Aretha Iskandar

About Me

"Vulnerability is always the right choice cause it is easy to be cold in a world that makes it so very difficult to be soft" wrote the prodigious Rupi Kaur. I believe that creativity is authorising oneself to be vulnerable, and not trying to create something beautiful but rather create something real by being as intimate as possible.

Why have I chosen music? I do not have a clear-cut answer, it has always been ingrained in me. Music to me is a way of reflecting humanity’s nature and highlighting how our world is moving forward. When I sing, I achieve this indescribable state of wellbeing, a sort of fulfilment in my guts. My songs are really a space where I can let myself be vulnerable. I put my emotions as words on a white sheet of paper: My love(s) at first sight, my anxieties, my experiences, impermanence, my vision of the world; everything that once made me feel weak but at the same time full of life and emotions. In other words: everything that makes me feel alive. But most importantly I wish to transmit all these emotions to my audience. Baudelaire wrote in his poem l’Albatross, that artists are like these birds, it is hard for them to find their place in this society, their pulsions often lead them to being outcasts. But like these birds that regurgitate their food to feed their babies. Artists regurgitates their experiences to feed the world.I also believe it is important for an artist to point out the inequalities of our modern societies. Busy in our daily life we forget to look at it and stay numb or indifferent towards it...

Listen to my music

Aretha Iskandar - Photo 1

I grew up on Java in Indonesia. Studying the piano for 8 years led me to discover that singing was what made me vibrate more inside. I started choir singing at the age of 12, soon after I began writing songs. I have been greatly influenced by music during my childhood listening to Jazz and Soul. Recently I discovered the poetry in french chanson which I adore. I would say my songs are a sort of mix of all these influences. My parents, who are in love with music had a great influence on me as well, especially my dad who is a multi instrumental musician and who was always teaching it to me with love.

At the age of 16 I decided to leave my family in Indonesia to move to Paris where I could be closer to the artistic scene. After graduating from a literary french baccalauréat, I double majored in International Relations and Music, and chose to pursue an artistic path. Living alone at such a young age, thousands of miles from my roots and confronted with unexpected hurdles has strengthened my personality. It made realize the importance of choosing difficulty over comfort, because that is where the real beauty is to be found.

Everywhere one goes, one reads or hears that happiness is about fulfilling one’s dream. What no one ever mentions is the hard work and the sacrifices it takes to reach that goal. Since I’ve started my musical path, I have faced many failures, but the difficulties and challenges taught me to overcome my shame over and over again. I have learnt that the artistic world is a constant battle in which one has to open and reveal oneself. And this is what I’m trying to show through my songs in the most accurate and authentic way.

Read my Biography

Aretha Iskandar - Photo 2