Review Wednesday: Awkarin – “Bad Ass”

“Bad Ass”

There’s no one like Karin Novilda in Indonesian music scene. From the start of her rising to prominence, thanks to her iconic Instagram and vlog posts, Novilda has audaciously stated that she’s not this typical next-door girl. It’s clearly reflected by her lifestyle that we can follow easily from her social media accounts, her pococurante attitude to the world, and her use of vulgar language. Novilda just never gives a fuck. Her main principle of never listening people’s opinion and countering their critiques with her hardest work is what inspires most of Indonesian juvenile. Every teenager aspires to be her. Afar, Novilda is unlike any other musicians. Where most of musicians seem to be unreachable and flashy, Novilda takes another path. She’s just like this cool and popular senior girl in your school that befriends anyone and reachable.

When we are treated by her amazing guest appearance on Young Lex’s breakout song, “BAD”, we all know that Novilda is the walk-the-talk kind of girl. Her way of life matches what she has preached every day. But, the highlight of the track is Novilda’s distinctive vocal. Her whispery and raspy voice gives you this euphoric sensation. She again flaunts her voice on her debut solo single, “Candu”, another addictive song that talks about conforming the abusive relationship. Novilda has a flair in transporting the pain that she feels to her audience, making us able to sympathize with everything she has gone through. But, for a teenage girl, Novilda indeed has gone through a lot: a chaotic heart break, intense mockery, harsh judgment, and everything. Her latest effort, “Bad Ass” further proves that Novilda still has a lot to offer from her extensive and various experience.

The song begins with a noise that crescendos and a picture of a teddy bear in a red hazy patina, symbolizing the loss of her innocence and her gaining the courage. The most surprising thing from the song, however, is the absence of Mike WiLL Made-It trademark. The song’s clean production is comparable to Mike Will Made It’s finest work, such as Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” and Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles”. Yet, it’s not the only surprise from the song. “You’re fuckin’ with a bad ass/ I can fuck you better”, Novilda sings, not afraid of using profanity in her song. She admits her badassery, claiming that she’s better at fucking. Novilda is full of confidence as ever, but you can feel this song is the most confident Novilda that you’ve ever heard and seen. She flashes her voluptuous figure in the video and rides horse with a vigilante mask, presumptuously declaring that she’s “a fuckin’ criminal”. Novilda’s voice is at its best, galloping between the Robert Wynand’s sleek production. Aside from the amazing production and her vocal, “Bad Ass” is the most comprehensive work that Novilda has ever done. It’s full of allegories. The space between word “bad” and “ass” has a myriad of interpretations, you will start pondering if bad ass literally means bad buttocks or it can totally mean something else. The video is also a work of an avant garde. The most conspicuous thing is probably the “bad influence” banner that Novilda proudly wears, as if she was fully aware that she’s a bad influence, but bad influence also needs some love. The red tone that Novilda frequently uses in the video can mean her bravery and courage, but it can also mean entirely different thing. You will just never know what Novilda thinks, and that’s what makes her different and exciting. One thing, though, that we know from Novilda is that she will always spread her nonchalant boldness. That’s her shtick.


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