Reading the Ambyar Generation: New Dangdut and Communication Problems

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The Ambyar generation is closely related to the famous indonesian keroncong dangdut singer named Didi Kempot. The popularity of Didi Kempot has occurred in recent years. It has changed the image of dangdut music which is considered “villager.” Nowadays dangdut changed into a genre that is popular across generations and across segments. This is Didi Kempot’s second popularity after the popularity of his first era in the 80-90s.

Didi Kempot, nicknamed the Godfather of Broken Heart, has songs that generally have a broken heart theme. Even so, the feeling of heartbreak can actually be enjoyed and can be celebrated by dancing. Didi Kempot also took part in popularizing the word “ambyar” to represent feelings of heartbreak.

“Didi Kempot was the first to link how ‘ambyar’ is to represent us: pieces, a broken heart, a heart that hurts to tell stories,” said Michael HB Raditya, speaker in the discussion “Reading the Ambyar Generation: New Dangdut and Communication Problems” on Thursday, 27 May 2021. Nadim Communications UII, the Center for Alternative Media Studies and Documentation (PSDMA), held this discussion online and broadcast live by Uniicoms TV (the first online TV at UII).

New Dangdut and Its Problems

The popularity of Didi Kempot’s songs with the theme of heartbreak made many young dangdut singers follow this style and gave birth to what Michael calls “New Dangdut.”

According to Michael, the characteristics of the new dangdut are the dominating broken heart lyrics. Not to mention that they also have the awareness to make their own music. In addition, other characteristics are the charm of young people who continue to be built, as well as the making of simple but powerful video clips.

“But there are two problems in the new dangdut. First, this is pop music, the opposite of pop music is boredom. How is the sustainability of this new dangdut,” said Michael.

“Whether the dangdut era will continue or will it be temporary, and secondly, there is no new innovation in the new dangdut itself,” said Michael, who is the founder of the Dangdut Studies Center and also a musician at the dangdut band named Jarang Pulang.

The new dangdut has changed a lot of dangdut music culture. Male singers are becoming more common, and also audiences are free to cry while listening to heartbreak songs. Music are also widely distributed digitally. The image of dangdut has also changed. It is changed from music that is considered “village” to contemporary music that can be enjoyed by anyone. Instantly shifting the popularity of old dangdut a la Rhoma, Meggy Z, to a new wave of ‘ambyar’ dangdut. It is now contemporary and identically to Didi Kempot’s style: Congdut/ Keroncong Dangdut.