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March 14, 2022

Interview with Sheryl Sheinafia

We had the pleasure of interviewing Sheryl Sheinafia over Zoom video!

Indonesian artist, Sheryl Sheinafia, recently dropped her new song "Earn It".

“Earn It” is an ode to second chances. Insecurity and uncertainty become the main themes for...

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Sheryl Sheinafia over Zoom video!

Indonesian artist, Sheryl Sheinafia, recently dropped her new song "Earn It".

“Earn It” is an ode to second chances. Insecurity and uncertainty become the main themes for "Earn It," as those qualities are the greatest travesty any love has to face.

Sheryl says “The song is my attempt to build a pillar of trust, and understanding— a call for me and my partner to restore our frequencies that have gone adrift.”

This is the video for "Earn It":

With millions of streams and followers; Sheryl is definitely a force of her own in Indonesia, having built a huge fan base throughout the years. She released her debut album in 2013, which charted in Indonesia and led to booking big hosting and acting roles.

In 2017 she released another album, and after having a lot of her songs top the charts; Sheryl realized the momentum she had and decided that this was the right time to take a leap of faith. Releasing songs written in English is an uncommon phenomenon in the Indonesian music scene– yet her single 'Sweet Talk', a full song in English, became her most known project to date. Now she's been releasing English music ever since.

"When I first started, I found that my music has always succumbed to the confines of what is expected in Indonesian pop. As of now, I feel that my music is disarming the norms and otherwise old school expectations. It’s evolved in a way where I am capable of cultivating and fostering my own sound— one that listens to none and is a true reflection of how I want people to perceive my sound." -Sheryl

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#podcast #interview #bringinbackpod #SherylSheinafia #EarnIt #SweetTalk #Indonesia #NewMusic #zoom

