The man behind the Bahasa Basudara jingle – Rob Wattimury

Have you heard our catchy new Bahasa Basudara jingle yet? And did you recognise the deep sonorous sound of the Tahuri – a conch much used as an instrument in Maluku? Musician Rob Wattimury, from Hoogezand in the north of the Netherlands, is the man behind this custom-written musical piece.

Rob isn’t a man of many words and rather lets his music do all the talking. Like many other Moluccans, music has always played an important role in his life. Who hasn’t been completely mesmerised by the mellifluous sounds of a choir in a Moluccan church? Or the many talented Moluccan bands that played at weddings and other big parties, singing a combination of famous cover songs, their own numbers and traditional Moluccan songs.

However, for Rob, music is more than just a hobby or a passion - music means everything to him. He’s convinced that you can use music to tell a story – another language really. It also became a way to express himself. It came as no surprise that he was very enthusiastic when his niece Nataly Sopacuaperu asked him to compose a jingle for Bahasa Basudara. Using his creativity and musical prowess, he wrote and composed a jingle that combined traditional sounds with modern influences. The result is a bittersweet yet, modern and still traditional tune, you could proudly have as a ringtone on your mobile phone.

Quite poignant is the choice of the Tahuri, as its symbol (the conch) is used by two Moluccan communities – Christian and Muslim – to depict a collective identity and social cohesion between them.

Rob’s love for music started when he was given his first guitar at the age of 4 and his passion really developed when he was given a bass guitar once he turned nine. Although he also plays the contrabass and the piano, the bass remains his first love. His three older brothers introduced him to Jazz music (Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald) and in the seventies he discovered Motown (James Brown, The Jackson 5 and Aretha Franklin).

He still performs and reckons that even though there is a lot of Moluccan musical talent about, talent only won’t be enough if you want to make it as a musician. It’s okay to follow your heart, but you will also need perseverance and most importantly the right mindset to make it as a musician.

Let us know what you think of our Bahasa Basudara jingle.