It all started way back in 2004. before leaving to UK to continue his study at Cass Business School, Raygava recorded a 6-track 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, who apparently had watched Raygava performed years before in a school event in Bandung. But Raygava’s songs continue to stack up and the dream of performing and recording them continued to linger. He know 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 one of the poshest office towers 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. 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 as many events as possible. At that time, new ‘melayu rock bands’ were emerging in the country (some would call it alay bands), and Raygava et al. experienced it themselves when they participated in a mini tour to various high schools to the outskirts of Jakarta, involving new bands at that time from Angkasa, Wali, Lyla, Juliette, and many more. Something that can probably be considered a mistake!
Early 2009, finally Raygava et al. released the first album, “Where I Belong”, taking from the same track title. Some people considered this a bit too late. It was already close to 2 years after Penipu Terbesar Seantero Jagat Raya were aired in radios and Balada Pegawai Kantoran were featured in Hai magazine. Later a mix-up by the distribution label further hampered the album’s release to the market. Soon after, Adi and Iqbal left the band, and Raygava returned to his old friends. He met again with Wibi in Bandung, the drummer he became friends with 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. For once, it was not about a highly-seeked existence in music industry. Not anymore. For once, it was all about having fun with friends. Playing music with the same spirit as high school kids, 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.
After years of being busy with work, Raygava et al. started working again for their new album in 2013. Not for success, not for fame, but to have fun again. Everything was already different. The different world we live in, the different scene of Indonesia’s music industry, the friends we grew apart, the families we grew closer. Raygava wanted an album that’s totally different from the first one. It sure was definitely the lengthiest process that they ever had to endure. Mainly due to the busy schedule of everyone. Life indeed has changed. Finally, over 5 years after the first album in 2009, the second album “Animaloubi” was released in digital stores in 20 September 2014. The release date was intentionally set to highlight the years people have waited (from 2009 to 2014, 20-09-2014). The new album features the single Musikku and also Berkat Tuk Bertahan. 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.