Jakarta, CNN Indonesia —
Once Mekel refused to be labeled expensive by Ahmad Dhani. However, he understood Ahmad Dhani’s assessment, so he was not involved in the next Dewa 19 tour.
Once admits that he is rarely able to perform with Dewa 19. Once feels a bit reluctant because Dewa 19 already has three vocalists referring to Virzha, Ello and Ari Lasso.
“It’s that simple. It doesn’t mean it’s expensive (paid price) or what. In my opinion (Ahmad Dhani’s words) are reasonable,” Once said when met in the Lebak Bulus area, South Jakarta, Friday (31/3).
“It means that this is our choice, whether we want to continue to be in Dewa’s show or not. Moreover, I’m no longer a member of Dewa 19. I think there should be freedom, sometimes playing, sometimes not.”
After about 11 years joining Dewa 19, in 2011 Once chose to leave and have a career as a solo singer. He has released a number of singles and albums such as Once (2012), Intrinsic (2015) and Sigma (2023).
Appearing with Dewa 19, he admits, is not an easy thing. According to Once, apart from being called a legendary band, Dewa 19 also always has a large audience. Vocalists, he said, must have consistency so preparation must be really thorough.
“I confide in a little. Being a vocalist in the band Dewa is not easy. Dewa is a rock band with slightly pop tones. That’s why girls like it, boys like it. Girls like the melodies, boys like the energy,” he said.
Dewa 19’s vocalist, he continued, was required to be able to sing pop and rock songs. You also have to be able to sing with loud energy but in a gentle way.
“That’s difficult. We sing only pop songs, or not, just rock as well,” he added.
Meanwhile, you also have to be physically fit to maintain performance plus a series of songs that are full of challenges.
Previously, Ahmad Dhani had banned Once from singing Dewa 19 songs. This ban became the culmination of their dispute for several months, especially after the concert at JIS last February.
This ban was imposed for the smooth running of the Dewa 19 tour. The plan is for the tour to be held after Eid twice a week.
“I look after the muruah of the Gods, I also maintain the purity of the Dewa concerts which we hold after Eid twice a week,” said Ahmad Dhani in Pluit and uploaded on YouTube on Tuesday (28/3).