Domestic Groove: AIMEE SARAH

Photo: Fachrul Rachman

Photo: Fachrul Rachman

Singer, Songwriter, Actress

What music are you into at the moment?
“I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (but I also like the version of Nina Simone, She & Him). This is one of the best songs ever made. Simple and straight to the heart.

“The Man Who Sold the World” by David Bowie. First time I heard this song was sung by Nirvana at the infamous MTV Unplugged performance, instantly fell in love with it, and when I found out—not recently though—that it was originally by Bowie, this version is even better and timeless.

“You Do Something to Me”– Ella Fitzgerald. Something mystical and whimsical about Cole Porter’s lyric especially this song.

“Chelsea Hotel” by Lana Del Rey. What more can you get than a classic folk tune sung by the most beautiful vocalist today with a distinct character.

What was the first record you bought—any interesting story behind it?
I wasn’t given enough allowance from my parents back then to buy a record. Kalau beli harus bareng mereka (so it doesn’t count). Mostly borrowed record from friends, but when I secretly saved up some money, I bought the record of Ella Fitzgerald, Pure Ella: The Very Best Of, which has a track of her live performance in Berlin singing “Mack The Knife” and I was just enthralled and so drawn into her voice. I think not long after I bought this album I was asked to join a big band ensemble in high school. Weird.


What are your all-time favourite albums? Why?
Pink Martini, Sympathique and Hang on Little Tomato.
After that hit song “Sympathique” from the debut album, I fell in love completely with this band or more like a mini orchestra I’d say. Tough choice because after their debut, the next album didn’t stop to fascinate me! Love both albums that are enjoyable, sing-able, even with different languages the melodies are so catchy! Listening to their songs (first time) made me believe to dream of something. For instance, the song “Amado Mio” from the album Sympathique, I have always wondered what it would feel to sing on stage and dance under the spotlight; or “Aspettami” from the album Hang on Little Tomato, with that powerful lyrics only accompanied by a guitar as instrumentation. They have created such sincere work that touches the heart of mine. It’s because of these albums I began to write lyrics, well, had the courage to write song lyrics.

Gotan Project, La Revancha Del Tango.
Sampai sekarang masih terus gue puter kapanpun apalagi kalau gue lagi banyak pikiran. It’s like Django Reindhart, Stephane Grapelli meets Astor Piazzolla and they collaborate. It’s like tango music in a modern package. Gue juga udah selalu tertarik sama tarian Tango dan iramanya yang begitu eksotis. Kerennya dari album ini walaupun kebanyakan instrumental tapi kita tetap bisa ngerasain emosi dari musik yang disampaikan. Sensual, erotic with a class of sophistication.

Madonna, Ray of Light.
Ok for Madge fans out there, we know that all her albums are all great and no matter what will support her work. But for me this album is her most mature, well compiled in every track but still pushing the button…softly. I mean she already has numerous #1 hits but she was able to maintain her musicality without changing her vocal character. Ini salah satu album Madonna yang dimana setiap track ngga ada yang ngga enak dan semua music, lyric gampang dicerna tapi tetap berbobot dan dinyanyiin. If you are talking about the Queen of Pop then there is no other Madonna.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Phantom of The Opera (with Sarah Brightman dan Michael Crawford)
Yang adalah musikal pertama yang saya tonton dan langsung jatuh cinta. Walaupun unsur classic opera-nya kuat namun tetap bisa dinikmati, tidak terlalu berat and “very entertaining”. This album made me want to learn vocal technically alias mimpi bisa dapet suara soprano.

What was the worst record you ever purchased?
I don’t remember any. I am pretty wise about which record I am about to purchase. However, once I love the artist so much even if the music changes as it evolves, I’d still buy it.

Who do you want to be, other than yourself, next time you reincarnate?
I am ok with myself and where I am now but a bit taller next time I reincarnate would be nice.

What book are you reading now and what’s the score (1-10)?
Chuck Palahniuk, Diary. Banyak yang bilang kalau mau baca buku dia mulai dari Fight Club dulu. Tapi kalau gue udah nonton filmnya, sayang kalau baca bukunya lagi karena udah terkontaminasi imajinasinya, karakternya dan udah kena spoilernya kan. Gue baru selesein buku Palahniuk yang Choke which left my mouth gaping. But seems that Diary will make me fall in love deeper. It’ll be my favorite Palahniuk’s novel so far because of its flowing storyline, details and very thrilling. Such a page-turner sampe bikin sesek nafas! I’d give it a 9.5, karena belum baca ending-nya.

What new movie should people see? Why?
Man from U.N.C.L.E. I mean besides the fact that Henry Cavill is in it other than he’s drop-dead-gorgeous, envy of every men (I’m sure) and one of the new great actors out there, not acting as Superman. Also it is directed by Guy Ritchie, taken scenes from the 60s, filled with action and a bit of dark comedy. Just by looking at the posters and casts I am so psyched to watch this. I mean conspiracy and espionage in the old days are just hot. Not to mention the costumes AND scoring. Liat trailernya aja bikin penasaran mau nonton.


What song do you choose to start your weekend?
“Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” by Urge Overkill
Because it makes me want to have a diner kind of cheeseburger, fries and milkshake with a cherry on top, then burn a ciggy after; just like Mia Wallace.

“Back To Black” by Amy Winehouse
When I just want to close my eyes yet still don’t want to get out of bed and wake up from a sweet dream.

“Witchcraft” by Frank Sinatra
My getting ready to dress up and get out of the house song as if I am Ava Gardner to go out for a party with Frank.

“Baby, I Love You” by The Ramones
A slightly rebellious version than the Ronettes; sort of a welcoming song for the weekend. Also, very romantic.

And song you choose to end your weekend?
“Town Without Pity” by Gene Pitney
Such a laid back, flirtatious yet so seductive it can be perfect for a striptease song.

“New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel
As if I am walking outside the streets of New York City while sipping a cuppa joe on a Sunday Morning when I it’s just my imagination.

“Midnight Sun” by Ella Fitzgerald
The letting go of all your problems in the world type of song. I feel so liberated whenever I listen to this particular tune.

“One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer” by Amos Millburn
To realize that the weekend is almost over and be like…what?? Monday is tomorrow already?? Alright one last shot of fun before a hectic morning.


Aimee is at the moment pretty busy with many different things: as a songstress, a radio announcer, and a movie actress, to name a few.

Not so long ago she launched her latest video, “Lenggang Temaram”, from her debut album Swingin’ Aimee. While her HBO-produced tv series Halfworlds—she’s the leading role—is scheduled to be released early next year. She also runs her own regular radio program at Hard Rock Radio Jakarta, The Lady Who Swings.


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