FOLKATIVE SESSION “PASSIONACTION”: How Mantra Vutura And Ningrum Syaukat Decided To Live With Their Passion | Article by Indie Accent

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FOLKATIVE SESSION “PASSIONACTION”: How Mantra Vutura And Ningrum Syaukat Decided To Live With Their Passion

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Folkative announced their very first live interpretation of Folkative Session which held last Friday (1/11) at Queens Head, Jakarta Selatan. The theme for the first live event of Folkative Session revolves around how one should discover their passion, put them into practice and turn that passion into action. For the debut of #FolkativeSession, Mantra Vutura and Ningrum Syaukat will discuss about how they turned their passion into action and at the end of the talk show, they will showcase their core message through an exclusive collaborative performance.

Mantra Vutura is a musical duo formed in Jakarta consisting of Zaki and Tristan who shared a mutual passion for music. Mantra Vutura delivers its music by incorporating house music with traditional cultures such as traditional chantings and percussions. Their debut studio album “Solar Labyrinth” was released in 2017. In 2019, they released their sophomore album “Human” through Double Deer Records where they experimented with new genres and featured musicians such as Danilla Riyadi, Agatha Pricilla and Bam Mastro.

Ningrum Syaukat has been teaching and dancing for nineteen years, pursuing her passion in dancing and helping others. She attended Namarina, one of the oldest ballet schools in Jakarta where she took classes in ballet, modern dance and traditional dance. In 2007, She became the first female dancer with tattoos on exposed body parts in the modern dance community. She shatters the stereotype of what female dancers are traditionally expected to dress like and break through traditional boundaries with her originality.

In this session, they discussed about how they can inspire many people with their success in discovering their passion and their decision to consistently undergo the choices that they have chosen. We have the chance to cover their inspirational discussion between the two which happened at Folkative Session last week.

How did you begin to dive into this world / discover your passion?

When she first started her career, Ningrum Syaukat did not get a lot of support from her family and some of her closest friends. In fact, her father wanted her to become an athlete. However, there was a point in time where her father enrolled her in a dance studio, this was due to the fact that her mother had left them both, so her father wanted Ningrum to be in a community that was surrounded by women.

“Jadi bokap gue sengaja kursus-in ke singgar tari karena disanalah satu2nya tempat biar gue bisa merasakan kasih sayang/merasakan tuntunan seorang perempuan.”, Ningrum stated.

Ningrum's desire to dance reached its peaked when she started junior high school, when she saw her sibling who often practiced cheerleading in their garage. “Disitu gue bahkan sampe mikir gue pengen banget masuk sekolah kakak gue cuma buat masuk ke ekstrakulikuler nari tersebut. Padahal kalo misalkan dari sisi akademik sih gue gamungkin bisa masuk ya.”" said Ningrum.

Unlike Ningrum, Tristan Juliano was born into a family of musicians. However, this did not become an obstacle for Tristan to step out of the shadows from the success of his parents as he was able to produce works of music in their own color. The process of developing this passion for Tristan Juliano began in his youth, when he started to practice playing the piano. "Awal mula main piano gue selalu dijejelin materi piano klasik, yang sampai saat ini menurut gue juga mempengaruhi permainan piano gue. Namun, semenjak di Mantra Vutura gue coba untuk memperlebar karakter musik gue, men-discover banyak jenis musik yang justru tidak ingin dicampuri oleh bokap. Ya, ini mungkin yang namanya passion, akan terus berkembang seiring berjalannya waktu.", Explained Tristan.

Similar to Tristan’s story, Zaki has a father who is very fond of the music world. This made Zaki used to the entire process of travelling from one music concert to another. " Jujur bokap gue juga dulu sebenernya punya keinginan untuk punya sebuah band, tapi dulu mungkin kesempatannya ngga sebesar seperti yang gue dapetin sekarang. Selagi ada kesmpatan gue akan terus konsisten dengan keputusan ini menjalani passion yang gue miliki yaitu bermusik,”, "said Zaki.

Tristan and Zaki finally met each other when they went to the same campus, and because of their interest in the same music, they joined the Double Deer label, and later formed Mantra Vutura.

How do you know if the potential that you possess is a form of passion?

For Tristan, music is something that cannot be separated from his life. "Kalo misalkan sehari tanpa musik tuh gue ngerasa kayak ada yang kurang” continued Tristan.

For Tristan, as a matter of fact, determining whether something is our passion is to identify whether we can really be separated from it or not. " Mungkin kita bisa melakukan beberapa aktivitas bersamaan, tapi pasti ada satu aktivitas yang benar2 nempel di kita, dan kita menganggap aktivitas lainnya itu hanyalah sebagai sebuah hobi.” explained Tristan.

In contrast to Tristan, since his early childhood, Zaki only had two activities which he considers as a passion. Music and soccer were the two activities that Zaki could not separate himself as a child, moreover he was a hard-core Manchester United fan. However, there were moments where he prefers music over soccer. “Karena gue ngeliat badan gue yang ngga mumpuni, jadi gamungkin gue akan bisa jalanin passion gue yang bola. Jadi musiklah yang gue ambil”, Zaki remarked.

Ningrum herself realized that dancing was her passion, with the help of her dance tutor who was guiding her. Ningrum explained that in traditional dance, there are several levels or steps that must be met and that normally takes more than a year to for all of these levels to be completed. Meanwhile, Ningrum was able to complete all of her levels in a short amount of time and she was the only person at that time who could complete all of her levels in the shortest time and youngest age “Dari situlah guru gue tau kalo gue memiliki bakat untuk menari”, Ningrum continued.

