It all started way back in 2004. before leaving to UK to continue his study at Cass Business School, Raygava recorded a 6-song demo album for friends. It consisted of the early songs such as Tanda-tanda and Kedua Tercantik. The mini demo album was the start of his return to songwriting, something he has enjoyed doing since junior high. The recording of these songs in Bandung was helped by Endrian, his long time friend since junior high. With influence from John Mayer, Dave Matthews, and Jeff Buckley, the tracks drew the attention of some people, even to Raygava’s future friends in Europe.
The gloomy skies of London, added with fond memories of homeland, gave birth to homesick songs like Where I Belong and Cara Pergi ke Bandung. These two brought the best in Raygava’s song writing skills. During his time in London, Raygava formed a dangdut band, OM Senang (Orkes Melayu Senang), which played popular dangdut tunes everytime there was an Indonesian event. It was here that he met Sita, who played bass for the band. Then, in Nottingham, he also met a talented drummer named Wibi, who played for another band at that time, who apparently had watched Raygava performed years before in a school event in Bandung. He’ll meet Wibi again later in this story. Raygava’s songs continue to stack up and the dream of performing and recording them continued to linger. He knew he could not do it in London.
In 2006, after he returned home, Raygava et al. was finally formed and started to perform in campuses and various other events. Recording of the tracks was also started. After a year, several tracks of Raygava et al were already playing in radios in Jakarta such as Hard Rock FM (Where I Belong), Prambors, and Trax (Penipu Terbesar Seantero Jagat Raya). In the same year, Raygava et al were also featured in television for the first time. When the songs were played in radios, no one would’ve believed that Raygava was a full time office worker in a prominent office tower in SCBD. Also in 2007, Raygava et al. were also featured in a compilation CD by Hai magazine, with Balada Pegawai Kantoran. The one song that would be remembered the most, by many listeners.
It took 2 years, 4 recording studios, 15 songs, and various band member changes, until Raygava found the courage to quit his job and tried to finish a full-length album. A little bit too late? Maybe. But the path was not that easy too. He had to change his band members and put in professional musicians to fill in at drums (Adi Hartley) and Bass (Iqbal), to enable the band to perform in as many events as possible. During 2007-2008 Raygava et al. played on many stages from school events, cafes, media events. On several occasions they even shared stage with bands such as Angkasa, Wali, Lyla, Juliette, and many more. The hey-day of Indonesian pop-rock melayu bands.
Early 2009, Raygava et al. finally released the debut album, “Where I Belong”, taking from the song with the same title. Some people considered this a bit too late. It was already close to 2 years after Penipu Terbesar Seantero Jagat Raya and Where I Belong were aired in radios around Jakarta, and already years after Balada Pegawai Kantoran were featured in Hai magazine. This was made worse by a mix-up by the distribution label that further hampered the album’s release to the market. It didn’t take long for Adi and Iqbal to quit the band, so Raygava returned to his old friends. He met again with Wibi in Bandung, the drummer he became friends with back in Nottingham, who shared the same old fondness to The Stone Roses. Raygava’s longtime friend Endrian helped with the bass. The trio formed the new era of Raygava et al., starting from the mid of 2009. From this point on, it was no longer about the existence in music industry. Not anymore. It was all about having fun on stage, and later having beers at the pub. From this period also, Raygava et al started to become more influenced by Van Hunt, Mamas Gun, Frank Ocean, and Twin Shadow.
In 2013, “Animaloubi” was released. An indie album that was so indie no one probably remembered how it was released. Raygava wanted an album that’s totally different from the first one. It sure was the lengthiest process that they ever had to endure. Mainly due to the busy schedule of everyone. Life indeed has changed. The release date was intentionally set to highlight the years people have waited (from 2009 to 2014, hence the release date on 20-09-2014). The new album features new breath of songs such as Musikku, Berkat Tuk Bertahan, and Secret of Letting Go. It also featured other musicians, such as Two6Mic, Simhala, and Raja Manahara. All are close friends to Raygava, as the album was intended to celebrate friendship and families.