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2 (41s): Hello is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieved stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with Cheryl <em></em> over zoom video. Cheryl was born and raised in Indonesia, and she talks about how she got into music. Her uncles and cousins were all pretty well-known musicians in Indonesia. She always looked up to them, but that's not really how she got into music per se. She started off by playing guitar hero and around seven years old, she wanted to learn the guitar, but her parents weren't fully into that quite yet. So there was a security guard that was kind of the security guard for their neighborhood. 2 (1m 22s): And he had a guitar at his security post and after school, she would go learn how to play guitar from him. He show her some chords to this book and she ended up learning, which eventually landed her a guitar for her birthday, from her parents very quickly. Her parents saw a lot of talent in her. She started a band, was the rhythm guitar player and backup singer eventually started her own solo project and recorded a demo in her. Dad would go around to the different labels in Indonesia and shop his daughter around to get her sign. She ends up signing with the biggest major label in Indonesia. She talked about putting a record out actually the first show she did playing little coffee shops, posting songs onto YouTube. 2 (2m 4s): After signing with a label, she was able to get on a television show in Indonesia where she kind of hosted and would play her songs that led her to getting a bunch of roles. As an actress, she scored a bunch of awards as an actress, but decided she really, really wanted to continue to focus on her music. And she started to take that up really seriously. Again, around 2017, she put out a video for the song sweet talk, which went viral. And it's such an incredible video. If you saw it now, you think, oh, this is rad. It came out. You know, maybe the sheer, the thing came out in 2017 in, it looks like Tik TOK videos and just the creativity behind the video is insane. 2 (2m 44s): You definitely need to check out the video for sweet talk. We also talk about the new songs she's releasing. She teamed up with empire records in San Francisco, recorded some songs in 2020, the pandemic hits. So she ends up holding onto songs to are out. Now it's going to be part of a trilogy. The music videos tell the story, the most recent one it's called earn it. And we talk about the trilogy and the meaning behind it. And of course the music videos as well. You can watch our interview with Cheryl on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It would be so awesome if you subscribe to our channel, if you like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and TechTalk at bringing back pod. 2 (3m 26s): And if you're listening to this on Spotify, apple music, Amazon music, Google podcasts, it'd be so amazing if you follow us there as well, and hook us up with a five-star review. 3 (3m 36s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 2 (3m 42s): We're bringing it backwards with Cheryl Shanoff. Yeah. All right, Cheryl. Well, again, thank you so much for doing this. My name is Adam, and this is about you and your journey in music. And we'll talk about the new release as well. 4 (3m 55s): Cool. Thanks Adam. 2 (3m 57s): Of course, not only were we matching in outfits, but I, so this isn't very good thing to be twinsies on, but I saw that you had a herniated disc in your neck. 4 (4m 8s): I do. 2 (4m 10s): So I've had four cervical spine surgeries because of the same exact issues. 4 (4m 19s): No. 2 (4m 21s): Yeah, but mine were, they were herniated, but then it got to the point where the, and I don't want to scare you. Cause if you're doing stretching, I didn't do any of the maintenance to SA to save it. 4 (4m 30s): Mind, 2 (4m 30s): Ended up. And I have degenerate disc. There's some weird medical term that I don't really know my descendant slipping and hitting my spine, like the cord. So I had to get surgery. Yeah. But like reading your post about having to have pain on your arm and everything like, oh man, I like, I feel 4 (4m 48s): For you. 2 (4m 49s): Oh yeah, totally. The same exact thing. It started with my SI no C3 C4. They replaced it. And then the one below it like 4 (5m 1s): Class 2 (5m 2s): Six, they did a, they did a C5, C6 fusion and then C six <em></em> or the next, like, I have a level that's good. And then the next level, that one messed up. So they had to come in through the back and do a, like a laminectomy. And then I had another one in the front. It was brutal. So I've got a lot of, I'm not going to be a neck model anytime soon, but I saw your post and I'm like, oh my goodness. Like, 4 (5m 35s): They're looking great over here though. I mean, I have, I probably have my neck brace somewhere here. I don't know where it is. I've been trying to, you know, guard my posture. And now that you're bringing it up, I'm just going to go. 2 (5m 51s): No, but I'm not trying to scare, like I said, you actually like the fact that you were doing the stretching and the maintenance, like they told me that I'm like, yeah, whatever. And then I just, and then it just got to the point where one failed and then it was two. And then like once you start getting into it, like they're pretty much like, it just kept, it was like a domino effect. 4 (6m 9s): Take you to recover though. 2 (6m 12s): The first, Not the one that was really bad was when they had to come in through the backside, that one took like two or three months. The front was like in a month or month and a half, not horrible, but you can get your, like your Abe it's like night and day when they're, when they finish it, you're like, oh my gosh, I can move my arms. Like, yeah, it's just it's. But it just progressively kept getting worse and it just kept going down and down and down and down. But the fact that you're doing the stretching and all that, and you're able to, you know, I'm sure you could save the disc. So that's all that really matters. That's amazing. 4 (6m 47s): What was your 2 (6m 47s): C5? C6? 4 (6m 49s): I'm on C5. C6. So I'm still in, I'm still coping with the pain. I think the most painful thing is not being able to play my guitar properly as well. Cause every single time I put my arm over my guitar, like I just started having twitches all over my wrist. So I'm still trying to cope with that. I have therapy three times a week and I think the drive from my place to my therapy space is the most gruesome part. Cause I still drive as well. Yeah. And the traffic's terrible. 