What are the obstacles that they face when living your passion and how do they continue to carry out with their passion?

They have acknowledged that the biggest obstacle was their parents, who often questioned the seriousness of the two members from Mantra Vutura in music. Their background of business education in college, gives both of their parents the outlook to explore the business that is being run by Tristan and Zaki now. However, they believe, that their passion can lead them to true success. “Buktinya apa? Ya, album Mantra Vutura sekarang

In addition, there is also the negative comments that people say that became one of their challenges. This duo has a genre that people often considers as "niche" or in other words, they have a specific market / audience. A lot of negative comments cause people to lose motivation and drop, but these negative comments actually motivates Mantra Vutura even more.

"Justru di album kedua ini, kita ingin kasih lihat kalau misalkan musik kita bisa berkolaborasi dengan musisi-musisi seperti Danilla Riyadi, Bam Mastro, dll yang dimana punya market yang cukup besar.” explained Mantra Vutura.

By collaborating with several musicians, Mantra Vutura does not mean to make some kind of “statement”, but they do it to show that with two different things unite can grows to develop a new creation. Mantra Vutura believes that if their intentions in music are good, then surely the universe will also provide the best for them.

The negative comments became one of the challenges faced by Ningrum Syaukat as well, moreover she was the first traditional dancer to have a tattoo. In fact, the first time Ningrum wanted to learn the Javanese dance, she was rejected by the community because her body was covered in tattoos. As she was disapproved, she eventually learned the Javanese dance by watching several videos from the internet.

Sampai akhirnya ada orang yang melihat gue menari Jawa, dia bilang “kenapa ngga masuk sanggar tari aja? Kamu ini berbakat loh.” In addition to what people say, many also doubt that Ningrum Syaukat can carry out a profession as a dancer. Even her dance tutor had mentioned the same thing to Ningrum.

Bisa bayangin ngga sih elo, elo nari di suatu sanggar tari dan punya keinginan untuk menjadi penari, tapi guru elo disaat yang sama malah bilang kayak gitu. Disitu gue ingin meyakinkan dan membuktikan kepada diri sendiri, bahwa apa yang menjadi keraguan sebagian orang belum tentu benar. Sebagai upaya menghindari patah semangat akibat makan pendapat orang mentah-mentah. Prinsip gue saat itu adalah menari dengan jujur, harus membuka diri atas ilmu di dunia tari dan percaya selalu ada jalan keluar.” Ningrum continued.

Ningrum Syaukat also experienced a moment where she was being doubted to fulfill her needs due to her profession as a dancer. Moreover, she was also encouraged to pursue a career as a flight attendant by her family. With respect to her family, she convinced them that for 10 years as a dancer, she can live properly well and be financially independent.

Have you ever been tired or bored when carrying out your passion?

Tristan and Zaki did not deny that boredom sometimes arises when fulfilling their passion. However, they believe that they are already at that stage where they have actually reached the level they aspire to reach to, and it's time they raise their levels to eliminate that tiredness. “Ibarat kata laptop, pasti laptop akan panas jika kita pakai berulang kali. Jadi sesekali kita harus mengistirahatkan laptop tersebut, coba untuk melakukan aktivitas2 lain agar laptopnya kembali dingin. Lalu kemudian jika sudah dingin baru laptopnya kita pakai lagi .” Tristan and Zaki stated.

Ningrum also agreed with Mantra Vutura, as there was a point of time where she felt bored for doing the same thing over and over. But she remembered the story and the sentence from her father, which made her, until now, believe that what she did is a passion that has to be fulfilled. It all started when Ningrum wanted to say goodbye to her father because at that time he would appear live on a television show. Before leaving, Ningrum had said to her father, “Bosan yah, Ningrum capek.” Suddenly, her father put down the newspaper that he was reading, and responded, “Inget ngga ketika ayah ajarin kamu berenang waktu itu? Bayangin deh kalo misalkan saat itu ada beban 50kg di kaki kamu. Terus apa yang bakal kamu lakuin?

Ningrum answered, “Yauda aku berusaha nendang-nendang kaki aku di kolam, biar aku bisa muncul di permukaan, kalo misalkan udah gue akan ke samping kolam, terus gue lepasin bebannya.” “Nah yauda lakuin itu.” The father responded. From there Ningrum realized that boredom would not be an obstacle for her and would never knock her down “Nikmati ketidaknyamanan, kejenuhan dalam bekerja agar bisa berpikir lebih tenang. Lihat kesempatan lain diluar rutinitas, hingga merespon ketidaknyamanan dari orang lain sampai menemukan jalan keluar dari suatu masalah (kebosanan). Dan yang terutama adalah menjadi lebih bersyukur. ”, Ningrum added.

Why did the two of you decided to collaborate?

For Tristan and Zaki, this was an honor because from the first time they formed Mantra Vutura, they really wanted to have dancers or painters in each of their stage acts. At this point the universe finally gave them the opportunity to collaborate with Ningrum Syaukat. The same was felt by Ningrum Syaukat, where this was the first time she collaborated with musicians. From this collaboration, Ningrum also got a lot of new perspectives in order to live with her passion.

So this is a collaboration that unites two different things into one unique collaborative performance. And hopefully, the collaboration of music and dancers can further inspire the audience present to be able to make decisions and carry out their passion.