#BLPGIRLS | Sade Susanto, Turning Her Story into A Creative Work
It's February and it's the best time to celebrate love in any capacity. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, we talked to a rising musician, Sade Susanto whom you should have already seen in our previous Cover Cushion campaign. From her past encounters with love, she produced her solo debut 'The Man Who Has Hurt Me' that brought her to the music industry. Read more to know how love helps her appreciate herself better, her feel-good consolations and her way to stay positive during this challenging time.
Hi, Sade! What brought you to the music industry and why do you wanna pursue it?
The true reason that I am in the music industry is because I got my heart broken, and music is one of the ways that I cope with the loss. I always like listening to music but when I make music I think it speaks a different volume, especially when the song is resonating directly to you. Safe to say, I made music mostly for myself at that time. Yet I also feel like music can impact people and that's why I want to contribute to society through it. If I can choose one purpose in life, I want to be a contributor.
So when was your first encounter with music exactly?
I was 19 years old going to 20 at that time. Now I am 22, so that's 2 years ago from now.
Is music something that you were born with? Does music run in your blood?
Most of my family are not musicians, if that's what you are referring to. But I grow up in a house that is never silent. There's always music in the room. Every morning, my mom likes to crank up the music just to wake us up since I was very little.
How did you finally pick up a guitar and learn to rock it?
Funny thing is, I am actually a very anime girl. Growing up, I watched this series called K-on and the reason why I wanted to learn to play the guitar was because the lead character plays guitar. I play every day from 30 to 45 minutes on my own, just learning about how to play the chords, all thanks to anime, but it works!
What are you currently up to?
Right now, I am still making music, trying to be unapologetically real to my songs and contribute as much as I can through music. But I am also still trying to learn about the law in the entertainment industry because that's definitely something that I am very passionate about as well.
Is there any project that you are working on?
I just released a new single called U Got Me and I am hoping that this year I can release an album.
Can you tell me what U Got Me is all about?
This song is my first romantic song after two, almost three years doing music. And it's because it's inspired by this person that I fell in love really hard with. But as the time went by, I think as I learned to love him, I also learned how to love myself even more. When I love our effortless conversations, I also fall in love with how smart I am when I answer his questions or whenever he says that I am beautiful, I actually believe that I am beautiful. And so without even him saying it, I actually feel beautiful. Right now, even without him around, I still feel like I got myself and I love myself – and it's all thanks to him. So that is what the song is all about.
You can hear Sade's infectious hooks in her latest song, U Got Me, from Cover Cushion video campaign, BLP Girls! Watch it below:
Who is your biggest music influence?
The artist that made me start making music was a Singaporean R&B singer, Sam Rui. She made this album called Season II and that album basically drove me into making music for my own. It pushed me there but moving forward, I listen a lot to Mahelia from the UK and also H.E.R. Right now I also listen to Kiana Ledé. Those three are my heavy rotation and sometimes I listen to them a little bit too much.
Moving on, we would like to know more about your daily life. How's a day in Sade's life look like?
A day in Sade's life, if I can wake up early probably I'll do some meditation or workout. I choose between those two because I don't know which one that I need more. And then I go downstairs to have breakfast with my family. We always have this tradition of just coordinating our schedules so that's definitely what we always do. After getting ready, I'll do whatever I can on that day. If that is music-related then I'll go to the studio, have some workshops, write songs, meet the producers but if that day I don't have anything to do with music, I'll study. Because I am pursuing my legal career as a legal researcher at the same time, I have to make time to read and write legal journals. So that's either that. My days are kinda dynamic and flexible in that sense.
Can you name three things that make you at your happiest?
Good food, like finding really good hidden gem food. Second, finding exceptional music like the music that makes me feel like I can sing this everyday and not getting bored. My go-to genre is R&B. And good movies! I'm kinda a movie or series girl. In short, just finding something that I can feel excited about because what excites me makes me happy as well.
These days are hard for everyone, how do you maintain your positivity?
In the mid 2020, we can say that everyone was feeling really down. It is really difficult for us to keep ourselves positive when everyone is being negative. But one of the reasons that makes me strong and positive up until this day is the fact that I know I am not alone. The world will keep going and this is not something that is permanent. I will move forward, and so will everybody else. It definitely wasn't that easy at first, considering that I was in the middle of my final thesis at that time. The thought of "I could have done this with my friends at cafes in Jogja" is inevitable but I finally came to terms that life doesn't always go as we planned, but that's okay. It is something that the whole world is experiencing and we are in this together. The idea of it keeps me going.
How do you practice self-love?
We all have our own insecurities that stem from our childhood. Mine, is not being enough to deserve all the good things in my life. But I feel like it is not exclusively felt by me and everyone else is dealing with it in their own way. My way to practice self-love is retelling positive affirmations every single day. "I am enough and I will always be enough." It is as simple as that but I think it is a start for a positive headspace before I start my day.
What is beauty to you?
Beauty is something that moves you, and it doesn't have to be something that is in line with social construct. What moves you is something very personal and you can be moved by everything. Kindness can be beautiful, being intellectual can be beautiful. As long as it moves you and you can feel something, it's beautiful.