Voice of Baceprots (VoB) is breaking almost every single stereotype associated with heavy metal. The Indonesian Hijabi schoolgirl rock band’s symbolic contradictions turned them into an Internet sensation overnight.
Long gone are the days when Firdda Kurnia, Widi Rahmawati and Euis Siti used to practice in music class or after school with their music teacher. They now perform at graduation ceremonies and music festivals, and over half a million people have watched and shared their videos online.
“We chose metal music because it is the music of rebellion,” said Ezra Satia, their music teacher-turned-manager. “Many people think metal music is satanic but we are showing that there is a different shade, a different side to the music,” he added. The girls of VoB have received heavy media coverage for using their loud music to combat misconceptions against Muslim women, who are often perceived as silent or submissive. But perhaps their transformation from a schoolgirl band into role models with a purpose in a Muslim-majority country is the ultimate success story.
The talented teens are no strangers to getting bullied or dealing with hate. Indeed, the girls were heavily criticized within their conservative Muslim community in West Java, Indonesia, but the controversy did not make them shy away from the scene – it inspired them! The oppositions and prejudices that the band faced helped inform their songs, which tackle social and moral issues. A video of their hit song “The Enemy of the Earth is You” has generated over 100,000 views on YouTube and six times more views on Facebook.
“We found ourselves in the music,” Firdda Kurnia explained. She believes that heavy metal has given her and her band mates a sense of strength and purpose to stand against stereotypes and recurring prejudice.
The attention the girls have been receiving has not shaken their beliefs. Earlier this month, they rocked the stage in Jackarta, screaming their lungs out and hopping across the stage while remaining committed to their fast during the holy month of Ramadan, proving that Islam and metal can indeed match. If that isn’t dedication, we don’t know what is!