2 (7m 23s): Oh my gosh. I feel 4 (7m 24s): Like sitting down really hurts too, right? 2 (7m 27s): Oh yeah. So now in like kind of being hunched, so you have to like, like reading posts about standing up and like, like at all, like totally like Keep doing what you're doing because it will definitely save you a lot of pain later down the line. But I didn't think, yeah, I didn't think about playing guitar. Cause I did remember reading that, but yeah. Oh my goodness. It's I definitely feel you, so 4 (7m 54s): Thank you me. So someone more experienced, I guess. 2 (7m 58s): Yeah. I know that's something and it's not something I don't want to be experienced in, but I did read that and I was like, oh my gosh, I have to talk to her about this because it's definitely, yeah. It's not a fun situation to be in by any means. But if you look at, if you went back and looked at interviews of mine from even like the six months ago, I'll be like a lot of them are like a neck brace thing because I was like just out of surgery. Yes. So there's some, some classic ones in there where I'm like, Hey, sorry. Don't mind my neck breasts. 4 (8m 33s): You're able to sit down and you look great 2 (8m 35s): Again. Thank you so much. Well, this is about you. It's on me in my neck surgeries. So first off talk to me about you're born and raised in Indonesia. Is that correct? 4 (8m 44s): Yeah. 2 (8m 45s): Tell me about that. That's so amazing. 4 (8m 48s): Okay. So I I'm born and raised here in Jakarta, which is the Capitol and we, well I've, well, my whole family we've been raised w our, like in English, our father talks to us in English and my mother and Indonesian. Yeah. So we were encouraged to speak in English and I went to an English speaking school tools. So that's kinda how I brought it up, I guess. Yeah. 2 (9m 18s): That's amazing. This is what a lot of people learn in English. Like if people in Indonesia, is that like a big thing to go to school in learn English? 4 (9m 26s): Yeah. I feel like, I mean, with the internet with web three and all, you know, everyone's just kind of coping with the internet really well, and it's pretty much the mother tongue of the web three. So I guess everyone's kind of jumping into that. People learn really quickly too. I mean, no matter where you are in this world, I think we just, you know, everyone's just picking things up really quickly. So yeah. It's no surprise, I guess, for a lot of people here in Indonesia to be speaking in English. 2 (9m 60s): That's amazing. 4 (10m 1s): Yeah. Yeah. 2 (10m 3s): With the, you know, growing up in Indonesia, tell me like anyone in your family musical, or what was the music scene like there? 4 (10m 11s): Oh yeah. Like, well, my, my, my family, no one really plays an instrument. No, one's really in tune with music, but like the, like my cousins and my uncles, they're mainly musicians, but a lot of the people here in Indonesia, I guess we just hear a lot of charts we're in tune to a lot of global, global, you know, streaming services as well. So like, everyone's just listening to everything, especially with people now, you know, we get the choice to hear whatever we want to hear. So yeah. 4 (10m 51s): Well, my background I've always listened to a lot of John Behr. I've always listened to a lot of Sarah Varella and like just anyone in the top charts practically, or the indie charts. I'm really into that. Yeah. 2 (11m 6s): Very cool. And you, you have cousins and uncles that play music as well. 4 (11m 10s): Yeah. They're, they're really great too. I mean, they've been a big influence in my family. They're actually pretty notable here in Indonesia. I think I've met luck to be in that kind of seem to growing up. Yeah. 2 (11m 27s): What'd you go to their shows and stuff like that. They play out and about. 4 (11m 32s): Yeah. But I was pretty much, I was very, I was so shy growing up and sometimes I'm still kind of like an ambivert. So like I would just watch on the sidelines and just, you know, look at them, jam it out. And I kind of came out of my shell around two and nine when my parents would like force me into going into talent shows or just going into cafes and like singing up there. And that kind of, you know, gave me the 2 (12m 7s): More confidence. Yeah. I was going to say, cause you were like on a TV show and being able to host and interact and play and do all these things. Like you didn't sound like you're much of an introvert, but I guess I'm a very introverted person as well. Where like, aside from this, I'm like closed off. I get into conversation with people. 4 (12m 25s): I remember we're ambiverts here. Like it's our job to be able to speak up to people and just interact with people. 2 (12m 31s): Right. I mean, I'm 4 (12m 33s): Talking about the two of us. 2 (12m 34s): No, I know. I, yeah. Makes sense. Yeah. It's 4 (12m 38s): We were on the bed floating around discrimination. 2 (12m 41s): Oh my goodness. Well, when did you get it? When did you start learning how to play music? 4 (12m 48s): So I was around seven when I really liked guitar hero. I don't know if you know that it was all a PlayStation. Yeah. I played a lot of that. And my, my dad encouraged me to, you know, go something, go with something that's more on the academic side, which is being a dentist or being a lawyer, you know, your more conventional path. And I, yeah. And yeah, I really wanted to pursue that. At first as a dentist, I really went down that road into taking science and just try to go for that. 4 (13m 31s): But along the way, I really liked the guitar. I started off from guitar hero and then I realized that I wanted to start playing the guitar, but my parents wouldn't let me go into music lessons. So there was actually this, there was this postcard. So like, I don't know how you say it like a sick, I had like a security guard that it was my security guard, but like, it was for my compound. So it was like a neighborhood security guard 2 (14m 3s): Area. 4 (14m 4s): Yeah. And he actually had a guitar in his post and I would just go there every now and then I was seven at the time. So after going home from the school, I would go over to his place and I would just, he would teach me how to play the guitar. And that's kinda how I picked it up. Cause my parents wouldn't let me take lessons and I didn't have access to any electronics or YouTube or anything at the time. And there were like these chord books that I, I learned from, he taught me how to read them. And that's just kind of how I picked it up at seven. 