Jakarta-based alt-pop band Casté might have only released three singles to date, but each track possesses its own unique sound that’s almost refreshingly dreamlike.
The three singles are; Vacation, Angel Dust, and most recently, Bermula, an Indonesian language track.
We decided to pop Casté an email to find out more about the band, its journey in the Indonesian music scene, and its plans for the future.
Hey guys! First up, how do you pronounce Casté?
Casté is pronounced ‘kas-tey’. Some people often read it wrong and mostly they would say ‘kasst’ even though we put the apostrophe on the word E.
Can you share with us how Casté was formed and the inspiration behind the band’s name?
So the band was formed in July 2018, when I, Ikalya Arnika (vocals), decided to join the band. It started when Rahardika Ranma (guitar) called me in the morning and then in the evening he picked me up at the airport (i just landed in Jakarta from a short vacay) and kind of kidnapped me to his studio. He told me that his brother wanted to talk to me about something but not music.
When we were on the way to the studio, he asked me to join his band and I was kind of shocked cause at that moment I was still in a band with my high school mates. Before Casté was formed, the boys (Rahardika, Raden Naufal, and Farhan Pamungkas) had already been in a band together. It’s quite funny that Naufal (bass) used to be the vocalist and Rahardika (guitar) used to be the bassist. Farhan.. well he’s always been the drummer for the band.
Also fun fact, me and Rahardika are a long-time best friend. We’ve been friends since elementary school and this was the first time we formed a band together. We also uploaded some videos of us singing and him playing the guitar on YouTube.
How old are you guys and where are each one of you based?
We were all born in 1999 except for our bassist, Naufal. He was born in 2000 making him the youngest member of the band. In conclusion, if we were in Las Vegas and wanted to enter the casino, he’d be kicked out cause he is not yet 21 years old. We basically live in the same area so it’s easy for us to rehearse and make music. We live in the eastern part of Jakarta.
What/who influences your music?
We listen to a lot of musicians across genres but if we could name some that have the most impact on what we’re doing right now, it would be Tom Misch, J Dilla, D’Angelo, Herbie Hancock, Hayley Williams, and Coldplay.
What’s it like to be an up-and-coming alt-pop band in a country such as Indonesia? How challenging is it to get noticed in a country with a population of 273 million people?
We’d say that it is pretty challenging because aside from making songs we gotta learn how to promote our music in the right way, basically the marketing, and so far we enjoy it.
It’s certainly not easy to be performing at one of Indonesia’s biggest music festivals. How did you guys make this happen?
It was Meranoia Festival in 2019, we got to play on the main stage. It was such an honor for a band like Casté to be able to play at a music festival. At the moment, we only have one song released which is “Vacation” but then it’s amazing to see people singing along to our song at the festival. We really appreciate it.
What inspired the ‘Angel Dust’ track?
The inspiration for Angel Dust is from our vocalist’s past toxic relationship and we added some things that could possibly make the song more dramatic. Like the song title itself, “Angel Dust” hahaha. Just a tiny shift of perspective of seeing an intoxicated love.
You guys have been extremely busy working on your upcoming album. Can you share more about it?
Yes, we’ve been working hard for our debut album. Mostly doing the work from recording to mastering the track from home aka the band’s basecamp aka our guitarist’s home studio. Well… this album is set to be released sometime this year. Stay tuned!
All images in this post were supplied by Casté