Photo by Gigi Priadji
Photo by Gigi Priadji

Rully Shabara

Born in Palu, Indonesia, 1982. Interested in exploring human voice as a medium of creation, and language as a subject to experiment with. Exploring vocal range, textures, and spirituality in Senyawa, and developing a conceptual language-driven project in Zoo. Initiated numerous concept-based projects around voice as the main element. Delivered workshops around the globe that focus on using human voice as a rich resource to explore primal expression and improvisations.

Rully Shabara has recently been announced as a mentor for Forecast’s 2022-23 edition in Berlin. Applications open from 20 January.


1. Voice is your sound. Language is the style.

2. I scream therefore I am.

3. Seeking for God is totally worth it no matter what you end up with.


1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?


2. How and when did you get into making music?

I started making my own music with my band Zoo in 2005 when I was still working an office job. I played music with my band only during weekends. Five years later I quit my job and that’s when I started focus and going deeper in my music.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?

– Church Universal and Triumphant feat. Elizabeth Clare Prophet – The Sounds of American Doomsday Cults
– Smithsonian Folkways’s Music of Indonesia Vol 12 – Gongs and Vocal Music from Sumatera
– Music for Sale Compilation – Street Musicians of Yogyakarta
– Compilation – Ulqutushuy vol.2
– Melanesian Choir – The Blessed Island

4. What do you associate with Berlin?

Black dressed artists lining up in front of a dark looking techno club.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?

Warmindo; a string of 24 hour cheap food place owned and managed by people from Kuningan, West Java that serves only instant noodles and instant drinks. It’s everywhere. The embodiment of immigrant’s success.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?

Make one.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?

An album by a friend Kinnara Desi-La.

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Yoshihide, Rabih Beaini, Damo Suzuki, Bob Ostertag, Yoshida Tatsuya, Trevor Dunn, Arrington DeDionyso, Justin Vernon, Jon Sass, DJ Sniff, Daisuke Fuwa, Greg Fox – Who else would you like to work with?
I don’t know, some rappers or poet probably.

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?

As a performer I cannot really say, there’s so many to name but as a spectator it was Keiji Haino’s in some kind of very small library in Tokyo.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?

Technology is a inevitable path to cross as someone who explores human voice. It is the trajectory to expand the possibilities, and technology helps to extend it.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?

I do and he is supportive for sure.