2 (14m 39s): Wow. And then do you like go home and say, mom and dad, like watch, I can actually play a guitar. You need to buy me one. Like at what point do they give in and let you get one? 4 (14m 49s): I think they realize that it took a while for me to get home after going home from school. Cause I would take a pinched up And then they were like, oh, she's the security guard. Okay. You know what? Let's let's get her home. And not long after that, I think it was a few months after that. My parents got me a guitar for my birthday, for my eighth birthday. And ever since that, I just started encouraging friends at school to start a band and look like characters from guitar hero. So I started having a band, but I was the rhythm guitar and backing vocals. 4 (15m 29s): I was, I was never confident enough to be a lead. And ever since that, I guess I just started to find my way into uploading to YouTube. That's when I, I started having access to laptops and school computers. And I started uploading from there. 2 (15m 47s): Started with the, with the YouTube YouTube then for your original self or for your solo? 4 (15m 52s): Yeah. Yeah. After like, I don't know, three, four years. Yeah. So 2 (15m 59s): A year, was it when you started, because you said in 2009, your, your family was like, you need to get onto like, like a coffee shop stage or, you know, kind of puts you in front of people. When did you like, like what year were you like I guess what year was it when you started posting YouTube and how soon after that? Or was that after or before? When your parents kind of shoved you to performing in front of people? 4 (16m 25s): I, I totally regret telling you the timeline now. Cause like I'm trying to recall it. 2 (16m 31s): No, no, no, no. Okay. I didn't know if like, do you remember what was first though? Do you remember if you played the shows before you did the YouTube videos? 4 (16m 40s): So my, my family found out cause they saw me. They saw me uploading things on YouTube and yeah, they found a YouTube first. Yeah. Now that I'm trying to recall it it's been a while since someone has asked me really quality questions. So like things that make me try to recall things, I don't really remember my timeline these days. 2 (17m 7s): It's all good me either. So you're doing a great job Real quick from the band. Did you, were you writing any of the songs for the band or was it like, okay, I'm just gonna play backup guitar and sing backups. And then when did it click that you wanted to perform and be, you know, the voice of the band? 4 (17m 29s): I never really decided to be the voice of the van. Actually. We had a vocalist, but I had really, I had really ambitious band mates and my vocalist was very concentrated with school. And I'm not saying that I wasn't too concentrated, but I wasn't as ambitious as her in my academy. And I was more into the arts and sports and my drummer actually kept pushing every single band prices. You would be like, Cheryl, why don't you take the lead? Why don't you take the lead in? I fell really bad actually for my vocalist at the same time, but everyone was really supportive of one another. 4 (18m 12s): And I realized that our band practice sessions weren't as efficient as they should be because we would be practicing for like six hours in my car garage. And it was, it was very, it was very inefficient. Cause we only practiced one song for like six hours. We played, we played, I don't love you. Bye. My chemical romance, six hours, 2 (18m 39s): The solid song from Sarah Barelas and John Mayer. It goes straight to my chemical romance covers. Like that's a pretty good one. 4 (18m 47s): Yeah. It was my chemical romance. Paula boy made a parade para, 2 (18m 53s): Oh man. That's like my life right there. All those bands that's I grew up with. I love that. Yeah. 4 (18m 59s): Yeah. It started off with that. And then I guess it just kind of branched out to John Mayer and Sarah, 2 (19m 7s): I was going to say, cause your sound, now isn't very Email pop punky at all, but 4 (19m 16s): Yes, there is a contrast right there. It started off from my band and afterwards we just kind of drifted apart because everyone started moving schools and junior high. And by the time I was in junior high, I actually discovered what I really liked. And I really like John Mayer and I guess he played a huge role into whatever's influencing me and my guitar playing. And he influenced a lot of my song writing as well. Although maybe I haven't really been exploring my sound to that kind of spectrum yet, but maybe in time. Yeah. 2 (19m 55s): Well I like the sound you have now. I mean it's more of a pop R and B or sound. Yeah. I think it fits exactly what yeah, it sounds great With that with, so you wait, did I read you put a record out and like a self-titled record in 2009 ish. 4 (20m 13s): Okay. 2 (20m 15s): But that was before you ended up getting on, on television, right? 4 (20m 19s): Yeah. So it started from that first I was signed into a major label and 2011, I forget it was 2009 or 2011, but it's been 12 years back then. 2 (20m 34s): Did they find, do they find your YouTube videos? Like how did you con get contacted by a major label? It's massive. 4 (20m 41s): So they encounter my YouTube videos at first and it was all I got very, because along the way, my, my, well, my father finally, you know, he made, you know, he compromised and he realized that talent was a huge would take a huge part or entertainment would take a huge part in the future to everyone's lives. And he, I guess he saw something in me that I didn't see in myself at first, but he was very kind to go around different labels and, and just lining up with me to these different record labels and just trying to give my demo. 4 (21m 28s): Cause I started 2 (21m 30s): That's amazing. 4 (21m 31s): He was just being very sweet dad. Yeah. Dad. Cause his point, his point was like, look, Cheryl, if you want to be a musician, I can't fund you because I don't have the money or the connections for it. So if, if you're good enough, someone will sign you. I was like, okay, good level work though. He's like, oh, you'll figure it out. I'll just be your guardian electro mom, be your guardian and just wing it. All right. I'm like, okay. 2 (22m 2s): Wow. So obviously one of them responded or answered your, you know, your dad bringing the demo around and so you get signed to a major label that way. 4 (22m 12s): Yeah. And luckily I was signed to a major label actually the biggest record label here in Indonesia. They're called Lucy go studios. Yeah. They they've been catering to a lot of the pop stars here in Indonesia that are like just legends. I go, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity. Yeah. 2 (22m 33s): Wow. Wow. And did they help you out quite a bit? Like once you signed to that label, was it, did it change anything for you at all? 4 (22m 42s): Yes, of course. I mean after 11 years, no, actually after 10 years I finally got my way around into the industry and just try to know where I wanna go with my sound. And they introduced me to empire records where they finally collaborated and chose me as an artist to publish my song in English and of course, to cater to the global markets. And I guess that's where I was really at luck and I feel really blessed. And I finally got my opportunity to produce and record in San Francisco and empires studio there and meet with producers. 