The Indonesian born and raised Muhamad Egar was educated in New York City for over a decade where he first came in contact with –and later delved into- Jamaican music and Rastafarian culture. Upon his return from The Untied States, Ras aspires to re-introduce Indonesia on a global scale, to put Indonesia back “on the map”, specifically in music, arts and talents that the country has to offer to the world. This new album is the amalgamation of Ras’ vision of the direction Indonesian Reggae could go and what Indonesian music could achieve.
Salam offers Asia’s first international Reggae album that is in a “Pure Roots Reggae” format, although Dancehall and Hip-Hop fans alike can truly relate to this album musically. Thematically, even though most part of the lyrics in “Salam” is in English, Ras always finds a way to deliver his Indonesian standpoint. A good example would be the first single “Lion Roar” where he explains as such a history of cultural similarities of the “Lion” symbol, between African and Asian culture and even western such as Europe.
Salam also features notable collaborations with a host of critically acclaimed international reggae artists such as the Jamaican Kabaka Pyramid as well as Sara Lugo and Uwe Kaa from Germany. The album also delves into a diverse range of topics: from Asian-African culture, personal motivation, the beauty of language, barriers of borders, respect of one’s ancestors, humanity, war and suffering, as well as his own personal stories of struggle. In short, Ras Muhamad believes that through the power of music especially Reggae, people can share and learn of each other’s cultures through the message. To find similarities and common ground, setting aside petty differences and finally celebrating life and all its dynamics through music. Such as the core and heart of Reggae, it’s a universal expression and a message of love.
Below you can hear a preview of the album!