ESQ: Why ‘Weird Genius’ for a band name? Is there a special meaning behind it?
Reza: That was my idea, I took it from one of the old PC game characters called Limbo. This character is strange but strong and smart, his name is Weird Genius. I think it’s the right name to represent us as a group.
ESQ: What made you guys experiment with EDM and traditional Indonesian instrumental elements, thus defining the band’s sound?
Eka: Music is universal, meaning that anyone with their respective capabilities can certainly make great music, but on the other hand, in terms of the music industry, a song is also demanded by its uniqueness. Thus, we created our own secret formula to combine those elements into a unique sound. Back home, we have very rich and diverse cultures and music as well as music scale. The Javanese part of this song (pre-drop) we used a Javanese music scale called ‘Pelog’.
ESQ: While ‘DPS’ is an ode to Bali’s Denpasar, ‘Lathi’ touches on personal issues such as abuse (either emotional or physical) in particular. Why focus on this theme and was it deliberate for the track to sound dark?
Gerald: As mention by Eka before that we used the Javanese music scale ‘Pelog’ to give a perception of darkness. We went with this rather than using other more common sounds to invoke the theme of darkness. And we wrote this song about abuse because this kind of story is more common than you think and we want to send a message that whoever experiences this must fight back.
ESQ: The Indonesian culture elements extends visually to the music video too. What is the most distinctive representation or association of Indonesian culture in general to you guys?
Eka: This is the very essence of why we started this band. We want to encourage and tell everyone especially to young generations that we have a very rich and very diverse culture that we must stand to preserve it, although we tweak it a little bit so that it sounds fresh. We are obliged to convey this message in the form of music.
ESQ: Tell us the motivation to sustain a music career and how do you guys keep up with the ever-changing music landscape?
Reza: Just create and create. Be humble and stay true. Now going viral and getting famous is just a bonus. Making something unique that nobody has ever heard before—that’s what we believe in and strive to do.
ESQ: What’s next for Weird Genius?
Gerald: For the rest of 2020, there’s already a lot on our plate. We just announced recently that we will have a collaboration with Yellow Claw which was released recently in July. Several collaborations with other international DJs, some official remixes and of course our original songs are on the way.
"In the morning I prefer songs with high energy to get me focused and hyped for the day. A few fast-paced tracks should be good to fuel me up." [Gerald Liu]
1. 'Salute (feat. GQ)'—Danny Byrd
"Danny Byrd has been one of my favourite DJs in the Drum n Bass/Jungle scene. this track of his really stands out to me due to its old school groove while maintaining the modern sound."
2. 'Make It Rain (feat. Rowdy Rebel)'—Pop Smoke
"The sheer energy of the kicks and bass in this song plus Pop's overall flow really caught my attention the first time I listen to it. Sad to see one of the most promising rappers in the decade pass away so soon. RIP Pop Smoke."
3. 'The Antidote' (feat. Zion I)—Bassnectar
"I've been a fan of Bassnectar ever since his Timestretch EP. His style is one of the most original among many dubstep artists in the scene. I'm glad he's now gotten his cult following and has been steadily churning out great albums!"
"I usually work out and mess around in my studio in the morning, so I need something to relax my body and mind during the day. So here are (somewhat) relaxing songs of my choice." [Gerald Liu]
1. 'Nobody (feat. Mino)'—Blue.D
"I like to explore new artists and playlists during my spare time, including those of the Korean Hip Hop/RnB scene. I just discovered blue.D recently and I gotta say I'm really in love with her voice. Really looking forward to her upcoming releases."
2. 'Adios (feat. GRAY)'—Hoody
"Another one from the K-hip hop scene! GRAY has been one of my favourite Korean producers and this song has somewhat a chilling but fresh feeling to it; kinda like eating mint ice cream I guess."
"BROCKHAMPTON has been on my music radar for some time due to how diverse their music can be. Though having a myriad of members in the group, each of them manages to stand out in their own way and the music always glues it all together."
"These are the types of songs I would play during house parties or when I just wanna chill with my friends. If you are into old-school hip hop and deeper electronic feel, this one is for you." [Gerald Liu]
1. 'Trouble On My Mind (feat. Tyler The Creator)'—Pusha T
"King Pusha never disappoints me when it comes to spitting bars. He is one of my top 3 best old-school rappers. I also love this track because it brings out Tyler's energy during the Odd Future/Cherry Bomb era."
2. 'Discipline'—Club Cheval
"I found this track randomly when I was digging around Tumblr some time ago. They were really promising and this track was accompanied by a great music video. I wonder why they stopped making music ever since."
3. 'I See You (Good Times Ahead Remix)'—JSTJR
"Good Times Ahead really gave this track a good twist. I have always been listening and using their tracks on the club due to how simple-yet-catchy their tracks sound."
Enjoyed the tracks? Check out our other ‘Dawn to Dusk’ playlists curated by guest artists each week and follow our Apple Music profile to access our playlist first when it's out.