4 (23m 30s): And that's kind of how, I guess we're talking today. Cause I have songs that you heard to. 2 (23m 38s): Yeah, no, that's incredible. What was the song that you recorded in San Francisco? Was that when you released breakout? 4 (23m 46s): Oh, it, it was actually just, it was, it was one recently. I didn't realize that you really broke down into, are you referring to my show, break up or 2 (24m 3s): Break? I was a shell. But before that, you, when you signed to the major label, like, cause there were some years right there. I mean, if you signed in 2011 and then you went to the show break out and then you came back to music, right. 4 (24m 15s): Oh wow. Okay. I didn't, I, I didn't realize that you really look deep into like, I, I'm just really lucky to have you right now, Adam. Like it's, it's very rare for me to actually go around and meet anyone who would interview me and would really do amazing research. That's why I really do appreciate this. 2 (24m 44s): No, it was going to say like, because we jumped now getting me. I am, I lead gently. We jumped ahead. I'm like, wait, okay. Well I just want to, we don't need to spend time on, on the television stuff. I'm just curious because it sounds like, you know, you had a, you had a music career, he gets onto a major label. And then, I mean, I know you did some, either ally to acting and you were hosting this show and like all of this happens, but like 4 (25m 9s): Are 2 (25m 9s): You kind of, 4 (25m 11s): I'm going to follow your timeline? 2 (25m 12s): No, no, no worries. No, I'm sorry. Okay. So you get signed to a major label, they start helping you. What was songs that you that were not in English in the beginning? 4 (25m 22s): Yes. Cause they told me that it wouldn't cater the Indonesian market and to be a musician, I would never succeed to the, to release in English. I was, I was much more comfortable in singing in English. I really wanted to release my, my songs in English and that's kind of what I was used to writing in English and publishing. But yeah. 2 (25m 46s): So with all his music, his studios, they weren't, you weren't putting songs out in English at this point? 4 (25m 51s): No. Okay. 2 (25m 53s): Gotcha. Okay. So from there then how do you get, so you're doing, something's not in English, so it wasn't until recently that you were able to write in English and release songs. 4 (26m 3s): Yeah. It took a while. Adam it's so cold. Well, it was so hard because I mean, of course with working, working with a record label, we have to know that, you know, we have to meet the standards. We have to meet the industry standards. And that was not something I, as a, as a teenager and as someone who just wanted to make music, that's not something I was raised with I guess, or just something that I was used to. I didn't understand business. I didn't know how it works, how the music business works. So I was trying to juggle my thoughts and, and compromise a lot. 4 (26m 44s): And there was obviously my parents wouldn't be the way out because they told me, they gave me a disclaimer at first they were like, look, Cheryl, if I have to fund you in music, I'd rather get you a house. But even that I can't, I I'm just not going to get you a house. I wanted to get you your first degree, but okay. So I had, no, I had no choice. I D I probably did, but I didn't know any better. So at the time they were introduced, there was this show on this channel. Well, basically I had this music show and they asked me to be a guest star to promote my first album because it didn't take off. 4 (27m 26s): Nobody heard the song, no one, like it just did not work out. The first album was a full-on, it was a flop. And I, I started becoming a guest star in this show called breakout and ever since then, I guess everything escalated from there. People started noticing who I was. People started hearing my name, people realize I played a guitar and I sing as well. And I guess I got my chances. Cause it was also a music show to promote my music. 2 (28m 2s): Okay. 4 (28m 3s): Yeah. 2 (28m 3s): From there that's where everything kind of landed when you got, you know, then you're acting and it all kind of gone out of that, that, that role that you had on the television show. 4 (28m 13s): Yeah. I was just, I, I just started having a drape mentality, you know, it was like, let's go, just do everything you like, whatever brings me joy, whatever makes me happy, whatever can help me pay my bills. I'll go for it. 2 (28m 28s): That's amazing. And then to be, to score all these awards, right? I mean, you got a bunch of best female actress. You start winning all these awards for your acting career that you, I mean, you're focused on music. It doesn't sound like you were going for acting as, as a candidate, as a young kid growing up and then to like land in this role that you really, you know, embrace and you'd start killing it in it. Like at what point do you just go? Like, you know what, you know, this is, I mean, maybe you still do acting, I don't know. Do you still act at all? 4 (29m 2s): Yeah. I mean, if there's a good role, I take it. 2 (29m 5s): Okay. But it sounds like you went back and you're like, I'm going to go back to focusing on my music and this is what I'm, you know, what I'm really, truly passionate about 4 (29m 13s): That. That's exactly what I really want to do. Yeah, for sure. 2 (29m 17s): And how do you make that? So when do you decide to do, you know, go back into writing songs and then how does the empire thing tying into changing and you know, not changing, but writing songs in English that they want to help you from? 4 (29m 29s): Yeah. So I actually made the song. I mean, I started working with empire and Lusaka as well. Oh wait, let me, let me rephrase. So I have been an artist for moussaka and was he collaborated with empire and then chose me as an artist to work with empire if that's the case. 2 (29m 53s): So, 4 (29m 54s): Yeah, so that was at 2 20 20, and that was also the same time the pandemic broke. 