IMAGINE INDONESIA: Ras Muhammad Indonesian Reggae Ambassador

This is the first in a one-to two-part series of posts about Indonesian Dreamin.’ It (indirectly) addresses the question: So just how big a dreamer is this Ras Muhammad, self-styled “reggae ambassador”?

This is not the first time we’ve covered Indonesian reggae. Instead, it’s a phat, fresh Whiteboard Journal interview with self-styling’ Ras Muhammad, ambassador to and from Indonesia, with emphasis on the self and the stylin’.

Great interview covering Ras’ early career in New York and how he got signed by Don Fury. I like the use of English subtitles which allows Ras Muhammad to lapse into Indonesian. It would even cooler if we could get it translated going the other direction, into Indonesian.

A lot of Indonesian musicians got their start overseas. In fact, Indonesians often say that no one pays attention to artists in Indonesia until they’ve got a following in US, Holland, etc.

And so following are a couple questions that Whiteboard Journal forgot to ask Ras Muhammad, to which I have conveniently provided my own clear, consistent answers.

Whiteboard Journal: So just how big a dreamer is this Ras Muhammad character?

Ras Muhammad: Hehe. Well, think of it this way. If you could do and be anything or anyone you wanted — you know — and just where would you go with that? OK, that’s you. Me, I’m Ras Muhammad, Reggae Ambassador.

Whiteboard Journal: I guess my final question would be, so you got your start in New York and even had this, you know, unlikely experience of being one of the only — or let’s say, one of the first — Indonesians to share a label with Gorilla Biscuits. And so you’ve moved on from there . .  . to your present post as, you know,  [Indonesian] reggae ambassador [to Indonesia].

Ras Muhammad: Uh huh.

Whiteboard Journal: So just, exactly how does that work. How did that happen?

Ras Muhammad:Uh, well, I spent some time in New York.

Whiteboard Journal:Thank you.


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