WEIRD GENIUS

Weird Genius make dance tracks that feel like time travel. Over the last few years, the Indonesian trio—producer Eka Gustiwana, songwriter Reza Oktovian, and producer/DJ Gerald Liu—has dabbled in the drippy neons of contemporary pop, future bass, and trap as well more classic forms, like the insistent rhythms of house and techno. From their earliest tracks, they’ve swirled together past and present in delirious dancefloor ecstasy, but their 2020 hit “LATHI” pushed this philosophy to another level. They looked to their country’s cultural traditions and wove gamelan melodies and sindhen, a style of singing from the island of Java, into their euphoric electronics and hedonistic drops. The sound quickly took on a life of its own. After taking off on TikTok, the song became the longest-running number-one single on Spotify Indonesia. It eventually won three awards at AMI—the Indonesian GRAMMYs, essentially—and netted the group a deal with Astralwerks. Hundreds of millions of streams later, their success is only emboldening the trio to dream bigger. They’re fired up about the doors “LATHI” has opened—including collaborations with like-minded international artists like Dutch duo Yellow Claw—but they seem most excited about the potential they have now to expose even more listeners to their culture. “We want to prove that traditional stuff can be cool, recycled into something new,” Gerald says. Clearly, Weird Genius have a head start on that mission.

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