2 (30m 2s): Oh goodness. Okay. 4 (30m 3s): Yeah. So we actually gathered the songs within a month, producers, you know, they worked so quickly 2 (30m 10s): San Francisco, when you went to San Francisco, this is okay. So in San Francisco to you, is that when you recorded sweet talk as well, or was that a different, 4 (30m 19s): That was a different, that was a different time period actually around 2017. 2 (30m 25s): Yeah, because the video is from 2017 that I watched, which is an incredible video, like talk about being, you know, putting a video out that it's pretty much identical to what not identical, but what Tik TOK is doing now. And then the fact that you did that like three years before tech talk really skyrocketed to what it is now. Like I was watching him, I'm like, oh my gosh, like, this is so brilliant. And that won a bunch of awards too. Didn't it? 4 (30m 54s): Yeah, it was, I was so lucky. I'm really blessed. I had, I have a really great team, I guess. Yeah. I was at luck. 2 (31m 4s): That's amazing. 4 (31m 5s): Thank you. 2 (31m 6s): Was that song recorded then? Just this quick on that, because I mean, that song is massive. 4 (31m 12s): Yeah. I was in LA at the time. I was at luck too. Yeah. So there was actually a collaboration with a brand we were working with and they will, they were asking for producers and I just wanted to try my luck and go like, Hey, what if I make a song in LA? And, and I, and I got hooked up with producers there and, and songwriters there and got lucky enough to have, is track that track. Yeah. But it wasn't actually a first initiation from, I guess, like it wasn't the plan that was built for five years or years, like before, prior to the fall, like it was basically because I got a brand endorsement and it, when we just went for it, you know? 2 (32m 4s): Okay. Okay. Yeah. And then it just blew up in the video. The video's so, so creative, especially for the time period. I mean, wow. Talk about like, just, I was showing my wife, the video, I'm like, look at that, like, you know, this was from 2017 and then you have like the way you're like performing on the grid of your phone and just like how, and like, just so ahead of the time, like if you watch it now, it'd be like, like if it came out this year, it'd be like, oh, this is a really rad video. And it's doing what you know, but like to be doing that before anyway, before Tik TOK and reels and all that other stuff was going on. It's really impressive. 4 (32m 43s): Thank you. 2 (32m 46s): Okay. It's a fast forward here to, okay. So the pandemic hits, are you in San Francisco and that happened or you had already recorded the record? 4 (32m 53s): I was, I was still in the U S at the time and my, yeah. And my label were really concerned with me. Cause I didn't want to go back sooner than the timeframe that was, you know, delivered to me. Cause I thought that I would be able to chase more producers and just write more songs and all of that. But yeah, I had to go back earlier, but thank God we wrapped up a few songs with empire and the moment we came back at 2020, it was just not the best time to release anything at all. Right. I mean, there were a lot of, there were a lot of concerns. 4 (33m 36s): There were a lot of things going on too in the U S there were, there was a pandemic that we should probably focus on and try to figure out what it was. So that's kind of why it was at halt. 2 (33m 48s): Right. And a lot of artists did this similar thing. And especially if they like couldn't really promote it, it was a bizarre time to promote you couldn't go out and perform. Right. I mean, the whole thing got kind of dicey there With like, I'm curious, how long or how difficult was it to leave the United States and go back to Indonesia during the pandemic? And like, how were you able to get out quite quickly? Or was it like, okay, we're stuck. And then San Francisco was, became like a big kind of bubbling point for what was happening with COVID aside from like New York and Seattle. But San Francisco was bad too for a while in LA. I mean, I guess, but was it hard to get out and get back home? 2 (34m 29s): Like, tell me about that. 4 (34m 31s): So I was actually in a timeframe where there were already talks about closing the border From other countries. And I just, I just got the first plane home the next day after you 2 (34m 48s): Cut out. Okay. 4 (34m 49s): Yeah. But I remember transiting in Japan and I couldn't get out of the plane and people were people coming in the plane, they were cleaning it out and everyone just had masks on. So yeah. 2 (35m 4s): W what an eerie time was it? I'm sure it was interesting even going in the airport and everything like, Hey, like what? Yeah, 4 (35m 11s): Yeah. It was really strange. I mean, going on a 20, like I have no idea. It was like 22 hour flight. Cause I had to take transit from different places. Like I went to Japan and I went to this other country and then I went to Singapore and then I went to Indonesia. It was really tiring. But at the same time, I was just like, what is going on with the world? 2 (35m 35s): Not to mention you're stopping in four or five countries. Like, okay. 4 (35m 41s): But at the same time, I was just like, Hey, but I had an amazing production. So a day wouldn't hurt. Yeah. 2 (35m 53s): So then, wow. So you got to hold onto that record for awhile. And recently you ended up releasing earn it. That was not very long ago, right? I mean, 4 (36m 1s): Yeah. Yeah. It was just a month ago. I had, I had a project to, in between that timeframe. I actually released an album called Genevieve. 2 (36m 13s): Oh yeah. In 2000 last year, right. 2020 or 2021. I can't even speak. 4 (36m 18s): Yeah. Yeah. It was, it was actually late 2020 where I started releasing singles because I, I, I think it would be considered to go for this empire project, with the team being in San Francisco and Indonesia at the same time in San Francisco, you, the us was going through so much. I think it would have been inconsiderate. So we started releasing other stuff that would cater to the market here and yeah. After, after Jen Levine and then another year went by. I'm so glad we finally released the songs with empire. Wants your love, earn it. 4 (36m 58s): Yeah. Earn it just came out last month. Yeah. 2 (37m 1s): Wow. W with real quick on Genevieve, was that an album that you recorded in Indonesia or you record that in the states as well? 4 (37m 9s): I, I recorded it Indonesia. Yeah. Wow. 2 (37m 12s): It's different. Is it different recording there versus like a LA or San Francisco studio? 