Home » Social and Political Effects of Pop Bali Alternatif on Balinese Society: The Example of “XXX,” by Kaori Fushiki

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Social and Political Effects of Pop Bali Alternatif on Balinese Society: The Example of “XXX,” by Kaori Fushiki

Vol. 9, No. 1 (2013): 37–67.


This article will clarify how the music genre “Pop Bali Alternatif” affects contemporary Balinese society, both socially and politically. The article focuses on the band ““XXX”” (Triple X), whose major hit ““Puputan Badung”” appeared was released in 2006. Recent studies on the “Pop Bali” genre by Balinese researchers have divided it into two main streams: “Pop Bali Konventional” and “Pop Bali Alternatif.” In contrast with the former, which is deeply connected with traditional Balinese music, “Pop Bali Alternatif” includes a variety of influences. For this reason, it exerts a powerful social influence, particularly on young people. The activities of “Pop Bali Alternatif” band members, which are covered extensively by mass media, are quickly imitated by their fans. How did this system come about? What kind of albums/songs produced by these bands have influenced the young, and to what extent? Finally, how do the historical backgrounds and surroundings of “Pop Bali Alternatif” figure into this equation? This article investigates the issues raised by through these questions by using “XXX” as a case study, and will closely analyse their most popular song “Puputan Badung.” I will show how the social position of the band comes into play, focusing on the narrow line that connects the band to local politics. The conclusion of this article expands the focus of my argument to consider the wider influence of “Pop Bali Alternatif” on Balinese society as a whole.

Author’s bio

Kaori Fushiki is an ethnomusicologist, anthropologist and performer. She studied musicology at Tokyo University of the Arts (Tokyo Geidai, BA, 1995) and studied comparative cultural studies at the Graduated School of Taisho University (PhD, 2004). After graduating, she teaches ethnomusicology, sociology of music, cultural anthropology, area studies, cultural history and percussion in several universities.

She is also a research fellow at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and Tokyo University of the Arts, currently. She was deeply interested in the Balinese music and its social context and joined the course of Karawitan (traditional music) at Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Denpasar from the end of 1995 till early 1998. Since that, she wrote some articles about Balinese gamelan in rituals, gamelan players association, its social context, musical instruments and aesthetics, popular music and politics, and local media in Bali, etc.

Most recent researches are about performing arts in Singapore, and doing researches on several performing arts on the road and stages, its social political context, relationship between migration and the performing arts, musical associations, its global networks, creation for the sustainability of the city, etc. As a performer, Kaori Fushiki usually plays Balinese gamelan and its fusion in several groups based in Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan and plays percussions for the contemporary music scenes.

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