Yayah Suwiyah: Singing is a Joy, not Just Money


Yayah Suwiyah, left, and her peer Etty, singing a campursari song in a wedding reception in Magelang Municipality, on Sunday (October 16, 2013).


By: Sahrudin – @SahrudinSaja

“Things just would be incomplete without singing. It seems singing has become my joy, not just money.”

YAYAH Suwiyah’s melodious voice flew out her mouth when she was singing Caping Gunung, one of campursari songs.

Campursari is Javanese traditional genre covered in a present-day style, and often accompanied by a blend of gamelan and modern music instruments.

Caping Gunung, literally mountain hat, written by legendary Indonesian singer-songwriter Gesang in 1975, became one of the most requested songs Yayah often got in a wedding reception.

Below is a snippet of Caping Gunung lyric:

Neng nggunung, tak cadhongi sego jagung. Yen mendhung, tak silihi Caping Gunung…
(On the mountain, I provide you corn rice. If it is cloudy, I lend you a Caping Gunung)

Caping Gunung’s melancholy tune, Yayah said, often appeal to both young and older listeners.

Yayah usually sings 10 to 15 songs at a wedding reception.

If there is other singer with her, they sing alternately.

In nearly 30 years as a wedding singer, songs she has gotten the most requests are a mixture of dangdut, campursari, and pops — trends that almost never change.

“Weddings help me meet people from diverse backgrounds and personalities”, said the 48-year-old entertainer, who lives in Kranggan District, Temanggung Regency.

Wedding Singer Magelang

For a wedding reception host, plugging in an MP3 player loaded with various songs into a PA (public address) system might be a pretty practical idea.

But a live, although simple band with two or three wedding singers will encourage people to dance whereas an MP3 player does not.

As she’s just a local artist, she never thought she would have a manager.

“I don’t have (a manager), so I have to do stuff like this”, she said, laughingly adding that she has no enough money to employ a manager.

Sometimes, she previously engaged in a little light conversation to the host about fees before the wedding day.

But from there, friendships are then built.

“I love the process”, she said.

“I like such cordial approach, where the couples and I get to know each other.”

Yayah said she is always ready, and she never reluctant to learn new songs as clients often requesting new ones.

“I probably just need enough time to become accustomed to it”, she said.

But the invitation to sing at the wedding receptions has its ups and downs.

When she was not getting any job offer, she often realizes that singing is her life.

“Things just would be incomplete without singing. It seems (singing) has become my joy, not just money.”***


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