4 (37m 21s): I don't really see the significant difference, I guess. I guess what really makes a difference is the culture, I guess. And the weather, That's it, it was really cool then in San Francisco. Well, for me at least, I mean, here, it's a humid country and I'm already wearing like a sweater 2 (37m 50s): San Francisco for like five years and yeah. In the city, it never gets like above 50. Like it just, you're just kind of enclosed and it's just cold all the time. 4 (38m 0s): I know. So I was, I was freezing. I remember coming into the studio every single time and everyone would ask me why, why are you carrying a, a hot bottle of water? I'm like, aren't you freezing? I can't sing with this weather. I can't sing in the cold. I'm so bad with it. 2 (38m 23s): Hello. So you just want to fill up a water bottle with hot water 4 (38m 27s): All the time. 2 (38m 29s): That's funny. I used to do that as a kid. Like as a little kid, I would fill up a two liter bottle of yeah. And just lay on it when I was like five, four or five years of all. 4 (38m 39s): Yeah. And there's this really good tea that I found at target. It was, it was the throat coat. 2 (38m 48s): Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I know that one. Yeah. Okay. So throw cold water bottles the way. 4 (38m 56s): Yeah. Or just put the throat coat in already In the studio. Yeah. 2 (39m 2s): Amazing. Well, so, and then you did a video also for Erna that I watched earlier, which is an incredible video. Tell me about putting that together. 4 (39m 11s): So Ernie is actually a part of the trilogy that we did with empire and the first single is called mantra love. It was released end of last year and we, it, it starts off about it. It starts off with me stating that I want to be with someone that I just really admire and like, just trying to get loved, just as simple as that, just the fire and ambition and of having someone that I really liked. And just kind of at a point where I'm begging for it, I guess. 4 (39m 54s): I mean, it's, it's kind of demanding. I want your love, like that was the first single right. And the second and the second song, earn it in a music video. It also shares to us that I can't really acquire that love because actually along the way, in the process of being with this guy, I am, I need to earn it because I actually lost his trust along the way that, which brings us back to the first song stating that I, you know, I just really wanted to be in a relationship with him, but no one really knew why I was begging for it. 4 (40m 34s): And in the second song, I'd explained that I actually want to earn his love back because we were kind of like drifted apart in the process. Does that make sense? 2 (40m 44s): No, it totally makes sense. And with, with the, with the first song, one with the first song, did you do a video that coincides with the second video or is it like running into each other? Okay. How about into the first video? So the second video, yeah. Your guys are dancing and then there's like, you know, stars and stuff sparkling around you. Okay. And so now this is the second song of three. So there's like a finale to this, the like the music videos and obviously the song and everything else. Okay. Well, intrigued to see the third one. I love the second one though, obviously. 2 (41m 24s): And now I have to go back when we're done with this call and I'm going to watch first one in the second one. So then I can get up to date on the storyline, But it's an amazing video and amazing songs and I love what you're doing. So good. 4 (41m 38s): Thank you. Thank you. I guess, to wrap it up for, for Earnin itself, it's basically, it's kind of like an ode to, to second chances. I guess that's how I would call it because I feel like this angle hasn't been spoken about so much. And I just feel like, I feel like I've never actually been in a position where I've felt this so strongly to ask for a second chance from someone. And at the time where we were writing the song, I was in a relationship where I CA I was dishonest and I was going through so much that, that I couldn't really cope with the relationship and, and just, you know, go forth with it and be gentle and be kind. 4 (42m 35s): So this song is kinda like a tribute to that relationship, I guess that's where, where I'm going with it. Cause it was heading to a more serious phase. That's why in the second verse, after the chorus there goes, felt like any second you was going to get a ring. I was scared. So I let it come between you and me, I guess that's, that's the angle. And I feel like everyone that has gone through a serious relationship has probably gone with the process of getting together again and then breaking up and then getting together again and, you know, in repeat. 4 (43m 16s): So that's kind of the angle of the song. 2 (43m 19s): Okay. Yeah. I like it very, very creative. And then I have, we have to wait and see how it all unfolds at the end with the third release and it not going to come out like as like a, an EAP or kind of like a concept type project or 4 (43m 35s): It's, it's a trilogy, I guess that's, that's all apps to save right now. Yeah. It's going to be a trilogy. 2 (43m 42s): Does it trilogy? That's all we get. Okay. I get it. I'm excited to hear the last one. I, again, I love what you're doing now and I really, really appreciate your time. Cheryl, this has an awesome and thank you for staying up so late. 4 (43m 53s): Thank you so much. This isn't late. I wouldn't owl. 2 (43m 56s): Okay. That's good. That's good. Well, again, this has been so fun and I really appreciate your time. I have one more quick question. I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 4 (44m 12s): Ooh. Okay. Yeah, I do my best advice for a spare laugh. My best advice for aspiring artists is to have a really great team beside you who values your, who values you and who really would bend over backwards for you because as independent as you are, of course we can't be dependent over nobody, but when it gets into a serious stage, believe me big, get a great team. 4 (44m 55s): And as Taylor would say, get a great lawyer. 2 (45m 1s): I love that. So good. Thank you so much, Cheryl. I, again, I really, really appreciate it. This has been awesome. 4 (45m 8s): Thank you so much. I think one thing that I would add on to that I'm really excited for this year at him. If we ever get the chance to speak again in the near future, I'm, I'm going to be having my own record label actually, after this trilogy, I've after working so many years with a major label and also having this experience with empire as well. I've gotten so much in my time to finally develop my own record label and actually expanding to the web three. I guess that's kind of the angle that I'm going entering the whole by

