Following the release of her new album, Can’t Speak English, we spoke to Indonesian hip-hop queen Ramengvrl to find out what started it all.

Hip-hop queen of Indonesia, Ramengvrl, has finally unveiled her new album Can’t Speak English. Released just last week, the ten track album contains lit collaborations with Ted Park, Pyra, euro, Sihk, and Inayah.

With drop beats, punching (in your face) colours, and lyrics that leave us “gasping for more”, it is no surprise the Indonesian music artist is taking her meteoric rise further than ever.

Also read: Indonesian hip-hop queen Ramengvrl unveils her debut album ‘Can’t Speak English’

We are particularly taken in by tracks like the fiery ‘Vaselina’, the texturally beautiful, encapsulating and moody “The Emo Song” as well as the slightly more London pop-sounding ‘Foreign’.

Indeed, what makes all her songs even more formidable in the current music scene, is her empowerment and strength not only as a great rapper, but also as a female one from Asia. 

Recently, we interviewed Ramengvrl to find out more about her music and how it all started.

AL365: Hi Ramengvrl, Vanessa here from Asialive365. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Congrats on the new single. We’re loving the Latin vibes. What was it like working with euro on ‘Vaselina’?

Ramengvrl: Thanks Vanessa! It was kinda surreal actually. So I was in the studio about to wrap up for the day, and then Ghazi (founder of Empire) told me that this “dope rapper under Lil Wayne’s Young Money” would come into the studio too so maybe we can link up. Then he came in and we were just vibin’ til he showed me this beat and it was like an ‘aha!’ moment. So we did the beat, the lyrics just kinda flowed with it, and we wrapped it up in like 3 hours. Kinda crazy.

AL365: We understand that this is also your official debut under US-based outfit EMPIRE. Where do you see yourself going from here?

Ramengvrl: Definitely a lot more international releases and features. I’m just super excited ‘coz it’s gonna be next level from here on.

AL365: Beside this new single, do you have any plans to collaborate with other artists in the future?

Ramengvrl: Of course! I got a new song out now it’s called “Look At Me Now” with Ted Park whom I’m a big fan of. And I can’t tell you yet but definitely expect some more dope features 🙂

AL365: What sort of music did you listen to when you were younger and how did your love for hip hop come about?

Ramengvrl: Honestly? Pop music. Like Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne pop. Then in high school I was introduced to Kanye West and then it just kinda snowballed from then on. I’ve always thought that rap was all about the blings, the weed, the bitches, guns and all that but I was wrong all this time—rap is the perfect medium to express who I am, and being kind of a “rebel” in my family and I guess the conservative Indonesian society, I just resonate with hip hop culture a lot. It encouraged me to just be who I am and that there’s nothing that can stop me.

AL365: There are such empowering messages in your music and your strength not only as a rapper, but as a female rapper from Asia. How do you feel about how you’re breaking all status quo and what do you hope you can achieve from your music?

Ramengvrl: I FEEL GOOD haha. I’ve never had like a “bigger goal” when I first started out other than to express myself, but I’m definitely aware of the impact of my music. Being born and raised in Indonesia, most of the female “role models” are the “good girl next door” type and they sing ballads, and no disrespect to them but I don’t see myself in them. I’ve never thought the world had a place for someone like me (doing hip hop? In Indo?) But apparently people fuck with it and it’s not rare for boys and girls and gays to come up to me and tell me that my music gives them a “reassurement” and motivation to do what they love so yeah, that’s pretty dope.

AL365: You were last in Singapore for a gig in February, and also last August for Baybeats. What do you miss most about touring and live shows, and can we hope to see back in Singapore once it’s safe to do so?

Ramengvrl: The energy, period. Like we now are blessed with the ability to do live shows from home or whatever (which, in respect, did give us an opportunity to explore more ideas in live performances), but there’s nothing that can beat the energy. Artists feeding off of the audience’s energy, and vice versa, nothing can beat that. And yeah, of course! I LOVE Singapore, the crowds are always very supportive, so I’ll definitely come back 🙂

AL365: Anything you like to say to your fans out there?

Ramengvrl: Please be safe, keep your mental health in check, and I don’t know who needs to hear this but I do think this is the best time to finally start doing what you really wanna do (if you haven’t) 😉

ASL365: Thanks again Ramengvrl and we hope to see you back in Singapore really soon!

For more updates on this formidable star, follow her on Facebook and Instagram

Cover photo: Ejja Pahlevi