[Weekly Playlist] Ramengvrl

Ramengvrl, one of South East Asia’s most dominant hip-hop figures, releases her debut album Can’t Speak English late last year. The 10-track record is an amalgamation of her influences including J-Pop, emo, and pop.

Contrary to the album’s title, Ramengvrl can clearly speak English, but behind the tongue-in-cheek title are themes and messages that come from a place of intimacy and honesty. Operating under a hopeful, idealistic banner, Ramengvrl pours her soul and unfiltered thoughts to deliver a message of hope, acceptance, and perseverance to listeners. Drawing from her own life experiences, Can’t Speak English encourages listeners to be whoever you want to be and fight the societal pressures or your own insecurities to achieve your dreams. The album cohesively provides a fresh perspective and enthralling lyricism, underpinned by Ramengvrl’s raw, honest storytelling. 

With Can’t Speak English personifying Ramengvrl’s aspirational ‘no B.S.’ spirit, Ramengvrl proves with her most cohesive work to date that she is on the cusp of greatness and is ready to bring a cross-cultural phenomenon to the globe.

We asked Ramengvrl to curate a playlist of songs that inspired her album, dive in below.

Utada Hikaru – Passion

Soundtrack of my fave game, Kingdom Hearts. Every time I hear this I kinda wanna cry. Also reminds me of my childhood (which lowkey also makes me wanna cry). 

Kanye West ft. Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver – Monster 

I love Kanye, but honestly, Nicki killed it here. One of her best verses, ever. 

Rihanna ft. Drake – Work 

The one track that I always played on loop on my trip to work and back home when I was still doing 9-to-5 jobs. On a stressful day, this song really got me in the mood. Maybe coz it’s named “work” lol.

Nicki Minaj – Roman Holiday 

A lot of people shun Nicki for this when it first came out, I guess they just didn’t’t understand. This track is a classic, and now everyone’s like “ooh she’s way ahead of her time.”

Young Thug – RiRi 

Kinda like “Work”, I bump this all the time before I went to work, usually in the bathroom while I was taking a shower. Which is funny coz this track’s called “RiRi”.

Blink-192 – Don’t Leave Me

I always love the feeling of “teen angst” and this song just gets it while reminding me of stupid first relationships.

L’Arc~en~Ciel – Stay Away 

My top band from Japan when I was in junior high. I remember a friend lent me her CD and since then I was hooked. After a decade or so, Laruku (how people call ‘em) finally came to Indonesia and I went to the live concert alone haha. 

Drake – Over 

A classic from Drake and what got me to his other songs.

Avril Lavigne – Losing Grip 

Listening to Avril’s songs I think helped me become the artist that I am today. A lot of people tell me that I’m the “queen of hooks”, and I admit that, I do make catchy songs, like Avril. She got no bad songs. I only listened to her until her third album though.

Linkin Park – Paper Cut 

No explanation needed. Linkin Park was the shit. All the kids weren’t cool until they listened to Linkin Park.