Sheryl SheinafiaProfile Photo

Sheryl Sheinafia


Indonesian artist, Sheryl Sheinafia, is gearing up to release her next single "Dedicate" on March 18th:

"Dedicate’ is the aftermath of getting back into a groove— the rainbow after the storm. It marks the edge of a new frontier— a newfound togetherness with my partner. From dwelling with our own individual inner demons, it’s now us against the world."

This track is following her January release of "Earn It," which she will be performing for's AAPI month Global Spin Series in May. “Earn It” is an ode to second chances. Insecurity and uncertainty become the main themes for Earn It, as those qualities are the greatest travesty any love has to face.

With millions of streams and followers; Sheryl is definitely a force of her own in Indonesia, having built a huge fan base throughout the years. She released her debut album in 2013, which charted in Indonesia and led to booking big hosting and acting roles. In 2017 she released another album, and after having a lot of her songs top the charts; Sheryl realized the momentum she had and decided that this was the right time to take a leap of faith. Releasing songs written in English is an uncommon phenomenon in the Indonesian music scene– yet her single 'Sweet Talk', a full song in English, became her most known project to date. Now she's been releasing English music ever since. "When I first started, I found that my music has always succumbed to the confines of what is expected in Indonesian pop. As of now, I feel that my music is disarming the norms and otherwise old school expectations. It’s evolved in a way where I am capable of cultivating and fostering my own sound— one that listens to none and is a true reflection of how I want people to perceive my sound." -Sheryl

Though best known for her outstanding talent in music, her professions also include being a former host for TV specials, as well as an actress in critically acclaimed local masterpieces. She first made her debut in the creative industry through music, releasing a self-titled album in 2013– an album home to some of her hit songs such as ‘Bla Bla Bla’ and ‘Rasa Sunyi’. The success of her music career landed her in filling a spot as a host for a music related talk show called ‘Breakout’ for Indonesian television station, NET. TV. Alongside music and hosting, Sheryl also found herself doing work for the big screen, landing leading roles in Indonesian blockbusters such as ‘Koala Kumal’ and ‘Galih & Ratna’. Not only did she have a film career garner box office success, but also showered in accolades and prestige. Her roles in both films won various awards, including ‘Breakthrough Actress of the Year,’ for Koala Kumal, and a nomination for ‘Indonesia’s Best Female Actress’ for her performance in ‘Galih & Ratna’.