They will rock you

Trailblazing heavy metal girl band undeterred by death threats, physical attacks

Firdda Kurnia, 17, the guitarist and lead singer of the heavy metal band Voice of Baceprot, during a dress rehearsal in Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 22, 2017. (Kemal Jufri/The New York Times)

The newest stars of Indonesia’s heavy metal scene are three head-banging, hijab-wearing teenagers.

As The New York Times reports, the band Voice of Braceprot (a word that means “noise” in a local Indonesian dialect) has been skyrocketing in popularity of late — so much so, in fact, that they recently performed for a crowd of 2,000 people in the capitol city of Jakarta. The band includes Firdda Kurnia, 17,  Eusi Siti Aisyah, also 17, and Widi Rahmawati, 15. The teenagers have known each other since they were children, and they all wear traditional Muslim headscarves.

By rocking out with hijabs on, the band members hope to show that their religion does not have to be at odds with secular music. Such complex themes are explored in the girls’ music; one of their popular songs, “The Enemy of Earth Is You,” focuses on hate speech and intolerance.

Some Indonesians have not been receptive to the girls’ message. The band has received death threats from Muslim hardliners, and even been subjected to physical attacks. But the young women of Voice of Braceprot are determined to persevere.

“A hijab and metal music are different,” Firdda told the Times. “A hijab is my identity, and metal is my music genre.”

Below, watch the band perform its hit “The Enemy of Earth is You” during a recent appearance on an Indonesian TV show.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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