. The use of ‘markisa’ for its song title has its own story. “It’s a common knowledge that several pop songs consist of one word describing passion, which then leads me to passionfruit. However, it would sound strange if I sang passionfruit repeatedly throughout the chorus. Therefore, I use markisa that can also be pronounced as Ma Kiss ah, adding flirty element to this song.”

She did not work on this song by herself, as she had help from Eka Gustiwana along with her team, Melissa Sudarsono and Ganzerlana. “Melissa helped me in songwriting process, which took only about two hours. Meanwhile, for the recording process, I was helped by Eka as producer and Ganzerlana who recorded Indonesian musical instruments for this song. Since Sony Music gave me creative freedom, I was able to create Markisa the way I wanted.”

As she finished the demo on mid-April, Cinta proceeded to recording process, with additional help from Kamga and Dhandy Annora for mixing process. “I started recording on May and it only took five hours with help from Kamga as my vocal coach. Mixing and mastering process took longer time because I am very meticulous when it comes to detail, so it got revised a lot. It was a quite frustrating moment for me, as I had to go back and forth to the studio to get the music exactly the way I wanted. I even listened to this song through ten different loudspeakers to make sure that the quality was identical. The whole process took two months in total.”

What sets this apart from other singles by the Columbia University graduate is that Markisa presents a new Bollywood-style music. “If I’m being honest, I’m trying to mix different genres in this single. There is Bollywood, dancehall, and pop. The melody itself is based on my obsession with new age Bollywood. As producer, Eka was able to render my concept and inspiration sucessfully into tunes that I wanted.”

Apart from the Bollywood style, Cinta also includes Indonesian culture to her song through traditional musical instrument, among which are Minang lute, saluang and sarunai, Borneonese sape and vocal, dangdut drum, and Sundanese drum. “I think the youth needs to promote Indonesian culture through pop music to show the public that traditional instruments are cool and perfect for modern music as well. It is time for us to show the world that Indonesian instruments can be catchy and iconic.”

Markisa is Cinta’s first single in 2021. Her previous single, Cloud 9, was released on April 2020. “I have wanted to release another single since August last year, but I believe everything happens for a reason. I am sure there is a good reason why now is the perfect time to release a single.”

The three words that best describe this song is fresh, juicy, and flirty. “It is fresh because it attracts attention. It is juicy because it makes us confident and want to dance. It is flirty

because it can be interpreted in many ways. I hand over the visualization to the listeners. It is up to them what they want to imagine or hear.”

With such amount of elements included in the song, both local and international, Cinta wishes Markisa is well-received among her listeners. “I hope many people enjoy this song, appreciate my hard work and dedication, and also be proud of our own local culture. I want Markisa to be an iconic single that can lift up everyone’s spirit, as well as make them happy and celebrate life.”